Having stolen our hearts with various roles, Sohai Ali Abro is a force to be reckoned with. A very talented actress who is currently categorised among one of the top actors of Pakistan. After appearing in JPNA, Sohai has now bagged the lead role in motorcycle girl’s biopic who is said to be the first Pakistan woman to have made a solo journey through the country’s north.
In an interview with the Express Tribune, Sohai opened up on fame, feminism and road to success.
“The fame wasn’t really instant since I had been working for a couple of years before my film debut. I don’t feel that fame has changed me as a person. It just gave me the determination to perform better and become the best version of myself,” she said when questioned her momentary rise to stardom.
“I had a difficult childhood with my parents passing away when I was 9. I have seen really tough times and I’m very grateful for everything, because it made me this tough woman that I am today. I am a warrior! I came into this industry completely on my own,” she continued.
“I faced my fair share of struggles and didn’t have many people around to guide me through the journey. I might not be as talented as a lot of others but I am a hard worker. With all this in mind, it is really important for me to stay grounded because life and experiences have taught me that. Nothing is constant in this world, especially fame,” she added.
When asked if she believes, her break might have affected her fan following? “I don’t believe in overexposure and have never enjoyed unnecessary publicity. I believe in quality rather than quantity when it comes to my projects, appearances and work in general,” she replied.
Speaking about her upcoming film on the motorcycle girl, Sohai said, “I was speechless when I saw Shah. I feel that Adnan is such a sensitive and intelligent filmmaker and truly believe in the kind of cinema he wants to create. I just knew I had to work with him someday, so when he called me for Motorcycle Girl, I agreed immediately. No matter what the budget is, I believe in this project. I also believe in Adnan’s vision, since he can see how important it is to portray empowered women in our society.”
“The films I have done so far have been very different from the kind of film this is. Of course, what the audience sees on the screen are the characters I play as per the script,” Abro said. “My criteria for signing a film have always been the same. I have always looked for some kind of margin to perform in the roles that I am offered. I instantly said yes Motorcycle Girl because it allows me to explore myself as an artist.”
“The pressure is definitely there, but I’ve always wanted to play a strong female role. I think Zenith is a true hero and her story is beyond inspiring. It’s one that needs to be told,” Abro asserted. “It feels surreal since films like these don’t really get made in our country, and to get to portray the lead role in one is amazing! The preparation itself is something I’m really looking forward to. It’s going to be a personal journey for me and hopefully, a life changing experience.”
Speaking about women-oriented films and evolution of cinema, she said “Of course, art does influence societies and can definitely encourage gender equality.”
She continues, “The audiences are way more intelligent than they used to be and you can’t take them for a ride anymore. I feel intelligent cinema can definitely be commercially successful if executed properly and in the right manner.”
According to Abro, cinema is a reflection of society. “When it comes to feminism, I feel the word is deeply misunderstood in Pakistan. Feminism has absolutely nothing to do with man-hating, playing the victim or bashing the other sex. It’s about giving women a choice, liberation, freedom and equality. Feminism, by definition is the belief that both men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. I stand for that, if that makes me a feminist, then I am proud to say that I am one.”