Dynamic performers and quirky style stars, Iqra Aziz and Yasir Hussain are two of the most coveted actors of their generation
Ever since she made her debut with Kissey Apna Kahein in 2014, Iqra has continued to prove herself as a bankable actress with character-substantive roles. While this 21-year old starlet may appear petite and diminutive in person, her exceptional acting skills and uncontainable energy are her true strengths.
Yasir, the people’s artist, is an absolute livewire who wears multiple hats as an actor, talk show host and VJ. His ever-growing fan following can be credited to the ease with which he steps into each of his characters. From the depraved villain, to the unabashed romantic and the riotous comedian, he does it all with equal flair. With a lot being speculated about their work and personal lives, Sana Zehra sat these A-listers down for a casual chat.
We love your spunky sense of style. How do you plan your looks?
My looks are never planned, in fact itâ€™s almost always a last minute decision for me. Iâ€™m always struggling to put together a good outfit, with an appropriate hairstyle, makeup and accessories. Things are pretty disorganised for me in the fashion department, but thankfully, I always manage to wing it.
What are some of the biggest fashion faux pas youâ€™ve made in the past?
There have been quite a few to be honest. The one that Iâ€™ve repeated the most though is wearing ill-fitted clothes. They were always too oversized! I also faced a lot of criticism for a black, voluminous dress I wore to the second Hum Awards. I had never worn something like that before, so was pretty excited but faced a lot of backlash for my decision. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion though, so I didnâ€™t take it to heart.
Whatâ€™s the secret to your success?
Hard work and dedication. The passion I have for my work drives me to deliver the best I can, while my upbringing keeps me grounded enough to understand the responsibilities that come with fame. This is why I try to choose projects that have a strong message. To me, my professional standing is all due to the respect God blessed me with and I never want to take that for granted.
Whatâ€™s the most absurd rumour youâ€™ve heard about yourself?
That Iâ€™m engaged to be married to Affan Waheed! We were photographed while on set for a drama serial and when our co-star jokingly posted that image on her Instagram, everyone assumed we were a couple. Things really got blown out of proportion.
As a child, did you ever see yourself becoming an actor?
Not really. When I was younger the only two things I could picture myself doing in the future were either fashion design or banking. However, as soon as opportunities for acting arose, I was certain this was my true calling in life. Iâ€™m still pretty young though, so have time to explore different avenues. You never know what the future holds!
Which contemporaries of yours do you look up to?
Iâ€™m very fortunate to be surrounded by visionaries who are ambitious, encouraging and straightforward. Two people who top the list for me are my close friends, Hina Altaf and Yasir Hussain. Their drive and honesty inspires me every day. Both of them have stood by me as my pillars of support through all my struggles. Itâ€™s easy to connect with them because we all share the same belief system and path in life.
Would you ever accept a role in Bollywood? If yes, who would you like to work with?
If the script is good, then yes, definitely. I would love to work with Ranveer Singh.
You have a really fun Instagram with an ever growing following. How conscious are you about posting content responsibly?
Iâ€™m pretty conscious of the responsibility and have often wanted to address important issues. I do, however, think people need to be kinder and open to difference of opinion. Itâ€™s easy to sit behind a screen and ridicule others, but thatâ€™s not how constructive dialogue can ever develop.
Tell us about life at home.
My life at home is all about treasuring every moment spent with my mother and sister. Iâ€™ve grown up seeing these amazing, resilient women fight all odds to live a fulfilling life. They are the reason I am a strong individual who believes in dreaming big.
â€œNEPOTISM IS EVERYWHERE. NOT ONLY IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY, BUT EVERY OTHER INDUSTRY AS WELL. AM I BOTHERED BY IT? NOT AT ALLâ€ â€”YASIR
How has stardom impacted your life?
I started acting at an extremely young age, so itâ€™s hard to tell if the changes in my personality are due to stardom or just a natural result of growing up. Everyone evolves with age and so have I, but the fact that I struggled so much during these years may have made me more reserved than I would have been otherwise.
SHORT & SWEET
Whatâ€™s one thing youâ€™ve done that most people wouldnâ€™t believe?
I recently tried camping for the first time and hardly anyone would believe I actually enjoyed it.
