Here we go, peeps! Yeh rahe aap ke sawal aur Mahira ke jawab!
I know you are in rush to read all what your fave star has to say, but please take a minute and join me in applauding Mahira for being such trooper. Despite her crazy busy schedule and amidst all the travelling for Bin Roye promotions, Mahira not only responded to pretty much all the questions – the good, the bad, the ugly, all of them- but did so with candor and charm. Her answers, as you will read on, are humorous, heartfelt, and detailed. And of course responding in this manner to over 200 questions takes time. And so lets come together and give a huge standing ovation to Mahira – thank you! Girl, you are truly a rock star!!
P.S. Because there were so many questions I am dividing the post in two parts – the second half will be posted tomorrow.
How has the experience been of working in Raees, especially in comparison to working for tv/films in Pak?
Thank you, your words means a lot! I can’t talk much about Raees, would rather do it when the time is right but the experience till now has been wonderful – I’ve learnt a lot, observed a lot. To be outside of your comfort zone shakes you and that is important for an actor. Something that I have realised after this experience.
What was your fav scene from Humsafar?
So many! My first one take scene ever – batool khala’s house where I start thinking there is dirt on my kameez. I remember my make up artist ( who was my first ever make up artist in Pakistan when I started work at MTV) was in tears. All the romantic scenes were so beautifully written. Zarday ki daig or the ‘mujh se Naraaz ho Kay soye thay Mujhe se naraaz ho kay office mat jayein’ etc
Did u have any say in your look as Khirad? Any input in the clothes or accessories?
Yes! When the clothes came from feeha’s. I had taken them out and decided what scene I’ll wear what. My producer nina gave me her jewellery. Momina had decided the colors and look along with Feeha who understands character wardrobe so well.
In an interview with Tribune you said you didn’t want to work in India but now you are working, so was it because of the public opinion at that time or ahemm, the money?
Public opinion? Money? I’m assuming you haven’t followed my career closely. To answer your question, I always said that if something that suits me comes up I’d consider it but I was not looking into going anywhere nor did I pursue it.
Sanam Saeed said some nice things about you concerning Raees, even though she wasn’t asked to, what have you got to say for Sanam Saeed?
That’s sweet! I think she is very talented and she is exceptional on stage.
Except for Fawad Khan we don’t know much about your other co actors. Can you tell us something about Atif, Mikaal, Ahsan and Mohib Mirza?
They’re all great co actors to have, so other than acting will tell you a word or two about them. Atif is hardworking and has a strong spiritual side, Mikaal is chilled out he’s a cool guy, Ahsan is hilarious and Mohib is a very good singer.
Many new young actresses are coming and are taking up old, heavy and negative characters and are being appreciated for it don’t you think after being for more than 5 years in this industry and having and a (really) firm fan base you can now also take up such characters and do uncommercial work with ease?
Would love to, I have actually done very little work because of personal reasons. Shehr e zaat was not a commercial script at all and I took it up right after humsafar – after refusing some beautiful scripts which I felt would have been maybe an extension of Khirad. After Shehr e Zaat I took up Bin Roye. And had to let go of most projects because of it. But in the near future would love to play ‘old, negative, heavy’ characters!
You have been very lucky to have worked with a lot of great seniors such as Samia Mumtaz, Samina Peerzada, Atiqa and a lot of others. Whom have you enjoyed working with the most and are there any others you would like to work with?
Oh! This is tough. They have all been so amazing and to be honest they are all so different in the way they approach their craft.
Do you have fun with child-actors or do you find them irritating?
It’s fun, they are a lot of fun to observe. Sadqay in that way was a blast- I enjoyed Shano’s family.
Being on social media means being exposed to constant flattery by fans who’ll praise everything you do. Do you think this has changed you in anyway? Say…you don’t take views of critics and reviewers as seriously as you did before?
I think one is exposed to flattery and criticism, both. I was not on social media for the longest so for instance when Humsafar was on air I didn’t understand the hullabaloo till I used to go out or my friends used to tell me/show me. At that time if I was online that flattery might have gone to my head, God knows.
My critics and reviewers are important to me. My fans are much much more important. I don’t read too much, like different sites and all. I don’t think being online has changed me – sometimes I do wish that I could write more openly about what I was feeling or reply back anonymously.
You seriously deserve appreciation for being one of the few actresses who despite having a fair complexion haven’t done a fairness cream ad. But our society is full of these girls (thanks to our media) who think fairness is beauty and our obsessed with your complexion. Can you send a message to all of them (since you’re on twitter) that this is all trash?
Firstly, I hope that we stop glorifying skin color or stereotypes for that matter – western wear equals bad girl, dupatta on head equals good girl etc. I have refused all fairness cream commercials but that is my choice, if someone would like to use them and it makes them feel better, I don’t judge it. Similarly I can’t judge a girl for wanting to get darker and her going to a tanning salon. I can only tell girls that the most beautiful women I’ve met in my life are not fair or dark, thin or curvy.. they are those who are comfortable in their own skin.
Absolutely loved how you never used to care about you looked and even on big events you used to style yourself, lil makeup, no jewelry, natural tousled hair, and a great dress, I don’t know but this just made you stand out among others but now you seem to have abandoned this signature style of yours and have gotten lost among many others, others have started copying your style why have you abandoned it yourself?
