Pride of Pakistan:Mahira Khan 25-Aug-16
You’ve had a very successful year so far. From ‘Ho Mann Jahaan’ being a huge hit to bagging the Lux Style Award for Best Actress. Now you’ve landed a dream role to debut in Bollywood with alongside King Khan. Did you get time to vacation or has it just been work, work and work for you?
I just got back from a small holiday. It was my cousin’s wedding in Thailand. We extended our stay for a bit. It was lovely. All my cousins were there with us and my entire immediate family. Before that I had taken an even smaller break with Azlan – went to my best friend in Singapore. It was perfect. Now, back to the grind. Truth be told, I didn’t take up any project since last year, so the last film I worked on was ‘Ho Mann Jahaan’ and ‘Raees’. I’m finally gearing up to get back to sets and camera. Can’t wait.
Your acting prowess has been lauded and met with critical acclaim. You’re now also one of the most sought-after actresses in the country. What has been the inspiration behind all your achievements?
Honestly, at different times of my life or even at different moments during the day I get inspired by different things. There hasn’t been one inspiration behind me working to achieve whatever I have. I do love what I do – in fact anything I decide to do, even a small commercial, I get into it completely. I think that’s important – to enjoy and be passionate about what one does – I don’t care much for the peripherals, whether it will do well or not, or how much money I’ll make, etc.
“I can sing in tune and I can run in a sari”
We’ve seen you VJ-ing, anchoring, hosting and acting. Is there a skill you possess which many don’t know of?
I can sing in tune and I can run in a sari.
When are you at your happiest?
With Azlan. I’m happiest when I am with him in bed laughing or playing. I am also happiest when I’m on set, there is nothing like giving a good shot or doing a scene which I’ve been obsessing over in a script.
Most Pakistani actors and artistes are associated with a charity fund and contribute to charity organizations and institutions a part of their earnings. Is there a social issue you feel connected to and would want to actively participate in its eradication or progress at some point?
I have been actively working with Shaukat Khanum for over four years now. I take out time every October to do ground work for the breast cancer awareness campaign. I lend my voice whenever and if ever I’m asked to for different organisations. But at the moment SKH is the only one I am closely related to and work for.
What is your vision for Pakistan?
With time I feel we have become divided as a nation. And even though I think it is good and important to have opinions – and we must respect each other’s opinions. I do feel that we have become an overtly judgmental nation. I hope for a Pakistan where instead of shaming people for their choices we can respect them for it, where there is accountability for the corrupt no matter how powerful and where tolerance isn’t just a far-fetched idea.
‘Raees’ is slated to release next year. Did filming in India meet your expectations?
Well, I had no expectations. Just a mix of apprehensions and excitement! My team was amazing and welcoming. I do regret not taking somebody along because at times I used to feel lonely. That happens even when I shoot for a Pakistani drama or film outside of my city.
What motivates you?
Anything! I’m easily motivated and unfortunately easily de-motivated as well. I can fall in love with a song from a film, or a line in the script or watch a film and want to do one myself. I need to constantly be on my toes to feel motivated. Sometimes it can be painful too – when nothing motivates me, it’s like a writer’s block almost. It takes time for me to get back into the groove.
If you had to thank one person for all that you’ve achieved in life, who would it be and why?
I’m grateful to my parents. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to do this.
What does it mean to be Pakistani for you?
I asked Azlan this question and he said, “That’s easy. It means everything.” I’ll go with that!
When do we see you on the big screen again for a Pakistani film?
Well, I start one this year and then another next year. Hopefully, both will get released next year.
We, at Daily Times, consider you one of our national heroes. Who are some of yours?
Oh! So many. Our poets like Faiz and Iqbal, humanitarians like Edhi, our artists like Anwar Maqsood, Bushra Ansari, etc. The list goes on. And there are many more unsung heroes that we meet everyday who are fighting to make our society/country better.
Mahira Khan is not just an immensely-talented actress but she is quite a performer too when it comes to dancing as seen in many of her films. She was one of the leading VJs of the country prior to her entering the drama industry. She has modelled for various designers as well and confesses that she can sing like a pro.
A String of Consecutive Box-Office Hits
Mahira Khan has starred in some of the highest-grossing Pakistani films such as ‘Bol’, ‘Bin Roye’, ‘Manto’ and ‘Ho Mann Jahaan’.
Ruling the Drama Industry
Khan has a number of hit drama serials to her credit, some of which include ‘Neeyat’, ‘Humsafar’, ‘Shehr-e-Zaat’ and the 2014 romantic drama ‘Sadqay Tumhare’.