After delivering remarkable performances in plays like Ishq Gumshuda, Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan, Seeta Bagri and Pujaran among others, Sarwat Gilani made a big screen debut with Nadeem Beyg’s Jawani Phir Nahi Ani (2015) essaying the character of Gul, a dominating Pathan wife. “It was an interesting role, which was much loved by the audience. My fans have always seen me in serious roles where I make everyone cry, so this was different from the kind of roles that I generally do,” Sarwat said in an exclusive interview with Instep.
A beautiful as well as intelligent actor, Sarwat has proven with time that she is versatile and just as quality conscious as she chooses to do just two projects a year. “Since the beginning I have been doing only two plays a year and that has been a constant. I believe that my viewers shouldn’t get used to watching me too much on television. I want my fans to wait for a project that I am in, and I have achieved that,” informed the actor.
When asked which drama serial and character is close to her heart, Sarwat shared, “Drama serial, Mata-e-Jaan Hai Tu (2012), opposite Adeel Hussain, is my absolute favourite. I essayed the character of Hania in the serial, which is really close to my heart. Apart from this I loved my character Zoya in Dil-e-Muztar (2013). That was my first negative role and I loved doing it.”
With so many memorable performances to her credit, Sarwat continues to be selective about the roles she essays. Regarding the selection of her roles, the actor said, “I have always been very picky and choosy about the plays that I do. I consider a few things when any offer comes my way.” She added, “I like working with people who are on the same wavelength as I am. Who the director is, what the storyline is, these are very important factors that can make or break a project. If the plot is boring there won’t be much viewership even if the character is interesting. I am also very particular about the cast and who I’ll be sharing the screen with. The fact is that the viewers want a complete package. They will not watch the play just because I am in it. It has to be visually pleasing for the viewers to watch.”
According to Sarwat, she loves working with people who give her the leeway to perform. “As an artist I believe that it is essential what an individual brings to the table. There is only enough that the writer and director can suggest and at the end of the day it is the actor who is the face of the project. I believe in working with a team who understands my creativity and (gives me) the freedom to express myself in more ways than one.”
Currently, Sarwat can be seen on air in drama serial Khasara, in which she is cast opposite Mikaal Zulfiqar, Junaid Khan and Sonia Mishal. She will also be seen in upcoming film Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 that is slated to hit the box office on Eid ul Azha. On how different is her character in JPNA 2, the actor shared, “As far as the sequel of JPNA is concerned, my character is the same as the previous one. Of course we cannot change the character in the sequel. However, this time there is slight difference, you will see a Pukhtoon woman with a better fashion sense.”
Sarwat Gilani is also a strong advocate for social causes, and likes doing things that give her the opportunity to give something back to the society. “I’m the ambassador of Special Olympics Pakistan (SOP) and we deal with a lot of special children with intellectual disabilities, second phase physical disability. They go through a lot of training in the regional sector and then move on to the national level before going to the international arena. It is soulful and meaningful, and it is our responsibility at some point to give back to our country which has given us so much fame and respect,” she shared.
As far as Sarwat Gilani’s future projects are concerned, there is another serial called Naulakha which has an all-star cast including Bushra Ansari, Arjumand Sahab, Zain Mirza Baig, Kiran Haq, Behroz Sabzwari and others. The actor is looking forward to this project that will go on air soon. Other than that a movie is in the pipeline as well. “I can’t say much right now but all I can reveal is that it is a good script and an interesting role. And I hope that everything works out.”
Moreover, Sarwat has been working on a film since the last five years and she has finally gotten a chance to sit on it. “I have a writer who I am in talks with. We are writing that film. I hope by that the end of this year we have something in our hands to start the production,” she concluded.