🙂 Trust me if it was Upto me I’d never brush my hair ( still don’t till I absolutely have to). You’re right it must look like I have become more particular, a few reasons – One, for promotions makeup and hair is always around so you sit and get it done, two I’ve exhausted my own personal wardrobe and three yes I think I have become conscious. But even then I try to wear stuff that suits my own style, I keep very basic accessories if any at all.
I absolutely loved your performance in Shehr-e-Zaat! Can you please do more spiritual dramas? 🙂
You know I was speaking to Umera recently after a while, she mentioned how Shehr e Zaat is a rare serial, one which is hard to come around. So yeah.. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to do another one of those but would love to.
You were a student in the US once upon a time. What advice would you give someone struggling financially and academically abroad?
If you’re struggling academically, work harder or see what you like, take up different Gen Ed classes..be open to changing majors. Financially in the US, one can do a lot. There is financial aid, all kinds of scholarships and loans.. But you have to do your research go to the FA office, find out what all one can apply for.
It’s been said about you that you are quite oblivious about your good looks and that you don’t demand to be noticed. If it’s not fame, then what motivates you to become a leading actress?
I love what I do. I love reading a good part, I love the process, the people involved.. Everything about it. Fame, success are the temporary frills..
How do you think one can contribute to society by choosing acting as a career?
I think one can/should contribute to the society irrespective of their profession. As an actor or a public figure you can bring awareness to a lot of things, you can make stories on subjects that are important social issues etc for eg. You can also support the issues you believe in, create awareness..
Hi Mahira, loved your performances in Humsafar, Shehrezaat, Sadqay and very very excited for Bin Roye and Ho Mann Jahaan 🙂
As an actress, which emotion is the toughest to master in terms of enacting out? would it be comedy, romance, emotional moments or anger?
Hey! Thank you so much. It depends actually, when the writing is good then it’s easy to emote until unless you aren’t in a good space yourself. I haven’t done much comedy, in fact I’d say none really.. I’d love to try that out next. Also I find it tough to cry and laugh genuinely on screen.
Would we be seeing you in dramas in near future, anytime soon? 🙂
I feel spent at the moment. Unfortunately having to refuse some amazing scripts for both film and tv. But soon enough, I will pick up another project.
Mahira from Humsafar …. You are so pretty yaar… aap aur Fawad kitne sahi lagte the saath mein, aur ab aap SRK ke saath Raees bhi kar rahi hain, aap un ke saath kaam karney par excited hein?
Shukriya! Jee haan! Bahot 🙂
Apko India aur Pakistan mein kaam karne mein kitna farak mehsus hua?
Zyada nahi. Log achay hein, Kaam bhi acha hai.. Just a bigger industry, the sets are bigger, crew is larger etc…
Who is the better actor Shahrukh or Fawad?
Read my mind 😉
Mahira angel, I just want to know your opinion about your co-stars till date. Who was easy to work with or who gave you the challenge to work with? Who was supportive and understanding and who made you easy on sets?
Hello love! I’ve been blessed that way. I hear horror stories about co-actors but I’ve never had a bad experience Mashallah.
What was your input in Khirad? How do you feel about Ashar and Hareem? How was your experience, working with Fawad Khan and Naveen Waqar? Anything funny happened on Humsafar’s set that we do not already know?
My input was that because I didn’t know anything about acting, I played her raw and like myself mostly. Khirad’s reactions were mine, thus more natural. I had two or three scenes with Naveen, we were VJs before and also did a show together. She was a thorough professional and so good as Sara!! I really wish she does more work. Fawad and me had an unsaid comfort, we didn’t speak much back then on the sets but we seemed to have been in sync. He’s a very good actor.
That scene from Humsafar where Khirad is found by Ashar in Khizar’s apartment, what do you think of that scene? Do you agree with how Fareeda Aunty created that scene? If this would be up to you what would you do in that scene?
That was a difficult one. Ofcourse I do not agree with what fareeda did. If it was the real me I wouldn’t let Ashar go, I’d tell him right there and then that I’m pregnant. But obviously it was the big twist in the drama and it was needed.
What were your feelings when Khirad was going from turmoil when she was begging to ALLAH for Hareem’s life? That was surely difficult to do na?
Yes.. It was a weird time for me. I think I tapped into my personal life to feel khirad’s pain. But honestly, Sarmad, my Dop and Batool Khala were all so supportive. When the people around you are good, things turn out well.
Have you forgotten Khirad or is she still living with you?
Khirad will always live with me…
At any point during Humsafar’s shooting did you feel like killing Sara or Khizar?
No, never. I never felt anger towards them.. I don’t think Khirad did either. She was upset with just one person and that was Ashar – she loved him, he was all she had and he doubted her.
Did you and Fawad Khan improvised in Humsafar? Did you give each other suggestions for bettering any scene?
We were just there.. We did it as it came, he used to give suggestions. But it was a more organic process.
We loved all the romantic scenes from Humsafar. I want to ask what was going on behind those romantic scenes on sets? Especially that first rain scene? There was so much water that it looked like if there was heavy rain going on.
Tell me about it!! That water!! The pipes and the crew guys sitting on the roof.We were just goofing around all the time, no one was really serious.
In which scene of Humsafar did you fall? Was it the rain scene? If not then what was that scene actually?
Yup. That scene. I walked out and tried to jump over the cable wires because the floor was wet and went flying up and splat on the marble floor.
Was there any scene where Hareem surprised you with her acting? How did she perform that scene when she was having breakfast and suddenly she could not breathe and Ashar and Khirad took her to the hospital.
