Instep Today

In conversation with Mansha Pasha

Instep Today
By Maria Shirazi
Thu, 02, 20

The actress talks to Instep about her upcoming film, Kahay Dil Jidhar, how cyber bullying affects her, doing progressive roles and much more.

Having made her cinematic debut with Umer Adil’s Chalay Thay Saath (2017), actress Mansha Pasha appeared in Kamal Khan’s critically acclaimed film Laal Kabootar last year alongside Ahmed Ali Akbar. The actress, who has popular drama serials such as Zindagi Gulzar Hai, Jalti Rait Par, Tau Dil Ka Kia Hua, Khudgarz and socially relevant drama serial Surkh Chandni to her credit, is geared up for the release of her forthcoming movie, titled Kahay Dil Jidhar (KDJ), opposite singer and actor Junaid Khan.

This is Mansha’s third big screen role and, with the teaser already out, we know that she essays the character of a fierce journalist and news anchor willing to go beyond any limit to expose powerful people and create a positive impact on society.

Mansha Pasha featured as one of the protagonists in Kamal Khan’s critically acclaimed 2019 film, Laal Kabootar as Aliya Malik. 

“Kahay Dil Jidhar may be my third film, however it’s the first of its kind for me,” shared Mansha Pasha in an exclusive interview with Instep. “It’s a very different story as compared to the ones I have had the pleasure of enacting previously. It’s fun, and glamorous and filled with dance and light-hearted humour. The fact that it’s so different intrigued me and excited my inner actor to step out of her comfort zone and do a role I had never done before,” she added.

The Khudgarz actress went on to say that her forthcoming film is “incredibly different” from Laal Kabootar as far as the storylines are concerned. “It’s like apples and oranges. Both the films are unique in their own ways. Laal Kabootar was a crime drama and Kahay Dil Jidhar is a musical love story that revolves around the themes of love, drama, action and masala. They are two very different genres,” she said, adding that the movie is slated to hit cinemas on Eid ul Fitr 2020.

Talking about her character in the upcoming film and how it differs from Aliya Malik in Laal Kabootar, she said that in the preceding film, her character had faced a big loss that changed her completely; she was driven by the need for revenge. On the other hand, her character in KDJ hasn’t suffered such a life-altering experience. “She has a major character arc and she develops a lot during the course of the film, from a self-centered young girl to a driven, ambitious woman.”

Mansha feels that both characters are similar in a way that they both evolve as protagonists, but the way they talk, dress, walk, breathe and love is completely different.

When asked if she deliberately chooses progressive roles, Mansha responded, “I may be a progressive person but that is a separate entity in its own right. I have never gone for ‘progressive’ roles. I am an actor and an actor should be able to put themselves in any role, character or situation.”

She continued, “I just opt for interesting storylines that make an impact. Your character can be regressive but over all it can have a space in a larger progressive storyline. The aim is to work on interesting and unique storylines and not narrow myself and my abilities based on a stereotypical criterion of what progressive really means.”

According to Mansha, she has learnt tremendously from her previous films and each film is a “Homeric” journey. “You grow not only as a professional but also as a person. You learn from your co-actors and production teams. Whether it’s about the art of acting itself, or learning management and people skills, various lighting technique, each individual on set has something unique to offer. I believe it’s up to you and what you take from the experience,” she revealed, stressing that now she knows the importance of being open to learning.

Speaking about her approach in signing this movie, Mansha revealed that the second she went through Kahay Dil Jidhar’s script she knew she wanted to do it. The reason behind it was the storyline and how different it was from her previous films or TV serials.

On what KDJ has to offer to the viewers, as compared to the number of films that are slated to release this year, she said, “My upcoming film has something for everyone. It is not limited to a particular kind of audience. There is a love story for romance lovers, action for die-hard fanatics, dances and music, suspense and drama. It is a full package.”

As far as Mansha’s upcoming projects are concerned, she shared that she is currently working on a drama serial that features Sonya Hussyn and Zahid Ahmed in chief roles and that she is super excited about it.

When it comes to trolls, the actress has been quite vocal and prefers to respond to them. After getting engaged to lawyer-activist Jibran Nasir, the couple faced a lot of criticism. Talking about how social media affects her life in general, Mansha explained, “I usually choose to respond to baseless accusations and criticism. People should understand that actors and people in the spotlight are human beings too.”

She further said, “Cyber bullying is a real issue in our society today. Being given the privilege of having individuals actually listening to what I have to say comes with a great responsibility of saying the right thing. It is important to stand up for yourself and not tolerate any form of bullying as it is truly a trickle down effect.”

She asserted that if she stayed silent, then those who look up to her will also keep mum when they are faced with similar situations. “Sometimes it is important to set the record straight, however in other times, let the haters hate.”

Mansha Pasha also spoke about labeling characters, particularly female ones. “Film and TV represent reality and in reality, people are not just ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and we have to adapt to this idea,” she said. “It’s important to have multi-dimensional roles and stereotypical tropes need to be put in the trash can. We need to show individuals that you can be various versions of yourself through television (roles) because representation is important and it matters,” she concluded.