Sonya Hussyn defies the criteria of beauty in Pakistan.
She walks in her truth and embraces the perfect version of herself.
The star of the highly anticipated period drama Aangan,
Sonya shares her story with Haider Rifaat
Describe yourself in a few words.
Intuitive, somewhat indecisive and a self-proclaimed fashionista!
What kind of household did you grow up in?
A very liberal household where open conversations and dreaming big were the norm and heavily encouraged. I grew up in a family that not only provided me with wings to fly, but also taught me how to fly.
Has your family been supportive of your career?
They always have. My mother was my first ever stylist. She was very particular about how I carried myself and was open to what I wanted out of life. The same goes for the rest of my family. Not only have they been by my side, they take immense pride in where I am today, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Are you camera-shy? What was your initial response to seeing yourself on the screen?
I donâ€™t think I was camera-shy but I was most certainly unaware of how the camera worked, and how brutal it can be. It was after I had seen myself on-reel that I realized I could do much better. I wouldnâ€™t say I became more self-conscious but I was definitely better equipped to face the camera with much more assurance.
Are you a directorâ€™s actor or a spontaneous one?
I think I am a bit of both. I do walk in on a set hoping that Iâ€™ll be able to approach the character how I have perceived it over script readings. I am also a very keen listener and open to all kinds of ideas. The director is undoubtedly the captain of the ship, and he/she knows best. I cannot deny that some of my greatest performances have been with a directorâ€™s vision, someone who listens and directs.
â€œEmbrace the lightâ€
Where can we see you next?
You will get to see me in Aangan on your TV screens very soon, and Sorry: A Love Story in the cinemas.
What role changed your life?
In and as Nazo.
Your response to people comparing you with Priyanka Chopra?
I donâ€™t entirely find it bizarre, for Priyanka Chopra is truly very inspiring but I think we are very different from each other. I do admire how she has grown as a person and performer over the years.
sonya is said to resmeble Priyanka chopra
Why do women find the need to change their appearance in this and every other industry?
It has a lot to do with how women are required for projection. For centuries, beauty standards for women, particularly in showbiz, have been unreal and unacceptable. I enjoy dressing up and putting on makeup, but I do it for myself, and not to fit into what people expect of me. Itâ€™s about time we look beyond appearances. Do notice and appreciate people apart from their looks.
A message to your critics?
I truly value constructive criticism. It honestly helps me grow. However, I do believe in paying the devil no mind. Embrace the light.
Do you take television and film critics seriously?
I do if I know it is coming from a place that is constructive and will help me hone my craft. If there are other vendettas for criticism, I donâ€™t bother pondering over it.
â€œI grew up in a family that not only provided me with wings to fly, but also taught me how to flyâ€
A motto you live by?
Be yourself with no pretense whatsoever
Whatâ€™s your success mantra?
I think being able to trust my instincts with scripts that I end up choosing. Itâ€™s always a gamble. You never know how well a project may perform, one has to take a leap of faith.
Which colour defines your personality. Why?
White as itâ€™s a spiritual colour
What gives you confidence?
My family and self-belief
This lovely starlet is still searching for her soulmate
What do you look for in a soul mate?
Somebody who can complete my sentences and who knows the person I am inside out; someone who I can live and celebrate my imperfections with. I know it is a struggle finding a soulmate, but I am not someone who gives up easily.
How do you keep fit?
Consistent and persistent workout and a healthy diet
Is casting couch an issue in Pakistan?
The casting coach is most definitely an issue in Pakistan. Itâ€™s not the predominant state of being otherwise people like myself wouldnâ€™t have been able to survive in the fraternity. Nonetheless, I feel that both men and women are taken for a ride, in all professions and walks of life.
It is appalling and extremely unfortunate, but things are getting better with time. With recent movements and freedom of speech, we are all more equipped and I am glad that the perpetrators are being called out. It is about time we realize what fair and just work is.
Is free will real or an illusion?
Free will has been a reality for me. As long as I can remember, my family was very accepting and open to however I wanted to lead my life. I know it is not the case with most people in our country, or even across the globe, but I truly believe in the phrase, â€œto each, his own.â€
What should be the goal of humanity?
As clichÃ©d as it may sound, itâ€™s simply, live and let live.
Where does oneâ€™s self-worth come from?
It comes from within â€” to believe that you are worth everything that is good in the world and you are at the top of your game. It is self-doubt that kills you!
What is art to you?
What gives you solace?
My family and the contentment that comes with being able to live my dream.
What would you like to say to your devoted fan base?
I am most grateful for the love my fans shower me with each time. They keep telling me how I need to work more and their support keeps me going.
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