She was a little diva! She was always surprising us with her acting.
Your favorite actresses from the television industry?
Too many. From Shenaz sheikh, Bushra apa, Samina P, Sania Saeed.. Down to Sanam Baloch, Sanam Saeed, Saba Qamar.. Look at the talent.
When you were playing Hareem’s mother, was Azlaan on the sets? If yes, then did he mind it when she was calling you mama?
He never came when Hareem was around but he would have not liked that at all!
Favorite character from Khirad, Falak and Shano and why?
Khirad. She’s special, even before the success and adulation I liked her a lot on paper. Her dignity is what I loved the most and she never complained she just did what she had to.
Falak was disturbing in many ways. And that used to affect me. Shano was love..
I think you were one of the best things about SadqayTumhare, a beautiful performance from you. Why do you feel Khalil gave up on her so soon and remarried.Shano stayed single for so much longer?
Well because it’s a true story and I’ve heard it from Khalil Sb I can’t comment on why Khalil got married before shano.
I don’t think till date anyone has recaptured the chemistry you and Fawad had in Humsafar although there have been many pretenders. Even you guys may not be able to in something else. Sarmad, the story, script, your characters were all the perfect mix. On the other hand of course we all want to see you both again in some amazing project, is there any chance we will see you both in anything anytime soon? Pretty please?!?
Thank you so much for the love, Humsafar remains close to my heart till today. When the time is right, you shall!
Your three upcoming movies look fabulous! What were the major deciding factors in selecting these movies, and what appealed to you the most about each character you are playing?
Thank you.. Bin roye’s Saba was a complexed role to play, thought it would be interesting to play a character who was layered. Manizeh was the total opposite, had been wanting to do a contemporary role for a while( also Asim Raza), the character in Raees is also one which will be different can’t talk about it though.
I loved your bloopers! But now we don’t see any. Have you started taking your work too seriously or don’t you have fun on the sets anymore?
Hahahaha! Thank god they’ve stopped putting them on. I wonder why? We had some hilarious bloopers on sadqay. A lot of actors mind because it sometimes makes the audience thinks we aren’t serious because we switch on and off but I love watching bloopers myself of my favorite shows.
Don’t you think you should do some old, ugly and negative characters? In this way people would remember you for your acting rather than looks once your beauty fades away.
I didn’t know I’d have to play old, negative or ‘ugly’ characters to be remembered for my acting 🙂 I would love to play a negative role and wouldn’t mind changing my appearance for a role.
Do you feel irritated when people talk more about your looks and ‘chemistry’ rather than your acting as an individual?
Used to. But it doesn’t anymore. There are all kinds of opinions, all kinds of comments.
You are an amazing actress and a super mom how do you manage to be both ?? 🙂
Thank you! It’s tough. Basically I don’t work as much, try not take projects outside of Karachi as much as possible.
Hey,Mahira please tell us about your favorite childhood memory. I LOVE you from the bottom of my heart you are first favorite celebrity and GIRL crush also.
Thank you my love! I have so many amazing childhood memories.. I’d say all of us cousins going upstairs to my Dadi dada and playing with the toys they had for us, all the countless shaadis of all the cousins.. That one house where we all were born, grew up, laughed and cried.. So many memories.
Which actors and directors have you loved working with? And actors/directors you want to work with?
All. I promise all. But I’m close to Sarmad, Mehreen and Asim.. So it’s like being with family on set.
As we know film Raees was first offered to Sanam Saeed but she was busy with her marriage preparations and she refused. Does it bother you to be the 2nd choice for this role? And did u talk to Sanam about this film?
Hi! I don’t like speaking about the films/dramas I’ve left, neither about other actors/actresses and their careers/choices. That being said- I didn’t know Sanam was offered Raees, I did know she auditioned for it. Even if she was first choice, proud that it was one of our own!
People were furious about Saba Qamar being ignored in awards all these years even after giving superlative performances in so many serials just because you are Hum TV’s favorite. They considered it unfair to give u award again for SadqayTumhare, and this serial despite being a debacle got all the awards. I want to know your opinion.
I gave my opinion up on stage for everyone to see. I think Saba Qamar is brilliant, she deserves every award. The thing is popular awards are based on votes and that’s just how those work. I don’t know if I should feel happy or offended about being called a channel’s favorite. I have just done 3 serials for hum and not worked for another channel. It’s purely because all the scripts I’ve liked were from Hum. Also, I get all kinds of scripts from Hum and other channels.. I wait for something that I really like.
Before you join the industry How did you discover your talent?
Hi rand! 🙂 Hmm.. I just wanted to act, I knew that. I liked watching movies, I used to (still do) mimic everybody, loved dancing etc.. But I was a shy kid so I wouldn’t really open up when in front of people.
Hey Mahira I am crazy and a huge fan of yours from Mumbai. My question to you is – Are you like Khirad in real life? If not, how are you as a person? Conservative, reserved, simple, bold etc. I really want to know how is Mahira in real life? How is she off-camera?
Hello Deep! Thank you for all the love on Twitter.
I have a lot of Khirad in me. I’m a mix.. I am conservative when it comes to a few things and liberal too. With time I’ve eased out. I used to have very fixed opinions. I was a lot like Khirad actually – everything was black and white. Greys just didn’t exist.
