Which artist inspired you the most growing up?
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – may seem a tad strange because I didnt grow up to be a singer or a composer but I really felt his music and thats where I learnt the most important thing about doing life, feel it or leave it.
What’s something you learned early on in your career that made you a better artist?
Every dog has its day 🙂 everything you do is not the best just because its YOUR best effort. Sometimes you ll bomb sometimes you ll get a standing ovation. Neither defines you, these are just passing reactions to what you did on a certain day, the only thing that defines you is how consistently you get up, dress up, show up, and give it all you got till your number is up.
What’s an important cause or issue you support?
Education, specially for women. I firmly believe that educating a woman is equivalent to educating an entire generation. I try to fund atleast a couple of female students individually at any given time to do my bit but I would definitely want to expand this initiative to an organizational level in the futute.
After the success of “Churails” being a director is another feather in your cap. Please share some details about your two new projects as a director.
I found out I am expecting my first child a month after the launch of Churails and while I was quickly wrapping up my prior acting commitments one of which was Dil Naumeed tou nahi directed by Kashif Nisaar and wondering what do I do next that he spoke to me about a new channel in the making and suggested I should work with him as a director since he ll be producing multiple serials for them. With all due respect I wasn’t looking to do regular tv narrative but then he explained to me the philosophy of Green and it resonated with me, it seemed like the only chance to experiment or breathe for that matter and rightly so because who else was going to let me make Working Women .. lol .. its ridiculous that we have been making female centric narrative ‘apparently’ for over two decades now and we have never made a serial called Working Women, we have hardly explored the very complex work lives of women in multiple professions specially recently since romantic love is the only prominent theme on tv regardless of the plot/genre. And the way Bee Gul has dived into it and navigatives us through a chapter in the lives of 6 different women trying to make it in a man’s world with so much sensitivity and detail will definitely be an experience and a half to watch if I have done justice to the direction bit 🙂
As I got a handle on life with a baby the script for Shanaas found me which is an emotional thriller and required an altogether different aesthetic and sensibility yet again a mostly outdoor shoot during Karachi summers but I am not complaining 🙂 its been a lot of fun and I ll happily do it again as long as I keep finding good stories to tell.
We all know that Yasra also loves to write and you wrote your first drama 2018 and also acted in it. How was your experience?
I love to express, to voice ideas and I am blessed that I can do it in multiple ways, writing is definitely a favorite because it involves zero people and when its just you and the pen everything is raw and pure, nothing beats that. Ustani jee was a series I wrote for Hum and played the titular character aswell. It was very liberating because this was your regular college lecturer, single woman, very rooted in our culture, out there in the world saving other women. I thought if we must cater to the damsel in distress narrative then lets just also simultaneously explore that heroic strong female character we often come across in our communities and families who has the courage to stand up to injustice as well. If a woman can be a victim she can also be the savior.
Describe your acting style.
Method, method and only method.
Of all the roles you have played in the past, which is your favorite? And why?
I had most fun playing Baji Irshaad which was also my directorial debut for television. I played a punjabi christian housemaid. It was hilarious and very cute since punjabi is my mother tongue I had a ball with improvization. Simply loved the character itself and how free I felt with it.
Have you progressed in your acting career as you have expected?
I have progressed as Yasra Rizvi beyond my expectations and in spite of always swimming against the current the rest is just detail 🙂
With you having a deep interest in poetry, please share some of your favourite lines with us.
Samjha raha tha jab .. aap ko main kon hoon .. Tabhi aap ko samajh gaya tha main 🙂
Label: AMK Libaas
Artist: Yasra Rizvi
Creative Head: Aysha Mohsin
Photographs: Mohsin Khawar
Hair & Makeup: Maham Gull
PR & Coordination: Alchemists