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Thread: Masood Ahmed (Nitin Ganatra)

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    Masood Ahmed (Nitin Ganatra)

    EastEnders' Masood Ahmed - played by Nitin Ganatra - is forced to deal with the shock discovery that his son's been having an affair with another man next week when he walks in on Syed and Christian together in a passionate embrace. Unable to believe what he's seeing, Masood rushes out of the flat and heads home, where the reality of his - and his family's - situation begins to hit home. Masood rumbling the truth, however, is just the beginning - it's not long before everybody else learns Syed's secret. Digital Spy recently caught up with Nitin to chat about the moment Masood finds out and how the much-anticipated Chryed reveal comes about...

    How does Masood find out about Christian and Syed?
    "There's a birthday party for Syed and they're all having a good time. Syed receives a call or a text and we never get to see what it is, but he disappears to the flat to deal with something... Christian's obviously waiting there for him. Then Masood thinks, 'This is taking ages', so he goes to the flat, too. Low and behold, he sees Syed and Christian in a clinch…"

    How is Masood feeling at that point?
    "Masood's world falls apart. He doesn't react in the same way as Zainab, though - he just runs off. He wanders out of the flat, leaving Christian and Syed wondering who's seen them. In a state of shock, Masood goes back to the house and lies that the door to the flat was locked and so couldn't find Syed. When Syed returns, he starts to panic when he hears that Masood went looking for him."

    How does Masood deal with the situation?
    "Masood has no idea what to do with what he's seen and ends up looking for advice from the imam at the mosque. He's not particularly helpful, though, as he insists that the situation is on Masood's shoulders, while warning him not to let the news go public. Masood's given a choice - either the community will disown the family or the family will have to disown Syed."

    What does he eventually do?
    "After a week of thinking, he tells Zainab in the kindest way possible that their son is gay. Zainab pretends that she doesn't know, just to add more petrol to the fire… He's then trying to convince Zainab to confront the whole situation but she avoids it. It all then builds to this huge reveal at the party… All along, though, Masood's saying predatory things to Syed and Christian, teasing them about knowing. So in a very subtle way, he lets them both know that he's aware of what's going on and they'd better stop."

    Do you think Masood has a dark side?
    "It's a lovely thing to play. The New Year episodes with Nina, Johnny and Marc were so good and so explosive, I was thinking, 'How do you top that?' What I love about Masood, though, is that he's a very flexible person. You'll get a different response form him in almost every situation. He's not predicable. He has his lighter moments and then his darker moments. It gives a lot of colour to play with."

    Were you pleased when you finally read the script where you discovered Syed's secret?
    "I'm so relieved! I'll now stop getting texts and emails that start with, 'Hi Oblivious Dad'. I've spent five months looking away, just missing or just not hearing conversations and looks between Zainab, Christian and Syed. I've not been meant to notice any of it! It's really nice to be in the loop now."

    Is Masood more concerned about how Syed's secret will make him and his family look or Syed's struggle?
    "At first, it's not about what Syed's going through at all. It's about how it makes the family look. It's a very different dilemma to Zainab's. She's a reactive character, whereas Masood's pointing out that there's a bigger picture. Although Zainab appears to be the head of the household, they come from a patriarchal background. It's up to the father of the family to sort situations like this out - and in their culture, you're left with two choices: reject him or be rejected as a family. The whole community could turn on the Masoods."

    Then Amira makes a shock announcement…
    "Yeah! She's pregnant apparently! Now there's a turnaround…"

    How does the big reveal come about?
    "The one thing that's put Zainab and Masood on a happier note is that Amira's now pregnant. In their eyes, it'll solve all their problems. There are some lovely father-son scenes before everything comes out where Masood tries to convince Syed that his future is with Amira and the baby. It's all looking good after their chat - until the flat warming party. The party's actually split between the Masoods' and the new flat for space reasons, so while everyone's enjoying themselves at the Masoods', Amira's at the flat and finds out about Syed and Christian when she spots Lucy Beale's graffiti. Amira freaks out and runs back to the party crying her eyes out. Syed rushes back in, too - and then Christian turns up. In the middle of the party, Christian says, 'It's about time you told everyone'."

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    I cant wait till he finds out Zainab knew all along

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    Nitin Ganatra (Masood Ahmed, 'EastEnders') - After the reveal DS interview

    As if EastEnders caterer Masood Ahmed's life hasn't been thrown into enough turmoil following the Chryed reveal, he soon makes the shock discovery that his wife Zainab has known their secret since the beginning of the year. However, following a tender moment with their son Kamil later in the afternoon, Masood and Zainab resolve to work through their problems together. Zainab, though, pushes Masood one step too far when she overreacts at Tamwar's revelation that he's no longer going to university. Seething with Zainab's attitude, Masood throws her and her suitcase onto the street in the pouring rain. We recently caught up with Masood actor Nitin Ganatra to hear about the dramatic Masood twist and what lies in store for his screen family.