I’m not reserved but I don’t let people in on the real me easily. I’m friendly but I have a handful of very close friends. I can be very stubborn too. I’m brave but I’m also a real chicken at times. I’m not fussy but I can get anal when it comes to certain things.
Mona, Tania Khan, Farah
What do you use for illuminating/highlighting to enhance your complexion? What is your morning and night skin care routine? What beauty tip do you follow regularly?How to constantly grow and groom your personality?
I use very few products when I do make up for tv but the best ones ( according to me at least). My skin and hair have gone to the dogs. Primarily because of exposure to the sun and blow drying my hair for the screen. I’d say use a sunscreen ( I still don’t, need to start) at all times even at home and stay away from the salon.
One thing I do is, I cleanse every night. Use almond oil to remove make up!
Do you also feel like the makeup/stylists are better in Bollywood than in our industry or do you feel that there is no difference?
A make up artist needs to understand your face and what works for you. I didn’t find a difference. Worked with very good stylists over there and here.
Would you like to do a romantic dance with the king of romance SRK, or a garba sequence in Raees? 🙂
It’s been so long since you’ve replied to me on Twitter. Miss them so much!
I will reply.. I always read all your tweets. Thank YOU for the love. Love you.
Which of your character is closest to you?
What are your favourite Hollywood movies and celebrities?
Oh so so many..
When is Azlan’s birthday?
Hi Mahira Love you so much just want your love back…
Lots of love and more back!!
Do you think, being an actor, you have any sort of responsibilities towards the people of this country? What are they? And do you consider religious limitations regarding your work?
Yes ofcourse I do.
It took you a while to get on the social media bandwagon & you’ve personalised your online space like no other and that’s heartening. But honestly, does it ever feel laborious or suffocating? And what/ who made you adopt it? Salud!
Yes It did take me a while and still is taking me some time to adapt to it.. I like twitter. I like the feedback, I also like the information that I get that I would never be exposed to with no connection to the social media world. Yes it does get taxing, not suffocating.. I feel it can be daunting too sometimes.Everyone (I mean EVERYone) was on my case about this and one night my brother and his best friend sorta dared me and kept saying ‘you’ll never do it’ and I ended up just tweeting.
p.s I was so lazy, I had made an account ages ago and forgotten about it… I’m talking like 2009.
If I were to offer you Bin Roye today and tell you its going to be in the making for2.5 years and go through numerous cast/crew changes. Would you still do it? If yes, why?
Hahah! Good one. Ok so If I knew that, I probably would have said no. You know I don’t mind the time, but yes Haissam going effected me greatly..
I found you(like many other Pakistani actresses) really humble, and really supportive of your contemporaries, but lately you have been sounding really ambitious and self absorbed(sorry) like typical B-Town actresses.Why? Is it because of the transition to B-town?
Hmm.. really? Why would you say that? I’d like to know.
I am still as supportive as I can be, I try to be at least.
You yourself have talked about the ‘responsibility’ that comes with being a celeb. Don’t you think that in our society which is already plagued by countless ills, dramas like sadqay tumhare, which showed family feuds, adultrey and what not, should’nt be aired? don’t you think showing evil only makes it grow?(I hope I am not labeled as a fanatic or anything) but don’t you think this unhappy society just need some light, clean comedy?
Don’t worry you wont be labeled as a fanatic.. I remember feeling awkward even while reading the script when I read the scenes between Shanoo’s mother and khalil’s father.. but that’s what was written. Is it unheard of? No. I liked the script.. I loved the dialogues, in fact one of my favorites was – ‘Mard karay toh ghalati, Aurat karay toh gunah’. It was much more than adultery, it was way more complicated.. at least in my eyes. I never blamed my mother as Shano, Rashida was 15… in my eyes she had been molested by her sister’s husband. And then her sister who was much older with kids got married to Rashida’s much younger fiancé (and the love of her life)…
Anyway.. I can go on talking about this but it would have been fun if we could have a dialogue rather than this.
That being said -I agree that we need to stop showing constant misgivings between marriages and if we do a woman should not be portrayed as the victim, I think we need to have stronger men in our serials.. problem is not only how we show women, personally I feel we don’t write strong male characters. I also feel, like you, we should have nice light clean comedies…
I must say I was really surprised after seeing humsafar and sher-e-zaat as i found you the 1st actress who didn’t do intimate scenes, but in your recent works you don’t seem opposed to the idea. Was it just the director’s choice in Humsafar and SeZ or have you changed your rules yourself?
Humsafar /Sez – yes it was me.. its usually always me. Like I said before, I have become less closed up to the idea of holding hands/hugging.. wont lie, still feel weird about it… but you know the more you act the more you understand this is also just acting.. and it needs to be done if required and also gracefully..
In your earlier interviews you used to treat humsafar and sher-e-zaat equally and said you thought both meekal and fawad were equal.But now you’re all like fawad’s my fav’ and you never talk about sher-e-zaat .Why? Do you do it bcoz of your fans’s obsession with humsafar?
Not at all! Humsafar will always be more special than anything I’ll ever do… just the memories are so amazing, also we all went through it together.. it was a good time. As an actor for me Shehr e zaat is very very special.. I think its one of Umera’s best written works… me and sarmad would feel heavy while shooting it everyday.
Meekal and fawad are both great co-actors, its just that I have interacted with Fawad more.
I don’t know but you seem to be so different from others offscreen, you don’t seem to be a loud party girl to me,don’t let the industry wallas change you! Lots of love,zaeema
Won’t let it change me! Yeah I don’t go out much, but when I do..along with Marina khan we dance till the last song plays 🙂
Dawn has labeled balle balle as a sugar coated item number. How do you feel about that?
