The celebrity couple of the hour, Zara Noor Abbas and Asad Siddiqui, have arrived with their new movie Chhalawa. Sana Zehra catches up with them to talk about their success, while Arsalan Bilgrami captures them styling uber cool outfits from Zasimo, a multi-brand store that stocks authentic international brands such as New Look, Quiz, Vera Moda, Burton and Dorothy Perkins
What was it like growing up surrounded by art and visual storytelling?
The environment I grew up in is what developed my interest in the arts and also became the reason why I chose to study filmmaking. Iâ€™ve always felt that it all came quite naturally to me.
While youâ€™ve always had central roles in drama serials, you will be playing second lead in your debut movie, Chhalawa. What made you sign the project?
The character I play is perhaps the most impactful one in the film and thatâ€™s what made me sign on the role. Â Even though this is my first movie to be released, itâ€™s the second I signed. I was quite delighted to be working with Asad. He is truly my reel and real life hero and to work with him has been a dream come true.
â€œThe character I play is perhaps the most impactful one in the filmâ€
What does stardom mean to you?Â
Itâ€™s all about talent. If you have it and hone it, youâ€™ll definitely achieve your goals.
What kind of roles excite you as an actor?
Roles that challenge me and push me away from my comfort zone have always excited me.
What is the best advice on life, work or relationships that youâ€™ve recieved from your mother?
My mother always taught me to never compromise on self-respect and always prioritise relationships over work.
Do you get time to nurture your relationship with yourself?
â€œMy mother always taught me to never compromise on self-respect and always prioritise relationships over workâ€
Well, not that often. I do however, make sure I visit my family in Lahore to unwind and reconnect with my roots before starting a new project.
One memorable moment from set ?
I donâ€™t think I can pinpoint any particular moment. Weâ€™ve had a great time shooting the film and every moment has been memorable.
Would you ever consider getting directed by Asad?
Of course! Iâ€™d love to.
Critics have nothing but rave reviews for your acting. How hard did you have to work to achieve the appreciation?
Well, Iâ€™ve worked and danced even when I couldnâ€™t get out of bed. I suffered chronic back pain in my teens and underwent regular physiotherapy for it. My doctors told me Iâ€™d be paralysed if I didnâ€™t stop dancing. Itâ€™s been a long and trying road, but my dedication has paid off.
Youâ€™re a close-knit family despite being in the middle of a competitive industry. Whatâ€™s the secret?
You just have to get your priorities straight and then allâ€™s well.
Why should anyone watch Chhalawa?
Because itâ€™s a great film. Period.
Canâ€™t disclose right now.
One word for Paparazzi
Ever endorse a fairness cream?
Favourite thing to indulge in?
Your favourite fragrance
Best ending (movie or book)
Titanic and Devdas. Timeless.
Whatâ€™s the one thing you look forward to in your personal life?
Having a family
Least favourite household chore
Cleaning my cupboards
Do you feel connected to the characters you portray?
Yes, of course. I never accept a role that I canâ€™t connect with.
Does moving on from one character to another require a lot of unlearning?
Yes, it does. But itâ€™s easy for me to detach myself from a character once Iâ€™m done portraying it, so itâ€™s not very complicated.
How do you define success for yourself?
Being respected by my fans, while remaining humble and grounded.
Is there a difference between being a â€œstarâ€ and an â€œactor?â€
Not really â€” I feel like these are just titles. Itâ€™s all about where your work takes you.
Would you ever consider writing? If yes, what genre?
No, I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll ever write. However, Iâ€™d love to produce.
Whatâ€™s the worst question youâ€™ve been asked about Chhalawa?
Luckily, nothing so far that Iâ€™d deem to be negative.
Whatâ€™s your dream role?
Iâ€™d love to embody the role of someone fromthe medieval era, but in the armed forces. Perhaps a Viking, or someone from the Roman Empire.
â€œNothing should get stuck to your head â€” things come and go. I’m glad that this understanding has made me a calm and easy-going personâ€
Whatâ€™s the most important lesson youâ€™ve learnt so far?
Nothing should get stuck to your head â€” things come and go. Iâ€™m glad that this understanding has made me a calm and easy-going person.
Is there an offer you wish you would have taken but didnâ€™t?
Nope, no regrets.
Whatâ€™s the best thing Zara has told you after watching your work?
Zara once told me that she thinks Iâ€™m going to be the biggest actor in the world. Sheâ€™s my wife so she says such things. I donâ€™t really believe her.
How do you deal with criticism?
I donâ€™t take it to heart. I come home, watch a TV show or spend time with my parents and thatâ€™s it. I brush off negative energy.
What was working with Zara like?
Zara is a phenomenal actress. Sheâ€™s an amazing co-star and a real prankster.
What did you learn from the team on set?
â€œZara is a phenomenal actress. She’s an amazing co-star and a real pranksterâ€
Team Chhalawa consisted of a very spirited and talented group of people. Itâ€™s been a great experience learning the beauty of operating as one unit.
Millennials and masses relate well with you and Zara. Does that put pressure on you to be mindful of your public persona?
No pressure, we just like to portray who we really are.
Whatâ€™s your motto?
Take it easy, every step of the way.
Whatâ€™s the biggest different between Zara and your personalities?
