You have been a part of the TV industry in Pakistan for a long time and ‘Ek Jhoothi Love Story’ is your first show on the web. The show has released on a digital streaming platform (Zee5) and that has helped it reach out to audiences in different countries. How do you feel about that?
If a particular platform helps an artist to reach a group of audience which is bigger than the kind he has earlier reached out to, then there is nothing quite like it. A lot of people have watched the show and liked it. We would want more people to keep subscribing to Zee5 and watch the show. producers made the process very smooth and comfortable. It was one of the most professional teams I had worked with. In digital space, there is a lot of liberty. If the project is good, I am willing to work in any medium.
‘Ek Jhoothi Love Story’ is a light-hearted romantic drama. Writer Umera Ahmad and director Mehreen Jabbar are known to work in this space.
Yes, that’s right. Umera Ahmad is one of the most prolific writers and Meheen Jabbar is one of the best directors we have in Pakistan. Usually, they do not do comedy. They have largely made films that deal with social issues. ‘Ek Jhoothi Love Story’ does talk about certain social issues but in a light-hearted manner. What appealed to me was the fact that the storyline was very fresh and unique. The character I got to play was very lively. For me, the show represents the idea of a perfect project.
You made your feature film debut with the Bollywood film ‘Dear Maya’. It came at a time when a lot of political disturbance was happening. The situation has not gotten any better since then. How do you look at this whole scenario?
As an artist, it becomes slightly frustrating. I worked very hard on ‘Dear Maya’ and it was sad not to get the opportunity to promote it in India because of the political scenario. Later, the director called me up and said the film had received a good amount of critical acclaim. A lot of Instagram handles from India tagged me and called me the new face to look out for. There are certain things which are not in our control. I have made peace with that. A lot of things happen because of luck and destiny. There was a particular sequence in which Manisha (Koirala) ma’am was standing opposite me. After the shot happened, she came up to me and said very positive things about my performance. I felt overwhelmed. That remains one of my most special memories from the sets of ‘Dear Maya’.
As an artiste, do you wish for things to get better between the two countries?
I am hopeful. When it comes to web, there is a lot of liberty in terms of creating content. You see people from different countries collaborating with each other. That is the beauty of this art form. I am sure artistes from India and Pakistan will work with each other again very soon.
You always had an inclination towards academics. While growing up, your favourite subjects were maths and accounts.
Yes, but that was a long time back. Now, my favourite subjects are sociology and psychology. I have studied filmmaking too. In the last five years, I have delved into subjects like sociology, psychology and education. It helps me understand the world I am functioning in. I study to become a better person. Whenever I am not studying curriculum, I am reading books.
There are very few examples of VJs tasting success as actors. You started out as a VJ, achieved a lot of success in that space and had a very successful career as an actor so far.
When people speak to me, they realize that the VJ in me is very much alive (laughs). That was my very first passion as a high school girl. MTV happened and my dream of becoming a VJ came true. I had produced a couple of shows during that time too. I trained a bit in acting while studying filmmaking. That helped me in preparing for this craft.
You have stated in an interview that you are a big fan of Shah Rukh Khan
Yes, I have been a huge fan of him. He is very charismatic. Actually, when you are asked to name your favourite actors in an interview, there are only a few you end up mentioning. There are so many incredible actors in Bollywood and I have a long list of favourites.
Ek Jhoothi Love Story is streaming on Zee5.