I think Dawn needs to revisit their definition of an item number. (And just to clarify, I have nothing against item numbers at all).
Do you sometimes wish you could have been an ordinary woman sitting at home with your family and commenting on people on TV instead of being on TV yourself and being commented upon?
To be honest no. I really do like what I do.
Do characters stay with you for a while? Is it hard to shake them off? Falak, Khirad, Shanno (dear lord!), Saba were/are all strong protagonists roles, depicting immense emotional complexity, I assume it is that not easy to switch on and off?
Hey! Thank you.
It is not easy. But one has to, and that’s why I feel the need to take breaks (long ones at time) to ‘shake it off’ me 🙂
Are you able to say “Mummy, ye aap kya keh rahi hain?” to you own mom in real life anymore 😉
Oh man!! Its become such a joke with family and friends..
hiii Mahira!! Just want ur love back!! :**
love love love love… and more love back!
I want to ask you do you consider yourself a Capricorn or Sagittarius?
What is next after Ho Mann Jahaan/Raees?
Nothing planned yet.
Mahira.. Before Neeyat or Bol.. I had always known you as this beautiful VJ.. But after watching you in dramas and Bol movie I truly admire your talent and amazing expressions.. And SeZ nailed it for me. You were pitch perfect as Falak.. 🙂
Hey, thank you so much.. Falak was a tough cookie to handle, but liberating to play..
It is so great to see your project selection and substance in your characters, how do you feel when such projects are rarely made now a days?
Well, good projects are always rare.. that’s how it is world over – film and tv. There are some great upcoming writers and I am hopeful we will see better projects in the near future.
How has working in movies impacted/changed/improved your acting skills?
Every role, be it TV or films improves your skills. But with film, unlike TV, you don’t have the time to get into the character.. there is less room for mistakes, continuity is key so you cant be lazy as an actor.
What do you enjoy most: Portraying lighter roles as Khirad, where you are just yourself or doing intense roles like Falak/Shano or even like Saba as they provide more margin to express oneself?
I enjoyed Khirad but yes it was a lot of me in her. I enjoy both.. a good scene is what makes it exciting be it light or emotional.
I have read Bin Roye and to see this as a movie/drama becomes exciting because you are playing Saba, a character which made me cry and who was beautiful inside and out.Which shade of Saba did you enjoy playing the most?
Uff.. Saba! She was so complexed, I guess like we all our. I enjoyed playing the grey in her..
Mahira I want Bin Roye music cd or goodie bag…
Ok will send. Send your address.
Tell me yours 5 fans’ names?
Simmi, Sana, Fari, Govind, Faryal, Milli, Mahtab, Rand.. 🙂
Hey Mahira, first most have to say you are one beauty MashAllah and an outstanding actress. I am so glad you have got a role in Bollywood and really wish you all the success in the world.
Hey! Thank you so much.. need the prayers.
What made you chose to venture into Bollywood?
This project was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
Your future projects?
Nothing planned after Raees yet.
Salam Mahira … Plz plz join insta plz.
Salaam Hamna! I will.. promise very soon..
How would u like to celebrate your next birthday?
The same as always.. blessed with family and friends, who are always around. MashAllah.
Can u plz post a pic of yours n SRK from the set of raees… love u ….. Bin Roye super hit hogi..God Bless U.Hahah soon. Love you and God bless you too!
When you signed Raees was it your motive then too to represent Pakistani culture and not to do any vulgar scene which hurts your fans .
That wasn’t the motive but yes I would not want to do anything against my own grain.
What is the one thing you cannot live without?
My family.. my friends.
Describe your experience of acting in India in one word.
Have you been offered any more films in Bollywood?
Nothing I’ve said yes to yet.
Which trait of Azlaan do you find the most lovable?
Hes so generous, so kind.. MashAllah.
If you could re-live any one moment of your life, which one would it be?
Holding Azlan in my arms for the first time.
As an actor, which has been the most challenging character till date?
Saba from Bin roye and Falak.
Who is your favorite co-actor?
Don’t have one.
Any comments for your die hard fans?
I LOVE you all. Thank you really. Thank you.
How’s your bonding with Adeel Hussain? You two look great together 🙂
Thanks! We have been friends for a while, so we know each other very well… we are extremely honest with each other as well as friends and co actors.
Hi Mahira: I appreciate your quality of admitting to improve with each project and you have certainly come a long way.Became your fan recently and please maintain the certain kind innocence that is around you. I wish you success on upcoming projects and that you beat your detractors this time. Fan from India
Thank you so much RP!
How do u maintain your personal and professional life especially with Azlaan around to be taken care of?
Its hard, especially this year was. Taking off now. I make time for my career not for Azlan. Azlan is my first priority. My timings and the location I work are very important deciding factors when choosing a project.
How difficult is it for Mahira to take compliments about her chemistry with Fawad? Does she feel like saying “Come on, it’s just a show!! We are not married for real.”
We do say that! But its nice that people like us on screen so much.. we just laugh about it.
Ameliya Shah, Ali Khan
Mahira your surname is ”KHAN” so do you speak pashto?
When I watch you on tv I feel like your eyes are shifting colors like brown, yellow, grey and green and that’s a quality of hazel eyecolor that you have, is that really so or just my illusion ? I love ur eyes infact everything about u … love u and GOD BLESS U BEST OF LUCK FOR BINROYE.
