We have seen and admired Mahira Khan in front of the camera since she entered into the field of acting but now the diva has taken the seat behind the camera as producer. Her own production company Soul Fry Films with Nina Kashif is a new venture in the industry. Under this company a telefilm ‘Aik Hai Nigar’ (in which she played the titular role herself) and recently a web series on cricket ‘Baarwan Khiladi’ on OTT platform tapmad has been made.
Since the Humsafar star is very excited about her new role as producer, she was ready to share this delight with the media. In an exclusive interview with You! this week, the superstar talked about how it was to be behind the camera after remaining in such a heavy limelight on camera for a decade…
You! What enticed you to go behind the camera when your fans always want you to be on screen?
Mahira Khan: It was always at the back of my mind. I was not very enthusiastic about having my own production house, but yes all the time I also wanted to present what I had in my thoughts i.e. to tell my stories to people. To imply that I desired that there should be a platform. Throughout my career spanning 10 years, there were things which I did not agree with and I wanted them to be at the right place. I used to question them and suggest if they could be done that way.
You! How is it now after taking the role of a producer yourself?
MK: Now I take the producers I have worked with very differently. In the past when I showed my concern on something, the producers, whether it was Momina Duraid or Asim Raza, used to respond that I would realise when I myself come into production. Yes, they were right. Now I understand completely what I questioned.
You! Why did you prefer to make a web series on cricket?
MK: There are many things in life which you choose for yourself but then there are those that choose you. So, this series Baarwan Khiladi chose me. Actually I didn’t want to do it myself. I always wanted to do Aik Hai Nigar, which was really close to my heart. I wanted BK to be done by Tapmad and Nina Kashif. But when I was given the script to go through it, believe me I was so overwhelmed by the content. Then I decided that if this idea could get more recognition and reach with my involvement then why not take it.
You! Have you ever played cricket?
MK: Oh, what to say. I am the laziest when it comes to sports. I am fond of dancing, books and yes I was very good at studies too, but never had such interest in sports. My friends would tell you how I used to drop catches in the throw ball game in school sports.
You! Then, you must be interested in indoor games?
MK: Yes, I love indoor games like taboo, ludo and cards. I recently enjoyed playing Hot Seat, which my friend bought from LA. I love games which I can play when sitting at my comfort but get bored of sports that need too much physical activity. I don’t know why. Same is with my brother. It seems to be a genetic issue. (haha)
You! On which issues do you want to work in your next projects?
MK: In my next projects I want to explore women especially middle-aged women and their issues in Pakistan. I don’t know the reason but I keep thinking about it. I think we have not yet tapped this issue seriously in our media.
You! In the last two years, your fans have seen you in a short film, telefilm, music videos, and a drama serial. When are they going to see you in a web series?
MK: I will take time for this. As after doing such different roles in ‘Aik Hai Nigar’ and ‘Prince Charming’, now I want that whenever I go on sets again, I must feel new enthusiasm and vigour for my character. It must give me inner satisfaction. I don’t want to do any role though it is very well written but compel me to raise questions about its connection with me. At this stage of my career, I want to do characters which I have never done before but longed-for for a long time.
You! We all have witnessed you to talk and raise concerns about the issues of women in Pakistan. What steps do you think that we must take for the empowerment of women in our country?
MK: For the empowerment of women, I believe we should include them in every field of life. I think it is already happening. Women are outnumbering in many fields whether it is acting, production, media, or other fields like health and education. We must take more women in fields like politics and sports. So I think the more inclusive we are of getting women in the professional world whether it is a work force or a decision making position, the more we will empower them. To get women into decision making we must encourage promoting them to the positions of power where they are deciding things. When you start bringing women in positions of power, where they can make decisions, it means you are already listening to them. It is important to listen to what women think through the perspective of a woman, not the one which men have set for them.
You! What message do you want to give to the women of Pakistan?
MK: I would only say to the women, that whatever you are doing or want to do, be firm on that. Realise and respect your own worth. It is on our shoulders to make a better world for the next generation and for the women who will take the seats after us.