Risham Khan talks to actor & model

Did you always want to be an actress?
No. I wanted to win a beauty pageant when I was younger. Growing up, though, I found out that Pakistani girls were not allowed to participate in these beauty pageants. So then I thought, “This is not going to happen.” I actually wanted to participate in the Miss World, Miss Universe contests. But I ended up acting and started my career with a feature film.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced being a woman in the Pakistani film industry?
The biggest challenge is that we live in a hypocritical society where people form opinions without thinking; they go with the image that the other person is showing them. They don’t like confident, self-made women and I’ve always been one. But yes, it’s been very challenging being a girl who didn’t have a film industry background. But from the very first day I have been associated with the biggest brands. So, of course, when there are people praising you, there are always people trying to bring you down.I think this is the case with every girl. Why? Because I reached that level very soon. I started my career when I was 14, I started endorsing brands and I did my film when I was very young. I became huge because of “Bol.”And then being a Pakistani girl going to India and working there in a very commercial film: It’s not easy.


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“My dream was to participate in the Miss World or Miss Universe contest”

How did Bol change you?
Bol changed me as a woman. I’ve become very patient, my will is very strong, I’ve become more sensible about the decisions I take. And the way my female fans now understand and approach me — that has changed too.

What was different about Dekh Magar Pyaar SAY that made you say yes?
I respect Asad a lot. He’s one of those directors whom an artist wants to trust. So when he came to me, his approach was very nice. He came to me and said “I’ve written this script for you.”

Tell us about your character in Dekh Magar Pyaar SAY
Why did I like the character? The thing about the character in Dekh Magar Pyaar Say is that she’s a feisty girl. She’s very spontaneous. She’s dramatic and larger than life. You can expect anything from her! Essentially, she’s unpredictable with a lot of different shades. I think it’s quite challenging to play roles like that. In my first film I played a mullah ki beti and in the second film I played a bar dancer. This is going to be my third film. So, yeah, it’s been different and adventurous.

Can you personally relate to the character?
Not really. I don’t think actors are always like the characters they play but we have to become like those characters. When people leave the cinema, I don’t want them to go home and forget about my character! Kay bhai popcorn kha liya, film dekh li, ab ghar chalo. No. I’ve always tried to stay in people’s minds. I liked it when people watched Bol they took Zainab along with them. For several days people kept talking about this girl.

How was the experience of shootingDekh Magar Pyaar SAY?
It was fantastic but very, very hectic. I’ve never done such a film before. Not a single scene was shot in a proper bungalow or a fancy air-conditioned set. We had to wake up really early in the morning. Asad would say, I want to shoot you in the
4 am sun. I want that shot. And we said okay boss, we’ve got to come. We completed the entire film in 45 days—a record, apparently, for the Pakistani film industry. So it was fantastic.




“Pakistani people don’t like confident, self-made women. I’ve always been one”

How was Sikander Rizvi as a co-actor?
He’s fun. He’s quite chilled out. He’s a good learner; he’s always learning new things. And we wish him all the very best. He’ll definitely do something nice in the industry.

Describe him in one word
To me he’s Sikki, that’s it. He’s funny, he’s quite a bit of everything!

What was your chemistry like with Sikander?
Since it’s a romantic comedy, we had to make people fall in love with us, and for that we had to fall in love with each other first! We did that. We’ve tried our best as actors.

Tell us about a funny incident on set
Sikki used to mimic me a lot. And he’s superb at it! I think when we shot the first scene in the alley where you can see the church behind us, (when you see the film you’ll know), that scene was very memorable because it was Sikki’s first intense scene with me and he was very funny throughout!



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“Not a single scene was shot in a proper bungalow or a fancy air-conditioned set”

Are you working on any upcoming projects?
In Pakistan? Not right now. But, yes I am working in India and Inshallah very soon things will be coming up.
Who is your favorite Pakistani actor and actress?
I really like Shaan. Fawad is good too. Actresses? All the girls are working so well right now. I really liked Shehnaz Sheikh and Sania Saeed.

What advice would you give to young girls looking to become actresses?
Try and be yourself. Just try and explore yourself more and don’t try too hard. Acting is within you. Be patient.

Hair, Makeup, Styling & Photography by AKIF ILYAS

Good Times


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