Hahaha someone else said that, it’s the lighting I think.
Thank you so much for the love and wishes. Love you too.
Do you keep thinking about the characters you are currently working on? Or do you manage to switch off work once you leave for home?
Hard to switch off but have to..
Based on your experience, what advice would you give to drama artists from Pakistan who want to work in the Hindi film industry?
Just be yourself.. be professional, absorb/learn, be positive and have fun.
Hi Mahira, this is Sana from twitter. Hope my tweets or psychotic behavior hasn’t scarred you, promise I can be normal 😉
Hey Sana! None of us are normal so no promises 😉
From your contemporaries, both male and female, who inspires you as an actor, or who is it that you learn from and would be interested in working with?
I’d like to work with Sanam Baloch, I like Aaminah as well.. in fact most of the girls are very good.. Sanam Saeed, Saba Qamar.. Boys too are really good. You know its strange, its only when you work with someone you get to know their strengths… So I’m not sure what I’d like to learn from the ones that I haven’t worked with.
I personally lost track of the number of times Shanu got slapped or beaten by Rasheeda in Sadqay Tumhare… did you ever happen to keep count, and how did you shoot those scenes to begin with?
You know Sammiya was upset about the fact that they never showed the actual hitting because we hadn’t faked it for most scenes, if we knew I think I would have been saved the thappars! I didn’t keep count but I would get sore a bit. She’d hug me right after hitting me.
Is there going to be a season 2 for Tuc the Lighter Side of Life? If yes, would it still be you hosting it? Also, I used to watch Weekends with Mahira on Aag and I felt you were so spontaneous and lively in front of the camera; attentive, confident, and quick to follow with whatever your guest was saying… basically, I felt like you were so in control and owned your show. With Tuc, it was the same in some episodes but in others you seemed a tad uncomfortable and for lack of a better word, lost. Was this because you were hosting a show after a long break or did the difference haveanything to do with Tuc being recorded rather than live?
I agree with your observation. As a VJ I was just being me, I was not controlling what I would say , nor was it ever scripted. I can’t talk about Tuc openly too much, nor would I want to blame anybody except for myself. I was lost at times, scripts and questions were given to me. Maybe it was the long break, but for the most part I know why I was not being myself. Season 2 not happening right now, if it does and I ended up hosting it..will make sure I do it right.
Also, was the entire show scripted or did you follow a certain template on what was to be asked?
Scripted mostly. A lot of times I’d ask and talk about what I wanted to.
Lastly, who did the background research on the guests and invited them? Did you have a say in who was to be picked?
The director and writer did the research. So did I on my own part. Yes, I insisted for the young actors to be on the show!
What was the deciding factor for you in doing SadqayTumhare? The writing, the cast, the director, etc. Were you at any point apprehensive about doing the project or did you immediately sign on?
Thank you so much. I loved the dialogues of Sadqay, when I met Khalil saab it was intriguing for me that Shanu and Rashida had once lived this story. I was apprehensive only because I had decided not to do any dramas, but Bin Roye was driving me crazy – the wait, the constant delay, reshoot etc. I decided to take up a project, but a lighter one.. and what do I end up with ? A heavy sadqay tumharay! Let me be honest though.. its been the easiest project yet, I did with ease.. I didn’t let Shanu take over me completely, the set was lots of fun.
My most favorite scene of yours from Sadqay Tumhare is the first 8 minutes of episode 25 where Shano is narrating Khalil the past story and Rasheeda intervenes and takes her away to the other room. How did you manage to create the level of intensity required for all the dramatic scenes between you and Samiya Mumtaz or generally for any scene that Shanu shares with her mother. How many takes did it take roughly to shoot them, and were you able to maintain that intensity and stay in the moment always?
Ufff ufff uff what a scene! Btw another fav from the very beginning was this and another scene where Rashida asks Shanu – ‘bata kya kya hai terey bas mein?’ and Shanu answers her. Weirdly enough it was shot under a ticking clock.. and I was so upset that we couldn’t give it time.
Samiya and me enjoyed our scenes together a lot, like I said earlier we weren’t constantly rehearsing or giving in to the seriousness of the script. For this particular scene though, yes we did a few rehearsals, not too many takes though!
Momina has mentioned that Bin Roye the film has a lot of added surprises and twists, and that the drama and film have been made with different scripts. Will the drama also have the same surprises and twists as the film, and as a viewer who has read the novel should I be expecting many changes? Also, which is closer to the novel, the drama’s script or the film?
Not too many changes, except one major change. Drama is closer to the novel.
A lot of people aren’t too pleased with the idea of Bin Roye releasing as a film and a drama; personally, what’s your take on it, and will the drama offer something more or at-least something different in comparison to the film that people should tune in for…
There was a drama script, a bound one. And that’s why I think the drama will have a lot to offer. Maybe I’m wrong but it’s a very interesting story… and the drama will answer so many questions that the film left people with 😉
How exhausting was it having to shoot for a drama and film simultaneously? If offered something like this again, would you consider it or would simply refrain from doing that project altogether?You forgot to ask! How could you?! 🙂 I wouldn’t want to do something like this again but but never saying never again!
Do you constantly get surprised by your own potential as an actor? How often do you push the envelope, or learn something new about yourself while performing?
