Instep Today

Catching up with Mansha Pasha

Instep Today
By Maria Shirazi
Fri, 03, 18

The actor and director talks to Instep about her selection of roles, the importance of social responsibility and upcoming projects. By Maria Shirazi

After making a mark with popular drama serial Zindagi Gulzar Hai (2013) and delivering a remarkable performance in Umer Adil’s debut film Chalay Thay Saath (2017), Mansha Pasha continues to be selective about the roles she essays.

“I am more interested in roles that have substance and have something new to offer. It shouldn’t be ghisa pitaa so to speak,” she told Instep during the course of this interview. “If I don’t find the character exciting enough, neither will the audience. If I am bored doing it, people will be bored watching it,” she added.

With a few serials like Jalti Rait Par and Tau Dil Ka Kia Hua to her credit, Mansha Pasha has certainly proven that she is a versatile actor. Currently two of her plays, Khudgarz and Angan, are on air. In an exclusive interview with Instep actor-turned-director, Mansha Pasha, talks about her directorial venture and upcoming projects.

Instep: Tell us about your upcoming projects? Any movies in the pipeline?

Mansha Pasha (MP): I am working on a serial with Shahroz Sabzwari called Parwarish. And yes I am currently shooting for my second film with Ahmed Ali Akbar. Let’s see how they both fare. I need all the luck and prayers guys!

Instep: In the past you have spoken about various issues like media’s responsibility against child abuse and you’ve also directed a few public service announcements (PSA). Are you taking any steps to address such issues?

Mansha Pasha made her big screen debut with Umer Adil’s Chalay Thay Saath in 2017. Seen here with cast members Osama Tahir, Syra Shahroz, Zhalay Sarhadi, Faris Khalid and Kent S. Leung.

MP: Social consciousness is something you learn from a young age and then when you grow up you start working on it. I think it’s a way of being, living, and thinking. My parents are government doctors who spent years tending to the poorest and most neglected part of society. And the stories they would share became a part of my conscience and understanding of the world.

Moreover, I firmly believe that if you are given a platform it is your responsibility to not only speak on important issues but also conduct your life in a way that is synonymous with the words you speak. Nothing hurts a cause more than a hypocrite at the helm of it so as much as you can, you should try and practice what you preach. So I am trying to spread awareness through these PSAs.

Instep: Last year you were supposed to direct six public service announcement videos. Tell us about it.

MP: I have already directed two, which were produced in collaboration with social welfare organization, Elaj Trust. The first video highlighted the issue of child marriage while the second one addressed Post Partum Depression (PPD). The other four are planned for this year. I had to stall them so I could work on a few other projects but hopefully will resume them this year. Completing those four public service message films is on my to-do list. These videos aim to generate a constructive discussion on issues that a lot of people are reluctant to talk about.

Instep: In one of your interviews you said that you learned a lot more as a line producer than as an actor, what did you mean?

MP: In my opinion you are always learning. Observing the crew, the director and how other cast members conduct themselves has taught me a lot and continues to every day. But I think the initial learning process as a line producer was essential and something a girl like me sorely needed. I was rather sheltered and naive when I came into this industry and that first year taught me a lot.

Instep: With plays Khudgarz and Angan on air, how different are the characters?

MP: They are poles apart. I am essaying the character of Abeer in Khudgarz. She is a modern girl in an abusive relationship who comes from a broken family but manages to pick up the pieces and stand up for herself.

Zoya in Aangan, in contrast, comes from a huge family, is the youngest of many brothers and sisters, and is passive and quiet as a person. She believes in living her life in a way that keeps people around her happy and keeps the family together.

Instep: Your future plans?

MP: You will see more of me! Better roles, better stories hopefully from my side.

So, I will just keep swimming as Dory says in Finding Nemo. Just keep living, loving, learning and working.