Juggling two vocations side by side can be a challenge but showbiz veteran Angeline Malik, who has directed and acted in many mainstream dramas as well as founded the social movement #InkaarKaro, makes it all seem effortless. Helping victims of injustice find their voice, she successfully transverses the glamorous make-believe world of showbiz and the harsher reality of everyday life. Angeline tells Haider Rifaat what drives her “People offer me complex characters simply because of my looks”

What best describes you?

It is very hard to describe oneself but I would say I am a visionary and a storyteller. I am passionate about whatever I plan on doing.

Tell us about your family and heritage.

My father was a professor and an ophthalmologist. My mother was from India. While she was visiting Pakistan, they fell in love. It is actually a beautiful love story that I might get a chance to tell one day.

Were you more inclined towards acting or direction in the beginning of your career?

I was always inclined towards direction. As a director, I can tell my stories and share my experiences. I interpret the script and regulate most of its creative aspects. I personally find it more challenging. It can emotionally drain you for sure.

You hold a double Masters, one in Fine Arts and the other in Computer Imaging and Animation. With such an impressive education background, why did you choose performing arts as a profession?

I was always into direction and acting was just a stepping-stone for me. Animation helped me hone all my skills from scripting, creating characters to lighting, camera work and editing.

You are a standout actor in my opinion. How do you step into the shoes of a fictional character who is the complete opposite of you?

First off, you have to be very sensitive and aware of everything around you. You need to trust that character for you to become that person.

With acting, do you think you are changing perceptions of Pakistanis in view of beauty and desirability of a “pretty faced” actor?

I don’t feel as though I am a typical, pretty faced actor and I am glad that I am not. People offer me complex characters simply because of my looks. From a personal view, I prefer casting faces that intrigue me the most and not someone who is just pretty.

Would you rather play negative or heroic characters for the rest of your life?

Definitely, negative characters! I feel such roles have more depth and villains drive the success of most projects.

Is there any actor you would like to work with in the future?

If only wishes come true. The list is endless.

What are your new and current projects? Talk to us about #InkaarKaro. What is your role in the movement and why should people know about it?

My productions are in the pipeline. I recently performed in the film Kalasha. I worked as a creative producer for Saqib Malik’s movie Baaji. Both projects will release middle of next year. Currently, my focus is on the movement #InkaarKaro. I initiated the movement but I need likeminded people to take it further with me. If I have started something, I have to see it through. Hence, it is very important for people to know about it.

Have you been a victim of harassment or violence?

If you would ask women that question, 93 per cent of them would say yes. I fall in that percentage.

Is harassment an issue restricted to women only? What about men? Why are men immediately accused if any form of harassment takes place?

Harassment is not only limited to women; men face it as well. However, women are more likely to be victims because they are vulnerable and generally lack the power men have.

Our society and state of mind cannot change unless we address the fundamental problem, which is to teach people how to say NO, and there is nothing wrong in saying no. If you give people confidence, they will not allow themselves to be victims anymore.

As you know, #MeToo is a platform for victims to come out of their shell and express their stories. However, do false allegations contradict the very essence of this movement? What are your thoughts?

It is very rare for anyone to come out with false allegations. I am not saying it does not happen but we are aware of its consequences: pressure, shame and blame. I strongly believe someone in their right mind who has not gone through it would want to face such consequences.

Are you drawn to fashion? What is a fashion fail in your view?

To me, fashion is more like wearing whatever you like and being comfortable in it. That on its own becomes a fashion statement.

How do you spend your leisure time?

I spend a lot of time with my dogs. They give me solace.

What is your star sign and to what degree do you believe in astrology? Does it define your personality in some way?

I am a Cancerian. To some extent, I think it does define one’s personality. We are loyal and hard on the outside but soft on the inside, emotional, sensitive and creative. We keep certain people close. My friends and family can tell you how much this holds true.

What trait or quality about people do you dislike the most?

I believe in energies. We know that no one is perfect. We need to be honest with ourselves and with everyone around us.

What things in life inspire you?

Ideas and the possibilities to make them happen.

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