American actor Faran Tahir, who has his roots in Pakistan, has featured in negative roles in films like “Iron Man” and “Star Trek”. He says essaying a villain at times gets an actor more attention from fans as the “image” can be intriguing or cathartic.

He essayed the role of Raza in the first installment of “Iron Man”, released in 2008.

Of late, a number of villains are being fancied by movie buffs and have a greater fan following at times than the hero in a film or a TV show. What does he think?

“Bad boy or girls are fun. They do things we can’t or shouldn’t. So maybe it’s cathartic or intriguing,” Tahir, who has a number of hit sitcoms to his credit like “Lost”, “Criminal Minds”, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Supernatural”, told IANS in an email interview.

He had started his career in films by essaying the role of Nathoo in Disney’s 1994 live-action version of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”, and has had a good innings in the West, where a lot of actors have been speaking against racism, gender disparity and other socio-political issues.

The scenario is slightly different in India, where celebrities have become vary of free speech and expression.

Tahir says actors in the US are in a way “fortunate” to have the “bully pulpit”.

“I don’t like to put a value judgement on what issue is important to whom. However, I do think that since we are fortunate enough to have the bully pulpit, we should use it to bring wider understanding among people, actively seek ways to promote peace and non-violence, and protect the rights of all,” said the 53-year-old actor, who can currently be seen as Jamil in the TV show “Prison Break: Resurrection”.

Asians tend to compare the content and quality of television shows and films a lot with that of the West. Asked if that’s a good practice knowing that the cultures are completely different, Tahir said the “obsessive comparisons are unhealthy”.

“I agree that the content is very different because of the differences in cultures. Each has its merits and demerits. We can all learn from each other,” said Tahir.

In India, there has been a lot of clamour on the concept of “nepotism”. Does it exist in Hollywood? Tahir pointed out that there is no profession devoid of it in any part of the globe.

“Show me a place or profession where there isn’t some level of nepotism. But I truly believe that nepotism might get you a break or two, but eventually it has to be your talent and ability to connect with the audience that makes your career,” said Tahir, who is shooting for TV series “Shameless” and “The Magicians”.

An active face on the stage as well, Tahir says the medium gives him “the rush of immediate connection with the audience” and when it comes to the big and small screen, he believes the mediums “give him the ability to tell a story with such fine detail at times”.

“The real rush is to be able to tell a story well.”

Talking about actors hailing from a theatre background getting more respect in the film industry, Tahir said: “They do bring an intensity to their acting which is very exciting and they should be given their due respect no matter where.”