Which one trait do you admire most in people?
A good sense of humour
Least favourite thing to eat?
Prawns and lobsterâ€”Iâ€™ve started to hate seafood.
The one role thatâ€™s closest to your heart?
Tabeer. I found it very challenging to portray her, butÂ believe doing so changed me as a person.
Last time you were in love?
Well, Iâ€™m in love right now
Do you follow a beauty regimen?
I wish I could say yes, but unfortunately, I donâ€™t. The last thing I remember doing to take care of my skin was apply a black charcoal mask and itÂ felt like I achieved the biggest feat possible.
If you had to choose, would you rather giveÂ up using social media or watching films/television?
Where do you see yourself 20 years from now?
Itâ€™s hard for me to predict what Iâ€™d be doing five yearsÂ from now, planning 20 years ahead is justÂ unthinkable!
Thereâ€™s lots being said about your relationshipÂ with Yasir. How come you havenâ€™t made any statement to clear the air? Iâ€™m still going to refrain from saying anything.
The characters you choose are always beautifully complex. How do you manage to portray them so effortlessly?
I find it very boring to play onedimensional characters, so always add in something to make them more relatable and distinct. For example, in Lahore Se Aagey, my character, Moti, had a speech problem.
Do you think nepotism exists within our entertainment industry? If yes, does it bother you?
Nepotism is everywhere. Not only in the entertainment industry, butÂ every other industry as well. Am I bothered by it? Not at all. Personally, I donâ€™tÂ find any harm in it. An actorâ€™s son will be an actor if he wants to and thereÂ is nothing wrong with that. At the end of the day, only hard work and talentÂ lead you to success.
â€œTHE PASSION I HAVE FOR MY WORK DRIVES ME TO DELIVER THE BEST I CAN, WHILE MY UPBRINGING KEEPS ME GROUNDED ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND THE RESPONSIBILITIES THAT COME WITH FAMEâ€ â€”IQRA
How does acting come so naturally to you? What is the process of delving into character like?
To be honest, Iâ€™m not sure. It just happens. I read the script, go over my lines and immediately understand the character. Method acting has never been my forte and I confess, I donâ€™t spend time researching much either. The most Iâ€™ve ever done is to go meet someone I was portraying.
What are you most excited about in 2019?
Iâ€™m really looking forward to Anwar Maqsoodâ€™s play Naach Na Janey and my movie Anghan Terha.
â€œPEOPLE NEED TO BE KINDER AND OPEN TO DIFFERENCE OF OPINION. IT’S EASY TO SIT BEHIND A SCREEN AND RIDICULE OTHERS BUT THAT’S NOT HOW CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE CAN EVER DEVLOPâ€
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Whatâ€™s an â€œold person thingâ€ you do?
Whatâ€™s the most important thing to rememberÂ when going out on a date?
There are three things actually: You must always carry cash, just in case your card doesnâ€™t work. You must have sufficient petrol in your car. You must make sure you go to a place your ex doesnâ€™t know about.
Last person you yelled at?
Well, technically heâ€™s not a person, but the only one IÂ can think of is my puppy, Mogambo. Why? He bit my housekeeper, Nadeem.
Worst thing you ate out of politeness?
I was invited to the Sri Lankan Ambassadorâ€™s residence,Â along with a couple of friends and theyÂ served us undercooked eggs with papadum. It wasÂ awful!
â€œEVERYONE EVOLVES WITH AGE AND SO HAVE I, BUT THE FACT THAT I STRUGGLED SO MUCH DURING THESE YEARS MAY HAVE MADE ME MORE RESERVED THAN I WOULD HAVE BEEN OTHERWISEâ€ â€” IQRA
Whatâ€™s one thing about you that all yourÂ friends would vouch for?
That I always speak the truth
Which Pakistani actor do you think shouldÂ portray you in your biopic?
If you werenâ€™t an artist, what would you beÂ doing?
I would have been a doctor
If you could switch wardrobes with aÂ fictional character, who would you pick?
Mogambo, played by the late Amrish Puri in Mr. India
A project youâ€™d like to star in oppositeÂ Iqra?
How sweet! Time to address the elephant inÂ the room: are you and Iqra dating?
Iâ€™ll let you and your readers keep guessing!