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Faran Tahir’s career spans diverse roles, from Shakespeare’s Othello to a concerned Syrian father seeking refuge with his family, a playboy arms dealer, and the iconic Captain Nemo. As one of the few Pakistani actors in Hollywood, Faran is known for his humility, compassion, and drive. Transitioning from theater to the big screen, he shares insights into life in Hollywood, his early career journey, aspirations for the future, and his latest role in
the Pakistani film UmroAyyar.

HOW DID YOU FIND THE TRANSITION BETWEEN WORKING IN HOLLYWOOD AND PAKISTAN’S FILM INDUSTRY? WERE THERE ANY MAJOR DIFFERENCES IN YOUR EXPERIENCES?

Of course there are many distinct differences between working in Hollywood and working in Pakistan. Hollywood industry being way more established and having a much larger history has more resources and bigger budgets for these ventures. And to be able to work with those people who are the crème of the creme and learning from them was a wonderful opportunity. But at the same time working in Pakistan which is a very different industry, one has to honour the rules and regulations of any industry that you work in. Although Pakistan has fewer resources but I think the creativity in Pakistan is beyond imagination and because of that working with people and trying to find solutions together is a wonderful learning experience.

WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE CHALLENGES AND REWARDS OF WORKING IN BOTH INDUSTRIES?

Both industries have their own challenges. For me the biggest challenge of working in Hollywood was to keep trying to find roles that showed me in a diversified way. And I’m not stereotyped which can happen in an industry which has limited offerings for characters and people like me. On the other hand in Pakistan the challenge is always been structural things. USA is way more structured. To be able to make your way through and have enough focus on what you’re trying to do has always been a challenge for me.

WE HAVE HEARD YOU TALK BEFORE ABOUT BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN THE GLOBAL MARKET CONTENT AND DOMESTIC MARKET CONTENT NOW THAT YOU HAVE WORKED IN PAKISTAN, DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS TO EXPAND YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN PAKISTANI ENTERTAINMENT?

Having working in Pakistan I was very encouraged by Pakistan film industry. I think it’s high time we share our stories with the global market. Keeping that in mind I’m setting up my own company. Which is a production house make Pakistan which is my home my base. And keep a foot in both industries and push the envelope and
see if we can do some meaningful work. I would like to keep both the careers alive at the same time.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR ROLE IN UMROAYYAR AND HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH THE CAST AND CREW?

My experience of working at UmroAyyar was nothing short of being absolutely wonderful. The cast and crew became a family. We were trying to do something that was new and original. And because of that there was such camaraderie between the crew. And I will take this with me a jewel of a memory for the rest of my life

CAN YOU SHARE A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE OR ANECDOTE FROM WORKING ON A HOLLYWOOD PRODUCTION VERSUS A PAKISTANI PRODUCTION?

One of the funniest annectodes of my work life in Hollywood was when a director got up and decided to show me how to act like a Pakistani. It was hilarious, frustrating and maddening at the same time. On the Pakistani side, I was once asked to come and direct a high fantasy project and I was sure there would be a studio for me to do it. After getting to Pakistan, I was told that the studio that the studio had not even been constructed yet.
Which created a lot of problems. It was hilarious and very frustrating at the same time.

HOW DO YOU APPROACH ROLES DIFFERENTLY BASED ON CULTURAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HOLLYWOOD AND PAKISTANI CINEMA?

I think regardless of which cinema or industry you’re working in, each character is unique and therefore we
must stay honest to what the characters requirements are. I always approach a character from a unique perspective. Sometimes my Pakistani culture my heritage plays a big part in it. Sometimes it plays a small part in it. And yet it is always a part of of me. So when I work in Hollywood, that uniqueness of my Pakistani experience is a part of my rendition and my approach to the character. But when I work in Pakistan some of my experience
from the US also trickles into my characters.

WHAT DO YOU THINK EACH INDUSTRY CAN LEARN FROM THE OTHER IN TERMS OF FILMMAKING TECHNIQUES OR STORYTELLING?

