Habib Paracha On The Last Full Measure, Finding His Feet In Hollywood & Coming Back Home
“It’s been pretty epic.”
The past five years have been a whirlwind for Habib Paracha and he’s still in the midst of it. His journey in Hollywood has whisked him to places where few people – and certainly no Pakistani producers; have been before. It started with The Trust starring Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood in 2014 and the momentum has not let up.
Claiming to have watched over 5000 films in his lifetime, the film buff has also been around the Hollywood block long enough to have invited The Last Full Measure star, Samuel L Jackson to Pakistan. “I mean that was pretty big for me personally, having the ability to invite him back home – that would be huge if he turns up – you know for the moment he’s invited.”
His preceding films, Terminal (2018), The Trust (2016) both black comedies were primary crime stories, featuring the likes of Margot Robbie and Tom Ackerley. Despite having worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, Paracha has kept his feet on the ground throughout. In fact when asked what his biggest take away has been, the producer talks about how actors and actresses – not celebrities; are people just like us.
“People get so involved in their lives that they forget that they have the right to their own privacy and they have the right to their own lives as well and just because they chose a career that’s very public does not mean that they’re not entitled to a private life.”
Most recently, Paracha has been flying back and forth for a slew of press duties, which included a medal ceremony for his latest movie, The Last Full Measure. “A little background on what TLFM means – although it is referred to in the film, this was actually out of a quotation from Abraham Lincoln – he talks about, giving the last full measure for your country, it’s kind of like that last full push to get things done.”
Based on William Pitsenbarger, the film inspired by real life events honours the lives lost in the Vietnam War and was Parachas first experience working on a project of the sort. The irony that Paracha scored the experience of working on a story so similar to many from his homeland Pakistan is not lost on him. “As a Pakistani, we’ve been a frontline state in the war on terror, Pakistan is one of those countries that suffered the most and always has been a US ally. For me it was, that maybe I’m going to be able to learn because that’s one of the main things that I’m trying to do and then be able to showcase and tell similar stories that exist in our country of soldiers or air force men, navy men or service men of any sort who have given up a lot in the line of duty for us civilians.”
Despite his stealthy rise, the entrepreneur-turned-producer hasn’t slowed down, his moves are calculated and he’s investing his experiences back into his homeland. “Making those inroads has been very gradual, very methodical, even now I feel like there’s a long way I have to go.” Currently he’s in the process of working on his first film in Pakistan – a mix between G.I. Joe and Mission Impossible; for which the script is already in the works. “I’m bringing in is a US team so the director, the DOP and the stunt coordinator all three are going to come in from the US – with extensive experience having worked in different parts of the world.” Although Paracha is keen on using primarily local talent, the producer wants to establish new people in the talent pool – an area he feels Pakistan still needs growth in. It’s safe to say, whether Hollywood or Pakistan, at this rate, Parachas place in film looks poised to grow further.