Ft. Zahra Malik
The beautiful Zahra Malik styles three wedding guest looks that are festive, yet easy to carry. Featuring jewellery by Zahid Jewellers, this is the inspiration you need for the upcoming wedding season.
Attending a garden event? Then opt for this Saira Shakira ensemble and pair it with the gold-hued, understated makeup as seen on Zahra.
Zahra pairs a powder blue outfit by Zubia Zainab with exquisite diamond and emerald jewels by Zahid Jewellersâ€”a perfect look for a day time Walima.
This navy blue number by Razia Sultana, worn with a traditional, heavy gold set by Zahid Jewellers is bound to make heads turn.
Jewellery: Zahid Jewellers
Muse: Zahra Malik
Coordination: Centaur One
Wardrobe: Saira Shakira, Zubia Zainab & Razia Sultana
Having completed a decade in the entertainment industry, Sonya Hussyn has portrayed some of the most memorable (and diverse) characters on screen. The leading lady, Popular for her poignant performances and style sense alike, sits down with Mehek Raza Rizvi to reflect on her career, the evolution of the industry and more
With the conversation on gender equality and feminism on the rise, how important is it for female actors to choose their roles carefully and avoid playing the damsel-in-distress?
With the ongoing movements and the current climate, I believe now more than ever, itâ€™s become imperative for female actors to be more conscious about the scripts they choose. From the beginning of my career, Iâ€™ve attempted at walking the untrodden path, breaking the whole notion of whatâ€™s deemed commercially successful or what a conventional leading lady is expected to look and act like on screen.
To me, itâ€™s solely about the character and what my portrayal in a project can do to further a narrativeâ€”if itâ€™s in line with the message I want to put forth, Iâ€™m always up for it. At times a damsel-in-distress can also be written very sensitively and the characters around her can possibly contribute to her empowerment and growth. Every character deserves representation, what matters is how the story is portrayed.
How hard is it to detach yourself from the intense and complex characters you play? Does some part of them stay with you?
It does become very difficult to separate. As actors our job is to completely immerse ourselves in our charactersâ€™ worlds. Nazo, for example, was this mentally-challenged girl I played years ago who stayed with me for a very long time, especially her mannerisms and the way she spoke. There was a lot of research that went into it and eventually, once weâ€™d wrapped filming, I struggled with going back to what my reality was.
Most recently, Iâ€™ve done â€œSaraabâ€, where my character Hoorain is schizophrenic. In the process of shooting, I was able to understand more about this condition, how it can be controlled and how one can deal with such patients. In all honesty, every character Iâ€™ve played has contributed to the person Iâ€™m becoming, consciously or subconsciously. All one can really do is wear these facets as a badge and try to do justice to whatâ€™s nextâ€”I simply live from one character to another.
The fame and influence celebrities enjoy puts immense responsibility on them to use it wisely. Do you ever feel burdened by the constant spotlight?
Yes, I do. However, I donâ€™t let that come in the way of speaking my mind. If I strongly believe in something, I share that opinion without a second thought, because thatâ€™s my truth, even if it leads to backlash or controversy. The spotlight can be very daunting, but I keep reminding myself how it doesnâ€™t define who I am.
In recent times youâ€™ve had a war of words with a couple of other female celebs. How does difference of opinions that becomes so public affect you and how do you deal with it?
The pandemic has given some of us a little too much time to criticise others and take things out of context. I genuinely have a lot of respect for women in the industry; I know that thereâ€™re prejudices against women at large and to be successful, it takes great courage, resilience, hard work and talent. I also know that Iâ€™ve evolved over the past few years and now I fully believe that putting one woman down to defend another doesnâ€™t do much for what weâ€™re all fighting for.
Have you experienced any inherent prejudices in your line of work?