I think both industries have a lot to offer to each other. Obviously because the west is more advanced in the technology I think Pakistani industry will benefit from learning the technique and ways that are now being used in global story telling. By the same token we Pakistanis have some unique stories which need to be shared with the world and I think it would be a wonderful addition to the world art scene if we can also bring our stories to the forefront.

HOW HAS YOUR BACKGROUND INFLUENCED YOUR ACTING STYLE AND THE ROLES YOU CHOOSE TO PLAY?

I have been very fortunate to have had a wonderful education and training in performing arts. Which always helps me in crafting my characters. On the technical side that is a wonderful blessing, on the artistic side I think my acting style has a lot to do with my heritage and my own experience. I always try to bring something new something different, something more human to every character that I play.

ARE THERE SPECIFIC GENRES OR TYPES OF ROLES YOU PREFER IN ONE INDUSTRY OVER THE OTHER?

I actually focus on story telling and therefore to me all roles are wonderful challenges as long as the story requires it. I don’t make no distinction between roles or industries. I always look for the best story that we can tell.

HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF PAKISTANI CINEMA EVOLVING, ESPECIALLY IN RELATION TO ITS INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE?

I think Pakistan has a lot to offer. The problem that we have had so far is that we have only explored limited genres of story telling. In order to have a more global presence we would expand our exploration into other genres, other issues and other kind of movies. The strength of any industry is the variety of content that they product and I think we are at the right time and right moment to do those explorations in Pakistani cinema.

ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR DIRECTORS OR ACTORS FROM EITHER INDUSTRY THAT YOU PARTICULARLY ADMIRE OR WOULD LIKE TO WORK WITH IN THE FUTURE?

There are some wonderful creators in this world and I make it a point to work with people who elevate my
craft. There are wonderful directors and actors across the world and I hope I can get the chance to work
with as many as I possibly can.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING ACTORS LOOKING TO WORK IN BOTH HOLLYWOOD AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL FILM INDUSTRIES?

My advice to all aspiring actors is to always dream big but never shy away from the hard work that goes into achieving those dreams. If our Pakistani actors want to work outside it would be to our benefit if we keep the training and have all the skills and tools that we might require to work in an international industry.

offering films television documentaries events short films and commercials. We’re hoping that by doing so we can elevate pakistans industry and bring more of an international viewership to our content. We will be in operation in about three months and we’re hoping we can take this industry to the next level.

AFTER YOUR RECENT PROJECT, HOW DO YOU ENVISION WHAT TYPES OF CHARACTERS WOULD YOU LIKE TO EXPLORE IN PAKISTAN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY?

Having worked in Pakistan I would like to explore more varied characters than what we have currently being offered on screen. I would like to focus more on issues and storylines that are different than just domestic issues. We can bring light to other issues and other kind of characters and people will identify with these kind of
characters and story lines.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR PERFECT SCENARIO IF YOU COULD BALANCE YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN THE TWO INDUSTRIES?

I would really like to explore wonderful challenges in both industries and if I could have my choice I would much rather

Photography: MOHSIN KHAWAR

Makeup: PARAGON SALON

Location: ANDAZ RESTAURANT

Shoaib has stunned us with his makeup transformations and has become one of the favourite makeup artist in town for both brides and fashion editorials.

Shoaib you are known for your unrealistic yet jaw dropping makeup transformations. Tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to become a makeup artist?

I am a very simple, friendly and fun guy. I get along with people easily and that’s probably because I was brought up in a joint family where all your elders teach you to be polite and considerate.  My inspiration of becoming a makeup artist was a wedding I attended in my childhood. When the bride arrived I almost did not recognize her though she was a very close family member. That day I knew I wanted to know what sorcery that was and I knew I wanted to become a powerful wizard.

Some of your transformation looks of late Madam Noor Jahan got a lot of attention on your social media, do you think this and may other transformation looks were a turning point in your career?

Thank you for your appreciation. I do these looks for myself to be honest. I challenge myself and then I try to live upto it and by the grace of the Almighty, I have been successful so far. I can’t say if these looks were the turning point in my career but I received a lot of recognition and love because of them.