Most of my directors insist I haven’t tapped into my potential yet and I agree – not sure if its potential but I could push myself harder. I learn something new about myself all the time, any actor would say that..
In your opinion, which director has been able to extract the best performance from you so far? Are you a director’s actor? How involved are you generally, or how close do you work with your directors vision?
Total director’s actor. I think. I enjoy working with a director closely, understanding his vision. Umm.. Im not sure really who has been able to extract the best performance, its interesting how different directors ‘see’ you as an actor, what they think they can get out of you and how they actually manage to do that.
Do you plan beforehand how you’ll be performing a scene or do you go with instinct and improvise whilst actually performing? How much input are you allowed to give in terms of performing the scene and to what extent is it permissible for you to make changes to the script?
No never. I read the scene, but I never plan it. I obsess over scenes I like, sometimes I make notes. When on set I share what I feel we could do with it. All my directors have been open to input actually.. Haissam and me would contstantly go back and forth how we could do a particular scene. Same with Asim!
Script changes – it depends on many things – mainly the writer and director. We didn’t change a single word of Sadqay for instance, but there were a few changes in certain lines with Shehr e zaat for instance which Sarmad felt strongly about. Even in Humsafar for instance I felt Khirad calling Farida a naagin would not be nice, so I took it out after asking sarmad.
According to you, what sort of acting school do you belong to? Are you a method actor?
Oh God knows!
Do you take into consideration the feedback coming from your fans for the kind of projects you do or that they want you to do? If yes, do you like for them to be honest with you, seeing what they have to say may or may not agree with you, or would you rather prefer to not take any feedback at all and go with your own impulse?
I take feedback and I definitely want honest feedback. But my impulse, my heart and where it lies is of primary importance. I don’t want to later blame my decisions on anybody else, which sometimes does end up happening.
I’ve read Humsafar the novel and the romance there was more intimate compared to what was portrayed in the drama.I’m curious to know though, was the change in intimacy from Humsafar the novel to drama deliberate. If so, who made the changes and why? Would the romance have been too hardcore for dramatization in your opinion?
Ok so because it was my first actual romantic drama (I think so at least), I was very like – have you heard that song ‘ cant touch this’? That was the background song for all romantic scenes. So yeah I used to get uneasy with holding hands even. Being stupid to be honest, now when I look back. When we were doing the scene where Ashar says sorry, after we did it and stood there… Sarmad kept screaming ‘Hug hug hug’ and we just stood there. In retrospect though, I don’t regret it. It has a certain amount of innocence to it, an old school kind..
Have you heard the soundtrack to Ho Mann Jahaan? What has been your personal favorite from the ones you’ve shot so far and do you know how many songs Atif Aslam has done for the film? Is he singing for both Adeel & Sheheryar?
Love all the songs. Dil pagla is a favorite!
Read on Facebook that Ho Mann Jahaan has completed shooting. Congratulations firstly and do you know of an expected release date to the theatrical trailer of the film? Will the film itself still be releasing Eid-ul-Adha? How was the experience like working with the entire team, the cast and the crew? Are you allowed to reveal a little bit about the story and your character? Was it challenging to play Manizeh? How different was it to act like her in comparison to all the other rather more intense roles that you’ve played? Is she similar to Mahira as a person in any way?
Thank you! It releases in Nov I believe. Asim shot my first commercial, in essence my first director – I was aVJ then. He has been like a father/brother to me for all these years. From my make up artist Adnan (again my first) to the actors all of them were friends. Sometimes it also gets difficult when working with friends, it can get too comfortable but Asim knew how to handle all of us. We had a blast, especially shooting the songs.
Manizeh is a level headed girl. She knows what she wants for the most part.. and she’s also kind, she is sort of the balance in the group. It was difficult initially only because I was so used to intense drama… I didn’t know what to do with simpler day to day dialogues. She is similar to me, I guess in the way she is with her friends and her other relationships
Do you see working in India as something long term if Raees does or doesn’t do well? Or, would you rather just be going with the flow whenever something that appeals to you comes along and try it out? Personally I would love to see you in a film with Farhan Akhtar btw … I think you’d make a great pair!
I’m going to go with the flow, would love to see what comes my way. That would be cool, Farhan akther is so good, so natural.
You mentioned under Humsafar’s last episode review that the final rain scene was shot the Friday before the last episode aired and replaced the original ending… do you remember what the original ending was like/supposed to be?
Yes, ummm.. it was this scene where Ashar asks a random question, I think about food or whatever.. nothing special. I remember watching it while it was in edit, I had gone for a voice over. Went to Momina, called Sarmad.. to look at it. Needed something more.
At least baarish 😉
If you were given the chance to act in a PTV drama serial that was being remade, which would it be and why? Who would you prefer to be with you in the cast?
Aangan Terha! Doubt I’d be able to do an iota of what Bushra Ansari has done. Or Ankahee.
From all the dramas that you’ve seen of PTV, what are your personal favorites?
Aangan Terha. I don’t know what it is about it.. I love it! Used to watch it at least once a week in college, instantly makes me happy.
After Sadqay Tumhare you said you would like to take up a lighter role, and it was the perfect moment too as you had 1 show on air and 3 films in the pipeline, Humsafar was being aired in India. But then such a big heavy project ‘Raees’ came on your way and you agreed to do it. Do you really think it was wise to jump in the Bollywood bandwagon at a time when you were doing well popularity wise and were commercially stable?
