When I asked her to describe her character Annie in Dekh Magar Pyar Se, her reply was short; ‘She’s a Patakha’. And that is precisely what Humaima Malick is. A live wire! A cracker busting with energy; someone who is too spontaneous to be categorized. She is the first Pakistani to have been featured in the latest issue of the British Vogue. She was only fourteen when she walked the ramp as a showstopper for a leading fashion designer, and since then her catwalk on the road of success hasn’t slowed down. Sadiq Saleem in conversation with the stunning Humaima Malick whose latest flick ‘Dekh Magar Pyar Se’ has hit the UAE screens.
With so many Pakistani films releasing this year, what according to you is the strength of Dekh magar Pyar Se?
Its Me! And the Music.
No honestly I think the character Annie is the soul of the film. She is sharp, witty and street smart and she flaunts this throughout. She knows that she is being hit on but doesn’t shy away. She throws tantrums one moment and the next moment she hugs a stranger. She is unpredictable. The film is surely going to be treasured for its creative value. The way Asad has shown Lahore is definitely going to attract a lot of people. The songs are not lip synced the dances are not choreographed like you see in many movies; Asad had just left it on us to naturally demonstrate what comes to mind and we performed by following our instincts, the entire treatment of the film is very different. And then you have Sikander, the new guy who is simply fantastic. He looks good and has a good presence on screen.
You have done television, films and ad campaigns. What according to you has been your biggest achievement so far?
I think it has to be Bol. I was extremely overwhelmed by the response it received from around the world. In many ways it not only changed the course of my career but it also worked wonders for the Pakistani Film Industry as it was the first movie after many years that was shown in Indian cinemas as well. Working with Shoaib Mansoor and the entire team, the concept the character, it was something I was all game for, from the very first day of my shoot.
Your last serial was Akbari Asghari in 2011. Any reasons for being so selective especially when our dramas are being so well received through Zee Zindagi across the South Asia?
There is so much happening in the film medium at the moment that I am quite thrilled with what I have right now. I did do television when it was really coming up with good projects. Now I am not very motivated primarily because of the monotonous content.
Monotonous? So do you think that dramas today have become regressive?
Not only regressive, predictable too. You watch the first episode and you know where they all will end up. Divorces, conspiracies, domestic violence and extra marital affairs; we need to move beyond all this now. You track back any serial with high TRPs today and you will know what I am referring to. I am sorry to say but people in Pakistan and to an extent in India, like to see women in depression. Dramas today proudly show our women as victims. In our society, people are still not ready to accept women as an achiever or someone who is a show runner. Can you give me any one example where the women in our dramas are independent or if the character allows her to speak her mind? That’s why I say its regressive. They don’t reflect the true educated society that we are a part of.
You hardly socialize or attend events. How do you manage to stay visible in India especially when the out of sight out of mind factor matters so much in that circuit?
You know I have always been like that. I was never a party person. We are six siblings, so for me my relationship and socializing needs are catered in-house only. I never actually needed a friend. I am endorsing the best brands and I have so many projects in the pipeline. At the end of the day, its your work that should be visible not your presence at every event. We should also not ignore the fact that most of the bonding in the industry and the friendships, are fake and need based.
What piece of advice you would give to aspiring actors who are aiming for Bollywood?
My advice to them is Never Learn Acting! You will spoil the fun. It must come from within. You can learn to dance or to play a guitar for instance, but acting comes naturally, either you are born to act or you are not. You may still learn it but it will look calculative and not real. Having said that, you always have some favourites who you look up to and admire their body of work so you can always get inspired through their work.
So who are your favourites then?
I love Tabu and I think she is extremely natural and knows her craft the best. Similarly I am a huge fan of Smita Patel; I think she was an actress par excellence. Kangana Ranaut I think is supremely talented. If you observe the pattern, I like everyone who make or made acting look natural.
Whats your take on the recent wave of Pakistani films releasing across the region?
I think its going in the right direction. There are films releasing every week and I don’t believe this has happened in the longest of time. I have always believed that Pakistani talent is at par with any other comparable talent. The only issue was having the right platform to showcase it. Our dramas and films being shown in India and the Gulf region is testament to the fact that our work attracts huge international audiences.
So which ones have you watched so far?
I feel so terrible that I had to give a miss to the last few films that were released. We were busy shooting for DMPS and then I have other projects going on. But I did watch Na Maloom Afraad and enjoyed it thoroughly. I actually went to the theatres to watch that.
We have been hearing a lot about your project Chittiyan which is being directed by Vidhy Vinod Chorpra. On the Fashion side, which brands are you endorsing?
Yes the film is in process. Other than that I was also the recent Lux girl then I am also the regional face for Sunsilk. I just completed my contract with Samsung as their brand ambassador and now I have switched to Huawei. But they all come secondary, I am an actress first. Campaigns toh aatay rahengay!
– A recent film you wish you had done: Queen
– A director you would love to work with: Sanjay Bhansali, Rohit Shetty & Imtiaz Ali
– Your favourite Actress: Rekha and Tabu
– Your Biggest Fear: Losing my loved ones
– Your style statement: Follow your own style and stay comfortable in your skin.
– One quality that you are most proud of: That I am real
-One thing you would want to change about yourself: That I am very real
-Three things that you don’t leave home without: My Phone, my other phone and my smile