Shoaib we saw you dancing your heart out at Ahl-e-Dil; tell us about how you ended up learning classical dance and do you plan to excel your career in this field of art as well?

I have always been into visual and performing arts. I believe that dance is a medium that connects you with your soul. I needed a platform for my connection and Ahl-e-Dil and the Colony gave me exactly that. I would like to pay my gratitude to Fatima Amjad for believing in me and encouraging me all the way. It sure is something very close to my heart but it’s not a career option for me.

Congratulations on opening up your own makeup studio. Tell us about the challenges you had to go through to reach this point and how do you feel after achieving this milestone?

Well, every startup has its challenges and excitement, mine has too but I am very thankful to Allah for all His blessings including this one. I feel grateful but at the same time I believe that “Abhi Ishq Ke Imtihan Aur Bhi Hain”.

Spring wedding season is just around the corner, what do you think will be the ‘spring makeup’ trend?

Spring is all about blossoming and embracing yourself for who you are, and so will be the makeup trend in the spring. Minimalistic makeup and pink tones.

What color palette would be trending for spring bridals and which colours should be avoided?

Pinks, hands down. pastel, subtle, shimmery; all pinks.  Avoid darker shades of lilac, maroon and browns in the spring.

Your three favourite makeup products

Three things that can be sufficient for basic makeup are probably my favorite things too. An eyebrow kit, a lash curler, and a tint for lips and cheeks.

What unique techniques do you use to enhance a client’s natural features?

The only technique that I religiously follow is minimalism. My mantra is “Less is more” and that’s what I do.

Describe a makeup look you created that received significant media attention.

The natural dewy no make look I suppose. That look got me a lot of attention on social media and 9 out of 10 clients ask me for that look.

Share an experience when you had to create a look based on specific character requirements for a film or TV show.

I have not done any TV show or film yet, however when I created my very first look of Maleficent, I worked on some specialized makeup techniques. People loved the look and then I did several more as you mention Madam Noor Jahan, Ma’am Rani, Depika Padokon, Haleema Sultan and Sohail Warraich. Yes I did a Sohail Waraich look as well.

How do you stay updated with the latest trends in the beauty industry?

I keep an eye on international makeup trends. I follow globally renowned makeup artists and I seriously rely on continuing professional development.

Any advice for all the bride-to-Be’s

Dear Brideto-be, please dont stress yourself unnecessarily, take care of your diet and go for a minimal, more natural makeup look.

Aaleen recently completed her Dressage lessons Level 1 from the Emirates Equestrian Centre in Dubai and will be continuing her training there.

“It is my dream to represent Pakistan in the Grand Prix and bring home a gold medal for my country IA. I have taken the first step towards my dream to make it come true & IA make it into a reality in the near future. Please keep me in your prayers & support me with your well wishes”

Aaleen you have the honour of being the only upcoming female dressage rider in the history of Pakistan; tell us a bit about yourself

Hi,my name is Syeda Aaleen Bokhari and I’ve been riding since the age of 5. I’m a horse enthusiast or you can say a horse fanatic. I have learn’t my basic riding from Pakistan Rangers.

My father whose my very first coach/trainer is himself a very keen horseback rider and a Tent Pegger from his school days at Aitchison College. It was he who engraved Dressage into my head and my heart as a child. Telling me stories of Royal School of Vienna which is one of the best Dressage schools out of the four pillars.

So here i am today turning my dreams into a reality Alhamdulillah with the support of my parents and both my phupho’s.

What is the concept of dressage?

The word “Dressage” means training in French. The main concept of Dressage is to make the horse move in precise movements from barely showing signals from it’s rider. It’s a next level form of trust and bond between the two.

The rider is responsible for building it’s muscles to it’s fullest potential. A Dressage rider is supposed to train his/ her horse to be calm yet confident. To be submissive yet attentive and to have a unique bond with it’s rider.

Like the famous term goes “Dressage is like a ballet on a horse back.”

