Mehwish Hayat left an impression on us when she appeared in dramas like Mere Qatil Mere Dildar, Kabhi Kabhi, Dil Lagi and assured us that she is indeed a fine actor. Last year, Actor In-law boosted Mehwish’s career and she won over the audiences, be it fans, film critics or fellow actors. She has been nominated for Best Actress (TV – Dillagi) and Best Actress (Film – Actor in Law).
Something Haute got in touch with the lady and here’s the conversation.
There’s money as well as ratings in playing the damsel in distress or weeping willow. How have you resisted that road?
“It’s a conscious effort,” she replied. “I’ve done the damsel in distress enough times. I’ve done the tragic roles. Now I want to explore myself as an actress. I want to take on roles that empower women, strong characters. People need to know that these kinds of women also exist. They’re not evil because they have an opinion. They’re just strong women.”
The four recent and popular characters you’ve played – from Billi to Anmol, Marina and Meena Screwala – have all been exceptionally strong women. Will your character in PNJ be the same?
“Yes, I play a very confident girl in PNJ. She knows what she wants. She is fun-loving and very confident and yet she is family oriented even though she has studied abroad. She believes in family and the outside world has not effected her morals and values. She’s confident and understanding and compromising. There is magic in playing this kind of character.
I think I’m very motivated by my mother, who is such a strong woman; I am the way I am because of her. So this is who I am. She always spoke for her rights.”
Do you think people have people accepted you as this headstrong, badass girl?
“Yes, definitely. If you do anything with passion it becomes believable. I think they have. People forget the stories but they remember the characters. People remember the characters I played.”
Do you think women should accept roles that portray the female stereotype in society or should they challenge their characters?
“Most writers are happy to brainstorm. We all brainstorm and connect on a certain level. Once the director knows that you’re an intelligent person they will trust you. Nadeem discusses things and so did Feeza and Nabeel. It would be unfair to expect them to change the character but modification, yes. But actors must choose their roles carefully. I would want to do a project which gives me an equal opportunity. The girl should have equal screen time. So a director may not change the character but then I have the option to chose the right project that is good for me and that I believe in. You should do what you believe in.”
Is there any character that you wish you had done in a drama or film?
“I would have loved to do Salt, a Devil Wears Prada or Queen.”
Do you relate to Kangana Ranaut?
“She’s phenomenal. There’s no one like her and I would love to be known as someone as exceptionally good as her as well as being strong. She’s a fighter and a winner.”