Iâ€™ve accepted her as a very emotional girl and sheâ€™s accepted the fact that Iâ€™m not â€” that balance is working out great.
Tell us why we should watch Chhalawa?
Because its my film with Zara!
Last three things your credit card statement?
Netflix subscription, a pair of shoes and I donâ€™t remember the third. Maybe fuel
Go-to shower song?
Thanday thanday paani say nahaana chahye! Gaana aye ya na aye gaana chahye!
Which one of the seven deadly sins are you guilty of?
Any charities youâ€™re associated with?
No fixed association yet, but I do what I can
Any superstition you believe in?
I believe in the evil eye
Your idea of a perfect date with Zara?
As long as Zara is there, itâ€™s all I need
Favourite household chore?
Getting lights fixed
One thing every man should stay away from?
Bringing other people down
Coordination: Sana Zehra
Zaraâ€™s hair & make-up: Hadi @ Nabila
Asadâ€™s grooming: Nadeem William @ A-List
Stylist: Ehtesham Ansari
Jewellery: Allure by MHT
Photography: Arsalan Bilgrami @ a.bilgrami studio
Fans worldwide enjoy Spanish DJ and producer Danny Avilaâ€™s music. Cited as the ‘one to watch’ by Billboard magazine and MTV, he gives Haider Rifaat a glimpse into his music life
Tell us about your new song and its theme.
My most recent release Thinking About You is the first track from my new label NUMB3R5. I wanted to release it on my birthday because Iâ€™m able to express myself openly with this song. It encapsulates the sound Iâ€™ve been working on for the past two years.
Describe your DJ-ing style.
Good vibes. I just adore electronic music and am open to different genres. I suppose you can understand my style better after listening to my tracks and DJ sets.
When did you first connect with music?
As a teenager. I was obsessed and it wasnâ€™t an option for me to not work in music. Itâ€™s all I ever wanted to do. The day I learnt how to produce, I didnâ€™t want to stop.
You recently performed in Pakistan. How was the experience?
I had such a great time. Thanks so much to the crowd for being energetic. They seemed to have had as much fun as I did.
How are you managing such a tiresome touring schedule?
It takes getting used to, but I love it so much. I wouldnâ€™t have it any other way. I enjoy meeting new people and seeing beautiful places. Itâ€™s a blessing.
â€œTiÃ«sto is one of the greatest people in the music fraternity for sure. I have immense respect for himâ€
How do you keep up with your fast-paced life as a DJ?
By producing music that I want to listen to. Besides, I find some way to make my hectic routine fun. It may sound strange but it is true.
What does your music collection consist of ?
It comprises of tracks that I would want to hear on a night out or at the gym. I enjoy energeticÂ music that relaxes me and makes me feel good about myself.
What key components do you consider while producing music ?
The details and sound of music on speakers. Itâ€™s good to keep that in mind.
What essential elements should a song have for it to be a masterpiece ?
A massive hook.
Which remixes do you usually play for a mass audience ?
It depends what kind of music Iâ€™m into that week.
Whatâ€™s your go-to jam ?
Iâ€™m constantly playing my track Too Good to Be True with Machine Gun Kelly and The Vamps.
What was it like working with music legend TiÃ«sto ? Â
As epic as Iâ€™d expected it to be. He is a real mentor. TiÃ«sto is one of the greatest people in the music fraternity for sure. I have immense respect for him.
An artist you want to team up with in the future ?
There are many artists Iâ€™d love to work with, such as Post Malone. He is impressive.
Whatâ€™s keeping you busy these days ?
Everything â€“ I love to be busy. If Iâ€™m not on tour, I prefer working out or writing my new tune.
Is there an album in the pipeline ?
Iâ€™ll let you know if there is, but not at the moment. Right now, my prime focus is single releases in the club and commercial world with Sony Music.
Which performance of yours has been the most memorable ? Â
There are plenty; Tomorrowland, Airbeat One and Untold Festival. It feels great to perform for massive crowds.
Do you feel any difference performing at home versus abroad ?
Definitely. I think every country I go to has a different vibe.
What distinguishes Spanish music from mainstream music ?
Spanish music is very mainstream nowadays. There is Latin hype everywhere and Bad Bunny is just one example of a good Spanish artist.
How do you unwind ?
I love to wakeboard. I wish I had more time for it.
What are your plans for this year ?
Music, music and more music. So much stuff is yet to come that I canâ€™t wait to share with you all.
Inspired by a philosophical concept of Jean-Jacques Rousseau that refers to self-love and true to Hira Aliâ€™s aesthetic, the collection presents silhouettes that are modern, presenting fashion that does not limit wearers but rather creates a coming together of tradition, splendour and contemporary style.
Models: Zara Peerzada & Anushka Qizilbash
Styling: Haiya Bokhari
Photography: Maham Iqbal Bosan
Videography: Zain Abid
Makeup: Saad Sami
With its uber cool hues and minimal designs, Carmin launches its all new Spring/Summer 2019 pret collection â€œFreyjaâ€. These chic clothes will make you stand out of the crowd and are definitely hot picks for the season
Photographer: Seemab Saqib
Model: Zara Hussain
Stylist: Mehek Raza Rizvi
Co-ordination: Centaur One
Makeup Artist: Umar Aziz