One-on-One With The Screen Queen, Ayesha Khan
How did you ring in 2015?
I spent a very laidback day with extended family in Dubai – lots of laughter, Taboo, great view of the !reworks and great food; it was a perfect night.
Have you stuck to your resolutions?
Yes, so far so good - staying away from toxic negative people, working hard and making sure I take breaks in between projects.
What city are you based in? What is your favourite part of living there?
Karachi – I love the spirit of the people here; they’re laidback, busy during the week, partying hard on weekends, scared of nothing, intimidated by no one; It’s a lively city.
What prompted you to pursue a career in acting?
I never wanted to be an actor; it was a complete accident, but I really enjoyed it when I got into it, so I continued.
What projects acting/directing do you have premiering this year?
I’m working on drama serials for Hum TV and a movie for Six Sigma. This movie is the complete opposite of Waar – full-on comedy; just what the country needs right now.
After your role in the critically acclaimed and blockbuster, Waar are you looking into more film roles?
I am very selective when it comes to films; I’ve never stuck to the same genre even in my plays. I believe an actor needs to be versatile. So, I’m open to doing films but not just any. It has to be something I enjoy.... Something that doesn’t require me to cross the limitations I have set for myself, i.e., dancing, nudity or bold scenes. Above all, I need to believe in my director; with Waar I completely did.
Would you want to direct a full-length feature film?
Not now and not until I actually go to school and learn the craft. I’m an actor and unlike acting, which comes to people naturally, sometimes direction is very technical.
What aspects of the entertainment industry in Pakistan do you think could use a change?
I think it was the film industry that needed a change and it has evolved. Now, my fear is that every direction seems a bit too Bollywood-inspired.
I think item numbers are unnecessary and not a part of our culture, but then again, that’s a personal opinion. Apart from that, the usual work timings, scheduling issues etc. are and have always been a bit of a problem. I’m doing my bit to change that, but it isn’t always taken well.
Are there any drama/ films that you were a fan of this year?
I found Na Maloom Afraad interesting. PK is probably now one of my most favourite movies ever because of the message it had. When it comes to dramas, I never even get time to watch mine, as we’re shooting during prime time, so honestly I wouldn’t know. Among my own dramas, I loved
Shukk - great story and great co-stars!
Is there a particular role you have not had the chance to play yet and would want to?
I’ve played a lot of different roles, but maybe something period like Umrao Jaan or from the ‘Mughlai zamaana’ would be fun. On the other hand, maybe I would like to play a drug addict, as I feel like whenever it’s been shown it’s always been shown as very one-dimensional like a drug addict
is a bad person. I feel like there is a lot of pain, neglect and hurt that gets them there, so maybe someone needs to play it with a bit more sensitivity;
I think it’d be a nice, challenging role to play.
Is there a genre you would love to either act in or direct which you have not gotten to yet?
Period, as I mentioned earlier; everything else I’ve pretty much covered!
How would you describe your personal style?
I’ll always be under dressed, never over dressed. I like to keep it simple; I’m not a very vibrant/"amboyant person. I like light colours; I don’t like very complicated things; I need to be comfortable.
Who has been the person who has influenced or played a big role in your life?
Many people have – My mom taught me to never give up and from my dad, I learned to always be honest even if it gets you in trouble temporarily. Humayun Saeed has inspired me to be optimistic and not take life and BS talk too seriously. Bilal Lashari has taught me focus and dedication and from Rubina Ashraf, I’ve learned to never be afraid of fghting for what’s right.
What are some of the greatest challenges you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
Other than lack of good scripts, set ethics and being type-casted, the hardest thing in our industry is that when you make it to the top, you realise nobody wants you there; if they can’t criticise your work, they comment and make up random things about your personal life to affect you emotionally. Being the subject of rumours and living under constant scrutiny is very taxing, but you have got to focus on work and realise that this is part of the job, unfortunately.
What do you like to do in your free time? How do you unwind?
A book, a movie, my PJs or a day at the spa.
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