Iâ€™ve been fortunate to not have had any first-hand experience of it myself. Iâ€™ve worked with good people and have had the freedom in choosing my characters. But that doesnâ€™t mean it doesnâ€™t existâ€”itâ€™s a male-dominated industry after all, both in front of and behind the camera. Scripts are penned and then shot according to the male gaze. Sadly, a lot of naive women are exploited, but I do see things changing. I completed a decade in the industry this year, and Iâ€™ve seen how the position of women has evolvedâ€”characters and environments are better. Slowly but steadily, weâ€™ll get to equality.
Many follow you ardently for your great sense of style. Do you, however, ever feel that takes away from your work as an actress?
Not at all! I feel honoured when Iâ€™m told that people appreciate my sense of style, Every outfit my stylists or designers help me put together tells a story and is representative of how I feel in that moment. I recently wore a neon-green power-suit by Mahgul at the Hum Style Awards and I felt it was a very contemporary, funky take on who I am today. My work as an actor has always been somewhat separate, because thereâ€™re often characters that demand simplistic outfits, lesser makeup, dark circles, dirty hair, or a dishevelled look. Thankfully, my audience accepts that. Fashion I think is storytelling as well, and if anything, itâ€™s added to my work.
Tell us about your new project â€œMor Moharaanâ€.
â€œMor Moharaanâ€ is a very interesting project. Iâ€™m working with phenomenal actors such as Samiya Mumtaz, Firdous Jamal, Mustafa Changazi and my favourite co-star, Zahid Ahmed. This is my third project with Zahid and thereâ€™s always such great camaraderie between us. I think we really understand and respect one another as artists and thatâ€™s really all one needs to perform well. My character Rohi is from Cholistan; sheâ€™s an environmentalist whoâ€™s dedicated her life to her community and the issues they deal with. The series also dabbles with subjects of politics, global warming and climate change. These are such pertinent topics and Iâ€™m very proud of the fact that Iâ€™m part of something that sheds light upon them. Itâ€™s coming soon on TV One.
Out of all the characters youâ€™ve portrayed, which one is the closest to your heart and why?
This is a difficult question. As I said, I think almost every character Iâ€™ve played has been very special to me: whether itâ€™s Nazo from â€œNazoâ€, Pakeeza from â€œAisi Hai Tanhaiâ€ (a victim of cyber-bullying), Safeena from â€œMeri Guriyaâ€ (a drama serial on child sexual abuse), Gauhar from â€œIshq Zah-e-Naseebâ€ (dealing with her husbandâ€™s dissociative identity disorder syndrome), Hoorain of â€œSaraabâ€ and everyone else in between. Iâ€™ve had the honour of playing such diverse, beautiful, flawed women. Itâ€™s impossible for me to select one!
What inspired you to start your own YouTube channel?
As an actor I believe viewers see you for the character that you play, and as grateful as Iâ€™ve been for the journey, I felt like I needed a medium to connect with my audience on a more personal level. I wanted to tell my story and introduce people to what really goes on behind the scenes, speak my mind and elaborate on subjects that Iâ€™m passionate about. I was ready to put together more slice-of-life, real content, but I understand that one has to be more consistent, which I havenâ€™t been. Hopefully, Iâ€™ll be putting out some more videos soon.
What is Sonya Hussyn like at home? Tell us about your family and childhood.
My childhood was full of many ups and as many downs, but I think such is the beauty of life; trying experiences shape you. I personally feel that Iâ€™m more loving, stronger and determined than I ever was before, and a lot of it has to do it with my family and how weâ€™ve all evolved together.
At home, Iâ€™m just my most real, unabashed self. Itâ€™s where I rechargeâ€”I can comfortably hibernate in my room for days. My family and I work as a strong unit: watching movies, having food and deep conversations, all of it together. Itâ€™s beautiful being with them and I wouldnâ€™t want it any other way. Every chapter of my life has taught me immensely.
Concept, Coordination & Production: Centaur One
Makeup & Hair: Qasim Liaqat
Photography: Najam Mahmood
Art Direction: Saad Amjad
Outfits: Munib Nawaz (printed suit), Mahgul (neon suit)
Jewellery: The Jewel Company