I chose not to be just the hero’s eye candy Says Mawra Hocane
When it comes to facing the camera, Mawra Hocane is no novice. She’s acted in several Pakistani TV dramas including Ahista, Ik Tamanna Lahasil Si andNikhar Gaye Gulab Sare. But when it came to the big screen, she decided she had to debut beyond the border. And so she went to India.
“Of course, if you read earlier interviews I’ve given in Pakistan in the last one-and-a-half years, every time I was asked why I wasn’t doing a film, I always said either ‘I get a wonderful production or character, or I’ll go do a film in India’,” Hocane, the debutante heroine of this Thursday’s release Sanam Teri Kasam, told tabloid!. “Yes, TV is the dominant medium in Pakistan, but it was a conscious decision to have an Indian film as my first release. Being launched in an Indian film with a great script, character and music is half the battle won. The rest is destiny”.
Discovered by directors Vinay Sapru and Radhika Rao, who also helmed Salman Khan’s Lucky: No Time For Love, Hocane says she was chosen for the role after Rao saw her perform in a Pakistani play and felt she would do well as the character Saru.
“I was offered other roles in Hindi films, but I just didn’t want to be the eye candy of the hero. I wanted something meaty. And Sanam Teri Kasam did provide that opportunity,” said Hocane, explaining her choice to do the non-glamorous role opposite another Bollywood debutante, Harshvardhan Rane, over a film with a more established Bollywood star, like her Pakistani colleague Mahira Khan, who will be seen sharing screen space with Shah Rukh Khan inRaees.
“Honestly, firstly I am not thinking of such fancy comparisons. Secondly, I have always believed that you get what is destined for you. If I had for a second thought of turning down this film because Mahira is being launched with Shah Rukh Khan, then I too should wait for a Shah Rukh Khan film, right? How can I let go of an excellent opportunity I do get when I’m not even sure I will get to work with Shah Rukh Khan? I also feel that if I was launched opposite a bigger star I may have got a flimsy character to play. Also, I may have not worked as hard as I would be aware that my launch film is supported with bigger stars. But I’m just not someone who’d run away from hard work”.
The 23-year-old actress has been appreciated for her commitment to her role; reports of her spending more than 20 hours in a tub — see the film poster — has been doing the rounds for weeks. She was almost as zealous while working on the project as when she prepared for her premedical courses and law degree.
“As this is my first film, the shoot has been a challenge overall. It’s my first time dancing on screen too. The tub scene was part of a 30-hour schedule and I had to be in water for some 22 hours. When I stepped out my body was absolutely bloated and numb. But the whole team was there for 30 hours. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do it again because when I had said yes to it, I didn’t realise how literal it could get. But yes, sometimes you just have to go for the difficult because that’s what is needed and you know you can [do it]”.
“As far as my education goes, I’ve always felt that was my hobby instead of acting. Actually, I have the coolest set of parents. I’ve never felt any kind of pressure in academics. Even if I didn’t score as well as I did, my parents wouldn’t have forced me into it. It’s because they never pressured — and I actually liked studying — I ended up doing premed and scoring well in LLB [Bachelor of Laws], although I haven’t finished my degree in the latter. I only have a diploma in law. As far back as I remember I’ve been acting in school. As I grew up I was picked up for theatre from school, and from there for TV serials. So it’s been a very progressive process. I’ve never felt acting just happened to me. It’s always been a part of my life and I hopefully I’ll prove that with every project of mine”.
Last year, a Pakistani actor had called for a social ban on Hocane when she expressed support for Saif Ali Khan’s antiterrorism film Phantom, which presented the country in an extremely negative light. Similar remarks have been made following the recent denial of a Pakistani visa for Bollywood actor-director Anupam Kher — he wanted to attend a literary event in Karachi — and the cancellation of ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali’s show being cancelled in Mumbai last month. With all this cross-border tension in the entertainment industry, has she faced any issues in India?
“It’s irrelevant for me,” said Hocane. “Growing up I’ve always felt I was God’s favoured child. Circumstances to help me just happen. I was expecting a lot of love and respect from India and I’m getting it. So I don’t even want to think any other way. I don’t want to give my energy to something that’s not happened to me. And I just hope that’s how things stay.
Sources :- Gulf News