Stepping into a Refreshing Lifestyle with Bisha Shabir
You’ve probably heard the statement “your vibe attracts your tribe.”
In Conversation with the Heartthrob; Usman Mukhtar.
We all have been drooling over this IT couple of Altamash and Izzah. Now that Anaa has come to an end, we got a chance to talk to Usman about his character, his upcoming projects, his take on harassment and women empowerment and that’s what we found out.
How is Usman in real life? Is he just like Altamash or totally opposite to him?
I’m not like Altamash in real life, but I’m not totally opposite to him. Altamash is always dressed up, I’m not. I’m very comfortable wearing my shorts and my T-shirt, I love dressing up casually. Altamash is a big businessman, I’m not. I’m a struggling actor. He’s very serious; I’m not that serious in real life. There are not a lot of similarities between me and Altamash.
According to you, what is wrong with directions and directors these days?
I feel like directors here don’t direct the actor, that’s one thing that they need to do. They need to work with the actors. Directors here think they can just sit on a chair, speak on the big microphone the word “ACTION!” and everything is going to take care of itself, that’s not how it works. Especially in advertisements, I think the director of photography is considered the director. Having said that, there are also some good directors in Pakistan as well but yes the director is basically the captain of the ship, he needs to be involved in everything from the sound design to costume design to the set design and also he needs to work with the actors and help the actors which unfortunately most directors here don’t do.
Name one movie that you think would have been better had it been directed by you.
I don’t think I would have done a better job at directing it but I would have really liked to direct Laal Kabootar, that’s the kind of genre I would like to direct but again I’m in no way saying that I would have directed it better. Kamal has done an amazing job and I really respect him as a director.
If it wasn’t acting or directing, what would have been your choice?
Well, my grandfather wanted me to become a lawyer and I wanted to become a cricketer. So either or.
we saw someone calling you “JOEY”, how true is that statement?
Yes, my friends call me JOEY, which is based on Joey Tribbiani from the television series “Friends”, because I have eating habits like Joey. I love food and I don’t share my food, I get really possessive about my food and I get really pissed off if somebody takes food from my plate.
Movies or Dramas, what would you prefer?
In an ideal world, I would love to do movies but right now the movies that the Pakistani film industry is producing does not have that standard and the audience has not been developed. There’s a lot that needs to happen in the film industry. Stories and script writers are very amateur, and sound is not up to par. So right now, I’d like to do dramas. If a good script comes my way I’d love to do it.
Cheesiest fan moment?
It’s not a cheesiest moment but a bit scary and creepy. Somebody dropped off a letter at my house and that letter started off with “Usman, I have been stalking you” so I don’t know if it’s cheesiest but I’m sure it’s very creepy.
One male and female actor that you really look forward to work with?
I think Bilal Abbas and Imran Ashraf are great actors and I would love to work with them because you feed off each other’s energy and if you have a great performer in front of you, you can also give a decent performance so I’d love to work with them. In females, I think Sajal Ali is a great actor and so is Sanam Saeed, they both are amazing actors and I would love to work with either one of them.
Any drama from the past that you would have loved working in?
Yes. Yes. Yes. There are two dramas that I would have loved working in. One of them is Dhoop Kinaray and the other one is Alpha Bravo Charlie.
After researching a lot, we still couldn’t find your relationship status. Would you like to comment on it?
It’s complicated, that’s all I can say.
Define feminism from your perspective.
From my perspective, I think anything that a man does; a woman should be allowed to do as well and anything that a man is not allowed to do, a woman shouldn’t be allowed to do it either. We need to be equals and we are equals as human beings and I’m a strict believer of equality and that is feminism to me.
What’s your take on sexual harassment in media/entertainment industry.
I think sexual harassment is a very serious issue and I think a lot of women go through that and it is the most horrible thing to go through. But, I also feel that we very blindly believe anybody and everybody and that shouldn’t happen. I think there needs to be a strict check and balance that if somebody is saying something it needs to be credible. I know it’s a little difficult but there are a lot of spiteful people out there and also there are a lot of sleazeballs and creepy people out there who harass women but I do feel there needs to be a strict check and balance.
