A few words with Mawra Hocane
Mawra Hocane’s latest serial, Sammi, ends with a literal shower of happy resolutions for its much victimised heroine. Sammi happily escapes being married off to several men old enough to be her father, avoids being set on fire by her brother and the last episode ends with a wedding, paid for by the villain of the piece. She not only thwarts her parents’ attempts to sell her into a life of sexual slavery and degradation, but in case someone doubts her feminist credentials comes out as a skilled beautician, with her own beauty parlour as Jahez. In a fit of admiration at these amazing feats of “kismet turnaround “, Images caught up with the busy young Star to find out what she thinks of her role.
Sammi seems to be tailor made role for you: a pretty young girl who is a helpless victim of circumstance. Do you consciously choose such roles or is that just what drama makers like to offer?
I’m glad if you felt so but no it wasn’t tailor made. I have never closely seen a life like Sammi’s! It was suffocating at times, it was darn difficult to integrate into that feudal or patriarchal system and behave like a girl would behave under such circumstances. But if it did seem effortless and tailor made, I’d take that as a huge compliment.
Is it stifling as an artist to play the same kind of character again and again ? Do you feel your full potential as an actor has been explored?
As an actor, my talents definitely haven’t been explored at all and I feel there are still ample tricks left in my bag. Though it does annoy me at times to be doing the same thing, playing similar characters can be both a good thing and a bad thing. I do hope to outdo myself with each performance which brings with it a promise of longevity because I feel I have so much to learn and share with the audience.
3) What made you choose to play Sammi?
The impact it was likely to have on the society and the lesson in that with “great power comes great responsibility”. It was my way of giving back to the society.
The character Sammi’s reality as poor farmer’s daughter in Rural Punjab is very far from your own life so how did you prepare for this role?
The mental state or psychology of such a girl is the most difficult thing to prepare for. To convince myself to be as helpless, to be as voiceless as her, and surrender to the patriarchal norms of that society, was difficult. Now, It’s for the audience to decide if I was able to do it or not!
What do you think is the most important take away from this serial?
The fact is that I (and hopefully the audience) now have a much better understanding of the circumstances surrounding many girls like Sammi and their helplessness and I really want to do something for these girls.
6) How was your experience working with Ahad Raza Mir? Did he remind you of his father at all?
Unfortunately I haven’t closely worked with Asif sir, but Ahad is a brilliant actor in his own right. He’s very passionate and driven. Working with him reminded me of my debut. His zest and drive has triggered something in me too, pushing myself to deliver better and better!
You have quite a large body of work for a young star and have starred in a Bollywood movie which is something only our biggest stars have done. When are we going to see you on the big screen in Pakistan?
Thank you! In a word …soon. I feel projects are destined for actors. Whenever I find the project destined for me, I’ll be at it with full force.
You garnered a lot of critical acclaim for your role in Sanam Teri Kasam. Would you work in India again?
Absolutely! That experience taught me some of my life’s most profound lessons. I’d want to experience that again any given day.
What’s the biggest difference between working in Films and dramas?
We all know there are technical differences, but films are my dream, they’ve always been and for me there’s no process better than the pursuit of what your heart desires. I’m very grateful for all platforms I get to showcase my talent and polish my skills, dramas or film.
we often see you paired with older actors in weepy roles . Your Instagram however shows that you are a normal fun loving girl , When will we see you in a fun role with someone nearer your age ?
I’m a sucker for meaty performance-based roles and good scripts, I’ve never decided my work by who my co-actor is , it’s not even my last concern… but yeah may be I’ll think about it now lol!
As someone who has worked both sides of the border what do you think the fledgling Pakistani industry?
For the amount of time and effort we’ve put in our cinema and with the limited resources, I feel we are doing a pretty fabulous job. I can’t wait for films like Punjab Nahi Jaoongi and Rangreza!
Apart from Urwa, Which actresses do you admire? Have you ever consciously or unconsciously had a role model (apart from Urwa)?
Apart from Urwa I don’t think I see a role model in anyone. I have worked with some great people like Saba Hamid. Her grace is unmatched and her ability to guide others is something I have never seen in another co-star. I also absolutely admire Priyanka Chopra, she can inspire me even when I am having the greyest of days.