I wanted to take up a lighter role after Sadqay– which I did by the way – Ho Mann Jahan is a light film compared to a Bin Roye or Sadqay. Im not sure what is a wise decision and what isn’t. I follow my gut and of course I look into what I can do and can not do depending on my own personal constraints/ease.
I became a fan of your acting after watching you in (the latter part) of shehr-e-zaat, you were so natural in those scenes!(especially that keechar wala scene). How did you manage to give such direct from the heart performance? Was it because you felt connected to the self-reproachful Falak in some scenes?
Thank you! I didn’t feel connected to Falak actually initially, but very early on the only thing Umera had told me was I want you to do this with honesty, Sarmad too would ask me – did you feel it? I’d say yes and we’d move on to the next scene. In that way, in the latter half I have felt what Falak has… finding answers – especially if your whole life you’ve never questioned anything
Did any of the scenes made you really cry?
Yes. A scene when I go visit the home whose child had passed away.
What are/is your favourite scene from sher-e-zaat?
The one where I visit the child’s home, all the scenes with nani. Oh the one with Mohib, when they are making the sculptures – love the dialogues of that scene and I remember we both felt it while doing it.
Me ne aap ko’ mazaay ki baatein’ (on that cooking channel Masala) pe interview dekha tha. Us me aapne poore waqtUrdu bole thee ..aur itnee achee bolee thee! ab to magar aap boltee heen nahi hein Urdu mein..Kyun? itna acha lehja he aap ka or itnee achee vocabulary bhee ;p is vajah se mujhebhi poora comment Urdu me likhna para
Hahhaha! Woh urdu achee tarah yaad hai mujhe… ab toh behtar urdu bolti hun.. kyun kya khyaal hai?
Are their any similarities between khirad/Falak/Saba and the character you’re doing in Raees? If not, what is the major difference?
Hey Tehreem! Sorry cant talk about my character in Raees.
Was there anytime when you didn’t like any particular scene or you disagreed with what that character was doing but still you went ahead and performed? If there is any such scene please tell us about it as well.
Oh yes! Many times.. in fact I’d say every serial/film.. I say why would she do this or say this.. but it’s a character, it’s a story and its not yours.. thus we surrender to it and that’s when the fun begins.
In near future are you planning to visit USA ? Please do come to New York, fans from here are waiting to meet you. And you’re doing a brilliant job we all are very proud of you.
I love NY!
Thank you so so much.
What would be your ideal vacation..a week in Muree or a month in Los Angeles?
Hello someone! Seriously? Los Angeles… its my second home. And if you had said month in Murree…then Murree!
Prabudh Mane (@PunePunky)
Now that you are been cast opposite SRK in Raees, making a debut with such a terrific actor it must have been a dream come true, what were your first response when you came to know you will be cast opposite none other than King Khan also what difference do you see in both Pakistan and Indian Film Industry and what are your plans for Indian Films in future.
Hello! Thank you so much for all the love. Promise to talk about this more when Raees is closer to release.
Which is your favourite song these days?
Bin Roye songs.. I swear. Also have you guys heard Cheerleader? Current fav because of my cousins!
As an actress what do you think you still lack or need to improve in?
I lack so much, my focus could be even better. It would make me a much much better actor.
We heard that you met Karan Johar while you were in India. How was the experience and what do you think about Indian Directors and Actors you have come across to so far??
Not met many, in fact just one or two.. whom so ever I have met have been really nice.
As an actress you must want to explore more, what kind of roles are you looking forward to in future?
Feel like doing a romantic comedy.
How special are your upcoming projects for you, BinRoyeHo Mann Jahaan and Raees?
Every project is special, every single one for different reasons.
After BinRoye, Ho Mann Jahaan and Raees, is there any project you are working on?
Nothing as yet.
Any new thing you learnt from shooting of Raees?
Will tell but not now 🙂
Your dream of working with SRK has finally come true! Who is the next actor or actress you want to work with?
To be honest, he is the only actor I wanted to work with since I was a kid. As an actor now, I’d like to work with directors whose movies I have loved. I do think most of the current actors/actresses working in Bollywood are very talented.
The most difficult scene for you in Bin Roye was?
The Bud-dua scene..as clichéd as it sounds but it really was the most exhausting. But but it was done in one take and it was a single shot.
Among all those projects you’ve done so far, what do you think which was more challenging?
Bin Roye has been challenging.. apart from all the problems it faced and that time it took to make, even the character of Saba was complicated and difficult to play.
Mahira I am your great fan since humsafar. Love you as Khirad, Falak & Shano 🙂 It has been said that whatever you touch it become gold (your projects are always hits) What you think about this?
What can I say about this? Nobody in this world has the golden touch except for God. So when He wants He blesses us. What we do have in our hands is that we can work hard, do our honest best.. that’ll never go to waste.
There was an ad of you & Fawad, Aquafina,that was a big hit. Share your experience working in that ad with Fawad& that cute Chinese baby.
That ad was fun..but also long working hours so we were very tired by the end of it. Both us were pretty surprised to see the Chinese baby, she was adorable.
Hey Mahira, With which Indian actor and actress would you like to work ahead in future?
Lots are really good but I don’t have a list.. !
Any favorites from the Indian younger lot?
They are all so good man! Alia Bhatt!
Also which recent Bollywood movie did u liked the most?
I watched Dil Dhadkane Do, really liked it. Haven’t seen the others recently. I loved Queen, Highway …
End of Part I ~ Part II Here