    How does Masood cope in the wake of the Chryed reveal?
    "This is the payoff for Masood now. It goes up a gear for him because you have to remember that Zainab's been lying to Masood - she's known for months about Syed and Christian. These Masood episodes coming up are the equivalent of the high drama that Nina, Marc and Johnny had over the New Year. Once he finds out about his wife's betrayal, Masood's whole world falls apart. What I love about Masood's reaction in the wake of the reveal, though, is that Masood says, 'No-one should have done that to Amira'. Syed's always been a bit of a screw-up but to mislead a girl into a marriage like that is unforgivable. Masood really, really has a go at Zainab about it - her pride led Amira down the aisle and ultimately down the garden path. Masood's just appalled about the whole situation."

    Does Masood turn to Jane at all?
    "Yeah and she doesn't tell him about knowing, either! He has his moment with her afterwards, though. There was a suggestion a while back that we might have been able to get a snog in there, too…"

    What was your reaction when you heard about the homophobic attack story?
    "I never saw it as a homophobic attack. I just saw it as an angry dad venting his frustration. Qadim has a shady past, so I'm not surprised that he's a violent man. But what confused me was that he didn't beat up Syed - I'm still not sure why they didn't do that. We've been questioning why and I'm sure they had a good reason, but I think that's one for Dom [Treadwell-Collins] and the story team!"

    Were you surprised to read that Masood walks on when he sees Christian being attacked?
    "No, I love it! Masood can often be too nice or to laid-back but he's flexible. So for them to write that Masood walks on by when Christian's being beaten up - that's such a brilliant additional layer to the character. We get to see an even darker side of Masood. When we filmed the first take of that scene, all the extras and the crew gasped and started hissing!"

    How does Masood finally learn of Zainab's betrayal?
    "Masood - being the guy who wants the rest of the family to get on with their lives - suggests going to the café and Zainab comes to blows with Jane while they're there. It's at that moment that Jane says, 'Well, you could have sorted all this out as you've known for months'. Masood's dumbfounded! I actually think that Jane believes Masood knew about Syed and Christian all along. I don't think there was any malice in Jane's comments because Jane's actually surprised to realise that he didn't know anything!"

    How does Masood deal with the revelation?
    "He freaks out! This is Masood's moment - he literally goes into meltdown. He walks away from the situation and away from Zainab. This is the point where he turns to Jane for help. Jane's talking about going to America for a few weeks and as Masood's persuading her not to go, he says, 'I still remember that kiss, Jane…' He even suggests going with her to America! His marriage is broken as far as he's concerned and he's prepared to leave the area."

    Does he leave?
    "No, as he's about to go, he agrees to talk things though with Zainab and they resolve to make future decisions together. There's this great run of scenes where they've agreed to talk things through as a couple. At this point, Tamwar makes a shock announcement that he's not going to university. Zainab reverts to her usual self and insists that he's going to university because she knows what's best for the family. Masood's furious, so he heads upstairs and emerges with a suitcase. Zainab starts freaking out that he's about to leave and he opens the door and says, 'I'm not leaving, you are'."

    What was it like filming the scene where Masood throws Zainab out of the house?
    "It looks spectacular! It's quite a violent scene, actually. We could have played it very differently because it's written in an understated way. There's no right or wrong, but it came across on the page as a simple, 'I'm not going, you are', which would have been quite cool. We can't have an argument without it getting quite animated! There should be boos and cheers at the same time."

    What does the future hold for the Masoods?
    "We're still filming the aftermath of it all and we're coming to the end of it now. It's very strained in the family but I don't know where it all goes from here. We have a new producer and he's come in with some great new ideas, so at the moment I'm in the dark. I'm looking forward to finding out what they have planned, though."

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    He throws Zainab out

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    It's good to see Masood's dark side.

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    Glad he finds out about Zainab.

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    'Enders actor wants Phil friendship plot

    EastEnders star Nitin Ganatra has revealed that he would like to see Masood Ahmed and Phil Mitchell become friends in a future storyline.

    The actor predicted that the unlikely pairing would lead to "fireworks" on Albert Square because of Masood and Phil's (Steve McFadden) different outlooks on life.

    Speaking in an interview with DS, Ganatra admitted that he first made the suggestion to bosses "a long time ago" but the idea was not used.

    He explained: "It was thought that they were too different but if you put two characters that are diametrically opposed in a scene, you'll get fireworks. Steve McFadden feels the same, too - he was really excited about Masood and Phil becoming friends but it never really happened."

    Ganatra added that he still hopes the idea will be taken on board in the future, commenting: "Wouldn't it be great if Masood starts going down the wrong path and Phil is the one to say, 'That's wrong'? Then you have characters that have double standards, which results in arguments. Masood getting a moral lecture from Phil - that'd be great television."

    Masood is currently dealing with the repercussions of son Syed's (Marc Elliott) affair with caterer Christian Clarke (John Partridge), which has rocked his family.

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    Actually - I think that would work quite well.

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    You alrteady have a thread about this DS interview http://www.soapboards.co.uk/forums/s...ed-EastEnders-)

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    Nitin Ganatra has revealed that viewers will soon see a darker side to his character in EastEnders.

    The actor, who plays Masood Ahmed in the serial, explained that his role will become more sinister in upcoming episodes.

    He told TV Times: "When a character is too predictable, it's a bit boring.

    "Everyone's liking this other Masood, but if you think he's sinister now, there's more to come."

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