She came, she saw and she conquered

By Kaukab Jahan
Tue, 02, 23

The star talked to You! in detail about her experience of TLOMJ, her upcoming projects and overall situation of Pakistani entertainment industry…

She came, she saw and she conquered

celebrity interview

When we talk about perfection in acting, Humaima Malick’s name comes at the top of the list. Humaima Malick is an actress of many qualities. Her recent movie ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ has not only set many records globally but it has boosted her career to new heights. She has given the role of ‘Daro Natni’ a new feel and introduced a very powerful female villain to Pakistani cinema. Humaima rose to fame at a very young age and the stars seemed to be in her favour for her since then. Humaima transitioned into the realm of serious acting when she was cast in TV serial ‘Ishq Junoon Dewanagi’ and ‘Akbari Asghari’, both as a female lead. These TV serials established Humaima as a household name and contributed to her sound acting skills but it was not up until Shoaib Mansoor’s ‘Bol’ that Humaima gained international critical recognition and acclaim. This was Humaima’s most loved and acknowledged role, she was enchanting as Zainab and gave a powerhouse performance proving that she was not just a pretty face but a very serious actor too. She won various national and international awards for her performance in ‘Bol’. Her other projects have also fared well at the box office and has established Humaima as a force to be reckoned within the industry. She is one of the few female actresses of Pakistan who have been bold enough to step into Bollywood and be acknowledged for her prowess as an actress across the border. The star talked to You! in detail about her experience of TLOMJ, her upcoming projects and overall situation of Pakistani entertainment industry…

She came, she saw and she conquered

You! You have done very positive roles in your films up till now but your character in ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ (TLOMJ) is antagonistic. So what enticed you to take up this role?

Humaima Malick: Actually, a romantic film has a hero and heroine but in TLOMJ, the main leads were ‘Maula’ and ‘Noori’. I thought I must do something with my character so that it can make its place between these two. And if my role in this film is appreciated and liked by viewers then, I think my hard work has paid off.

You! Was there anything special you did for the role of ‘Daro Natni’ in TLOMJ?

HM: A lot. Like Fawad Khan, I also had to put on weight, learn horse riding and fencing. We were trained by a German team, who also worked in ‘Games of Thrones’. But I think all credits goes to my producer Ammara Hikmat, who really worked hard to put all things together and director Bilal Lashari, the magician. The actors were just playing parts in his grand magic show.

You! Where did you find inspiration for the character of ‘Daro’?

HM: I was briefed very well about my character by my director Bilal Lashari. He also asked me to watch and observe the character of Eva Green in the film ‘300’. She was already an inspiration but became my guide for this role too.

She came, she saw and she conquered

You! How did you localise that character?

HM: To create and transform a character into a certain shape is not just the efforts of an actor but the hard work of the whole team behind. I wore custom-made outfits of Zara Shah Jahan and had exclusive styling by Maraam Abro for the role. Maraam worked for three days on my eye liner to get the desired result. Then they were very particular about the hair colour of Daro, which had to be jet-black. Moreover, there was a special collection of antique jewellery. All these things collectively created Daro.

You! Do you agree that your character ‘Daro’, also promoted feminism?

HM: I think, my director Bilal Lashari was very cautious about this. He tried to change the essence of Punjabi cinema and took it from the typical women dances and rough jokes to royalty, luxury and authenticity and most of all respect for women. In TLOMJ, both Noori and Maula were powered by women. And that power is very positive. Even if it shows a woman in a vulnerable position or falling in love with a man, she is not humiliated. That is the most beautiful thing Lashari proved in TLOMJ.

She came, she saw and she conquered

You! What was the most difficult scene or dialogue in TLOMJ?

HM: I enjoy when something challenging comes up. So in Maula Jatt, we had a fight scene in an age-old Lahore Fort. The Fort was closed for decades and full of dust and it added to the problem when we fired coal to get rid of the cold there. So, it was really very difficult for me to do the sequence in that situation when I could not breathe properly because of the fumes of coal. But we completed it that night. The next day my body was aching and there were coal fumes remains in my system. It was the most challenging part of the whole film.

You! Why do you take long breaks between your projects?

HM: I think, there are two types of artists; the regular one, who frequently comes on screen while others are like me (crazy type) who wait for the project of their choice. I have recently finished ‘Jindo’, a TV serial by Anjum Shahzad. We shot that serial in the desserts of Thar. I also learned the Rangri language for my character, which I loved and enjoyed as it is very unique.

She came, she saw and she conquered

You! Do you agree that we need to change the trend of showing suppressed and helpless women in our dramas?
Yes. Sometimes we unnecessarily manipulate things in our scripts. I think women are not that weak now. They know about their rights and our society in general is aware of it. So, I think our dramas should also depict this.

You! What do you see in a script before accepting it?

HM: I don’t want to do a role in which a woman is being humiliated, suppressed or getting beaten by her in-laws or husband, or at the other extreme - scheming against them. All this, unfortunately, is being shown in our dramas. I want everybody to take something to think upon when they watch my work. Whenever or wherever they watch my work, whether it is in cinema, television or the internet, it should linger in their minds long after leaving the screen. I am sure whoever watched Zainab in ‘Bol’ must have thought why she was hanged in the end. Same was with Daro, who left her impact beyond the theatre.