What is the difference between a horse rider and a dressage rider?

The difference between a normal rider and a Dressage rider is vast i.e a dressage rider like i explained before has to build the horse from scratch and take it to it’s full potential. Dressage is the highest expression of horse training.

Where as the normal rider is supposed to have a seat ( how to sit on a horse) to learn how to hold reins and how to balance himself/ herself on a horse. From basics you go into professionalism.

Why horses? And What was your riding “career” like as a kid?

Horses, horse riding and horse breeding all run in my blood. The passion for horses was something I inherited from both my paternal and maternal side. I find horses to be such unique,elegant and beautiful beings that they captivated my heart since i was a child and still do. I was just a basic rider like everyone else as a kid and that’s how it all started.

What was your FIRST favorite horse breed – the one you loved most now and as a kid?

My most favourite breed is a Fresian. The one i love now is Mr Medici a “Thoroughbred “who is a Hong Kong derby champion and belongs to one of maternal grandmother’s.

A horse named Toofan (Half bred) at Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) was my horse whom i rode as a kid.

If you could ride with any trainer in the world, ASIDE from your current trainer, who would it be?

Ofcourse It will be Charlotte Dujardin and Patrick kittle .

Tell us about the training challenges you have to face and how do you overcome them?

Getting trained for dressage is not easy at all. I have to remember all the meters and the alphabets. It’s like doing algebra all over again mentally without a paper and pen. Everytime i feel or felt that I’m doing something wrong i would come home and draw it on a paper to memorise it. If i make one wrong move i would have to do it all over again because i have to be perfect with the alphabets and the meters. There is absolutely no room for mistakes.

Tell us about your favourite horse and your relationship with it

Mr Medici (medo) i can go on and on about him. He is my love at first sight. I even have a tattoo of him on my arm haha.  He is my rottweiler in a horse’s body as he is so possessive and protective about me. He is my Break through after the bad fall i had as a child and i completely stopped riding. He trusted me before i trusted him. He made me realise that i shouldn’t let my fears get into my way. I treat him as my child. Every year i specially travel to Murree just to meet him in the summers. I can do just about anything and everything for him like  grooming him from head to toe or cleaning up his pellets without even remotely  feeling gross about it. He is my son and i love him to all the galaxies and back. It is a never ending love story.

What is one item on your horse-related bucket list?

“Maybach saddles” they are just pure love.

How was your experience at Dubai Emirates Equestrian Centre?

My experience in Dubai Emirates Equestrian Centre was absolutely amazing. I got to meet people from all over the world with different stories and experiences. My Spanish coach “Mr Alonso” who mostly trains for competitions gave me a very tough time in the arena as he is ex military. Once i fainted also. As at time’s i have back to back “45mins each” classes and that particular day i didn’t even get a 5 minute break to catch my breath. So yes my coach has definitely made me stronger and more confident with myself and my riding.

What do you do when you are not training or spending time with the horses?

As I am not training presently, i will be training others at Lahore Polo Club as a trainer to teach  basic and advanced riding. I want to train my students properly as I’m very particular about horses and riding. So basically there is not a day when I’m without a horse lol.

What is Aaleen’s day like?!

As ironic as this might sound but it’s the truth …I’m a sloth at home lol. I love being in bed scrolling through insta and listening to music as everyone else. My daily step count is max 48 steps lol.

Where do you see yourself as a dressage rider in the upcoming five years?

First and foremostly i see myself  completing all of my dressage levels INSHALLAH by the will of Allah swt and the prayers of my loved ones especially (My Fato pho) without whom i would not be where i am today. If not this year then definitely next year i will be competing in an international competition INSHALLAH. It is my dream and wish to win a gold medal in the Grand Prix for Pakistan INSHALLAH and hold the Pakistani flag really high.

Any advice for all the female aspiring dressage riders?

For all the girls out there. Never give up on your dreams or your passion. Ignore all the superstitious talks that exist about horse back riding and do it without even thinking. There will be bad days but never give up. Even if you fall get back on the horse. Never let your fear take away your dreams.

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