Mahira Khan is an absolute star. She’s had an amazing run in the Pakistani entertainment. Whether it has been in dramas, films (both in Pakistan and India) or representing Pakistan on various avenues and platforms, across the world. Recently, in an interview with Newsweek, she opened up about tackling the pay gap in our industry, about the ban on acting in Bollywood, about acting and a lot more.
1. She spoke about the Pakistani film industry the decline and the rise
She spoke about how there had been a sharp decline in the Pakistani film industry, and everyone moved onto television. That usually people go from dramas onto films, but she started off playing Ayesha, in Shoaib Mansoor’s “Bol” and she only came to television after that.
2. Mahira recalls her association with Sridevi, shortly after her untimely passing away
She said that she only started studying Sridevi’s acting and acting style for a film that she is doing (we’re putting our bets on “Saat Din Muhabbat In”) and even though everyone’s been a fan of her acting, she was mesmerized at how Sridevi could do things that not a lot of other actors could do.
3. That she is excited about getting back into films, fully
That she started television only because there was nothing really going on in the Pakistani film industry.
4. She spoke about how she’s so excited for the direction that the Pakistani entertainment industry is headed in
The uncertainty of the film industry, right now, is what excites Mahira. Because filmmakers are still testing waters, at this point. So they are trying all types of films out. And they have left it all to the audience to decide.
5. Shedding light on the prevalent patriarchy in our society, she spoke about how her latest film, “Verna” actually spoke about it
That whether we talk about misogyny, or the way men treat women, or even when people abuse their position and status to get their work done, it is all an act of power, and showing your power to those who you think are beneath you.
6. She spoke about her character, Sarah, in “Verna”, and how she might have been a turning point in Pakistani cinema
Mahira’s character in the film is one that has had her life turned upside down by men. She vows to take revenge from those who have wronged her. She takes matters in her own hands, after having lost faith in the system that tries so hard to bring her down.
7. She also spoke about her two-time director Shoaib Mansoor
She first worked with him in “Bol” and then again in “Verna”. Both films that shed light on the darker side of our society. She also said that Shoaib Mansoor is the kind of man who makes you want to listen to him. That when she first heard “Verna’s” script, she knew that there were lines in the film that she would want to be able to say. Even though she was getting more commercial films being offered to her, she wanted to be a part of something like this, instead.
8. Talking about television and entertainment in general, Mahira envisions a very different future for women in the industry
She wants different kinds of roles to be written for women. And that’s also started happening. Pakistani television has been offering women some great roles, and she would want the same to stand true for the film industry, because you would want to be a part of good cinema, as an actor. She said that not just for women, she would also want to see better roles for men, too.
9. She spoke about how women are spearheading the Pakistani television industry
10. Talking about the pay gap within the industry, she said that she, along with her colleagues, will always fight for what is theirs
When the interviewer brought up the Time’s Up campaign taking place in Hollywood, she said that the rest of the world is following suit. That people, including women, are raising their voices for the issue, as well. That people are talking about gender quality, about women in films, about what kinds of roles are being offered to the women in the industry.
11. She said that whatever her colleagues and her were doing, they are laying ground for actors coming in, in the future
12. On the ban on Pakistani actors in Bollywood
Mahira said that it was a bittersweet experience. “Raees” was her debut in Bollywood, it broke records at the box office. She was widely well received by the public. But she wasn’t allowed to promote the film, in India, herself. While this has been a topic that’s been talked about time and time again, it’s one that is still talked about. And of course, as she said, ‘Who wants to be put in that position?’
13. Mahira reinforced her love for acting, too
That regardless of what turns her life would have taken, she would have still been acting.
We hope that Pakistani entertainment goes into the direction that Mahira is saying it’s headed in. What do you think of Mahira’s interview and revelations? Let us know in the comments below!
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Cover image via: dunyanews.tv