What’s the reason/idea behind your witty captions? (Even if it doesn’t make sense to you, say something about that)
I don’t like putting quotes under my pictures, I like to believe I’m a funny person so I tend to write a caption that is funny and bring a smile to my followers, that’s why.
Tell us about your future projects?
I cannot tell you about my future projects right now but some interesting stuff is coming up so please hold your horses and be patient with me.
One person you secretly stalk on Insta but don’t follow?
If I like somebody I follow them, I don’t stalk people. I mean yes I do, I stalk the people I follow and it’s not stalking you just go through their profile but I don’t really stalk people I don’t follow.
A confab with Amar Khan, as an actress
The incredibly talented, multi-faceted, and gorgeous Amar Khan has become a distinguished figure in the entertainment industry with the remarkably unconventional and diverse characters she has played. Her roles in dramas like Bela pur ki daayan, and Ghughi have won acclaim from critics and audiences, alike. Amar started off her journey with a degree in filmmaking, and is now establishing herself as an actress, director, and a writer.
We decided to have a chit-chat with Amar Khan exclusively, to get a better insight into her life as an artist, and her journey so far.
What was the point in your life that instigated you to choose this career, as there aren’t even many acting schools in Pakistan?
“Ever since I was a kid, I was a big film buff, and I always extensively watched films. When I completed my A levels, that is when I decided that I seriously want to pursue this career and I wanted to do filmmaking. So, I attended a film school, and after my bachelor’s in filmmaking, I went abroad to specialize further. I think, the urge was always there to learn about this profession and then pursue it.
And obviously, my mother is one of the actresses who have been working in the field since there was PTV only, so I think it was in the genes as well.”
You’re known for always playing unconventional roles, especially the one in “Bela pur ki daayan”. Most people would shy away from playing a “daayan”. What is your reason behind choosing such characters?
“I think I have always enjoyed performing challenging characters. I have never really liked playing the damsel-in-distress, tear-jerking roles. And I think people identify with that persona of mine. If the script is thrilling and it demands me to perform in a different, unconventional demeanor, I always prioritize doing that. And I believe that even the audience enjoys seeing me play such characters, rather than typical ones.”
You made your writing debut with “Chashm e Nam”. What inspired you to write that script? And which is the one you would pick if you had to, acting or writing?
“I made my writing, acting, and my directorial debut through “Chashm e Nam, which aired on Hum TV. And I think even if I had to choose between writing and acting, I wouldn’t want to pick just one. Because there are so many people in the industry, like Woody Allen and Meryl Streep, who are multi-taskers and do all of these things together and do it really well. I think, all three, acting, directing, and writing, are interlinked as they all are a means of storytelling. And I love all three of them!”
You were born in Lahore, and now you are living in Karachi; how different do you find the two cities, in terms of work?
“I think, Karachi, in terms of work, is very proficient, very professional, and very on-time! Unfortunately. I haven’t worked in Lahore, because there isn’t any work there. So, they are two very different cities; one city I am very emotionally connected with, having spent my entire life there, with all my friends and my family. So, all my memories are from Lahore; I am a Punjabi, a Lahori. And then, coming here and adjusting according to the Karachi, city environment was lovely. Lovely experience in both the cities!”
You have worked in both, films and dramas. Which is your favorite?
“I think, I enjoy all the mediums. When I was in my film-school, I also did theatre; so, I love doing theatre as well. As an actor, you explore so many other avenues, and you think more. So, I enjoy all the domains, because you are performing and telling a narrative as well. Whatever medium is offered to you, you should just go on and see how it goes along with you.”
Tell us about the best compliment you have ever received.
“The best compliment that I have always received is about my rich, beautiful hair. People always compliment me about hair, and that again comes from my mother. Even today, she has the best, the thickest, the most shiny hair; so, I think that’s in the DNA!”
Amar seemed overwhelmed and admitted that she enjoys all the attention and the love that her fans shower on her, even the long paragraphs she receives on her Instagram! She emphasized that being a public figure who is active on social media, one often has to deal with trolls. However, she feels that when people appreciate her work and are kind to her, she can always ignore the negative ones, and had a message for the trolls to be kind and ethical, instead of demoralizing people.
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