Mahira’s take on Verna, speaking Punjabi

Showbiz is believed to be a man’s world, but it’s the women who make it tick. Mahira Khan has managed to carve her niche in Lollywood. She is on a winning streak and is currently enjoying the success of her Bollywood debut Raees with Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan. Her upcoming film Verna has created a buzz way before its release. In an exclusive interview with The Nation the actress described her experience of working in the film.

Following are the excerpts:

What do you think is different in the concept of Shoaib Mansoor’s film Verna?

Every film is different and unique because of the writer’s vision and Shoaib Mansoor, I believe is the best script writer in Pakistan. The experience of working with the legendary director is absolutely surreal. He’s brilliant at what he does. He casts people whom he believes had not just the ability but also the hunger to be part of the film.

You are playing the role of a girl who struggles for justice after she survives rape. Would you like to share the experience?

I’m playing the role of Sarah, who struggles for justice and her rights. The film revolves around Sarah’s married life with Haroon Shahid and the problems she faces after another man Zarrar Khan takes interest in her. Playing this character made me strong in real. Sarah embodies the motivation of woman in love, a woman with vengeance in her eyes, a woman who will seek justice to quench her thirst for retribution from a corrupt system.

What was it about Verna that appealed to you? Was the role of playing a rape survivor challenging?

Absolutely yes, I have been playing the role in, which I have been in love. Every character is challenging because at the end of the day you have to make something out of it. The difficult part was unlike any character I haven’t been through this emotion. So, playing a rape survivor was not an easy task for me.

What are your expectations about Verna doing well at box office considering it appears to be a serious film and serious Pakistani films do not have history of doing good business?

I know it’s easy to say the box-office numbers doesn’t matter but the reality is it actually does. We should keep on changing the genres of films because that’s the beauty of it. If we start making comedy continuously how can the cinema revive? I believe in one thing and that is content because if your content is strong the film will surely be hit at the box office.

What is it in the project that makes it acceptable to you especially when you have just heard the script?

As an actor we give more than six months to a film. So, our priority is always towards the script that actually inspires us. Verna had that quality and I couldn’t say no to it because of Shoaib Mansoor.

You have worked in Bollywood and Lollywood. What major difference do you feel?

Honestly, there is no difference between both the film industries. Bollywood is more experienced and expanded than we are. They are brilliant and we are working towards brilliance. Otherwise it’s all the same.

Would you like to tell us about your upcoming projects?

I’m doing Maula Jutt 2 which is a Punjabi film. For me it’s a new experience because I have never spoken Punjabi and I hope everyone is going to love it.

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