By Muhammad Asad Ullah
Mahira Khan enters the board room at a picturesque hotel in Islamabad where I’m waiting for her with my questionnaire. She is dressed in a red knee length silhouette, and with her voluminous blow-dried hair, her delicate features are accentuated. Her makeup artiste gives her last touches, she looks in the mirror swiftly and dabs at her lips; hers is a classic beauty befitting a Pakistani movie star. Then she suddenly turns to me with a bit confused look, momentarily, and hugs me recognising we had met almost four years ago, when she was promoting her film Bin Roye (2015), that was her comeback on the silver screen post her successful appearance in Bol (2011), and in that moment I’m in awe of her memory. Now Mahira is all done with the promotions of her upcoming film Superstar, that is scheduled to release this Eid al-Adha, but apart from Superstar she’ll also making a special appearance in Asim Raza’s Paray Hut Love, that is also scheduled to release this Eid.
I ask her, if she’s going through any sort of pressure since both of her films are releasing simultaneously. She responds, “A lot of pressure. My cameo in Paray Hut Love is super special to me. Morre Saiyan, my song in the film, is something me and Asim wanted to do for a long time and I would say it’s an ode to our friendship.”
Mahira was very young when she felt in love with cinema and when she decided to be a part of the screen. She’s been mulling it over since forever, but it wasn’t until her teens that she decided to take action. Khan did what any enthusiastic teenager would do — jump into the bandwagon of auditions before landing up to something substantial and luckily everything did fall into place. Mahira started her career as a Video Jockey with the Pakistan’s show MTV Most Wanted in 2006, and everything else is a history. She made her acting debut with the 2011 drama Neeyat, however, it was her performance in Humafar (2011), Pakistani drama serial on entertainment channel HUM TV, that won her immense praise and is considered to be her shot to fame. If Mahira wouldn’t have been an actor, which career she would’ve opted for we wonder. “I would’ve been a junior artiste. Standing in the back doing something, in the hopes that I’ll get spotted. But I would’ve been in the show business still,” Mahira says.
Mahira’s all time favourite film is Dilwale Dhulania Le Jayenge which is not a secret to anyone. But which actors Mahira is rooting for these days, she tells, “I’ve got a lot of favourites but Sajal Aly is just outstanding. I like all these new faces, I like Imran Ashraf and Iqra Aziz. And in my time, I like Fawad Khan and Humayun Saeed. I want to work with Nauman Ijaz though.”
When asked for what has changed in her more than a decade journey in Pakistan entertainment industry, Mahira responds, “So much. First and foremost: Social media! Everything is out there. Other thing that has changed is, look at where the films are and how many options we have now. You are no more looking and five people, but in double or triple digits of talented people.”
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