Vol. 5 Num 882 Mon. November 20, 2006  

Iresh Zaker: On the heels of actor parents

It can be immensely challenging to be the offspring of celebrities. Comparisons are inevitable in the public eye, while one has to be on one's toes to excel in a chosen field. This is the story of Iresh Zaker, son of noted actors Aly and Sara Zaker, who has made his debut in a single episode TV play, titled Batasher Khacha which aired on Channel i on the fourth day of Eid.

The greatest compliment for his performance came from his parents. As Iresh says, "Their endorsement was important for me. If I was not good in my role they wouldn't have extended accolades."

Iresh plays the central role of Shahed in Batasher Khacha. Brought up in an affluent family, his father (played by Aly Zaker) insists that he earn his own living so that he can come face to face with hard reality. Taking up the challenge, Shahed pulls out all the stops to find work but fails. At the end of the day, the exhausted Shahed goes to a park for a breather. There he encounters the attractive Neera and a whole new world opens up to him.

Iresh has to do a tough balancing act to combine acting with the family business. He is the associate executive director of Asiatic Marketing Communications Ltd. In addition, he runs his own advertising agency Talking Point Communications.

Iresh has spent many years in the US but had to take the hard decision to return. "Advertising is a service industry and my parents needed my help," he says. After working the regular hours of 9:00 am-5:00 pm, he had to undertake "work that never stops." He is responsible for the finance and administration tasks as well.

Iresh is a film buff. Among his latest favourites is a Korean film called Old Boy, which he describes as "unbelievably good because it doesn't hold back or tone down issues."

Iresh has his hands full on the acting front. He has three or four plays in the pipeline. "This is my de-stress tool," he says. Now he wants to do a greater diversity of roles, particularly that of a negative character, which can be challenging. Meanwhile, he takes pride in his well-known parents. As he maintains, "My parents are indifferent to their own fame so are wonderful."

Iresh (R) with co-artiste in the play Batasher Khacha