With hits like Ishq Gumshuda, Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan, Mata-e-Jaan Hai Tu and Dil E Muztar to her credit, Sarwat Gillani is credibly one of the most widely acclaimed actresses on TV these days. Pretty and petite as well as talented, the young actress has comfortably worked in both TV and fashion and now, with the upcoming flick Jawani Phir Nahi Aani, she will be stepping into films too. Instep gets hold of Sarwat who talks about her work on TV, her upcoming debut movie and above all, the need to create ‘stars’.
First of all, was working in a film any different from working on TV?
Sarwat Gillani: We are all hardworking actors so yes it was a little different for me. Usually we shoot in as many as eight scenes when shooting for a TV serial but in films, actors take it slow as everything is pre-planned. Overall it was a great experience working in JPNA as it was more of a break from the fast paced work on TV.
We know you are playing one of the three wives in JPNA; tell us something about your role in the movie?
SG: I am playing one of the three wives; my character is that of a Pathan woman who is a little akhrot as you can imagine. Since I am part Pakhtoon myself, I had fun playing the part. It would be interesting to note that I used the traits of my grandmother in my character. And I think that in Pakistani cinema, for the first time I play a pregnant woman who drives a jeep and is Ghussay ki bohat taiz as well. Nice combo, isn’t it? Well it is inspired from real-life characters so yes, had great fun being in character.
Can we expect a song or item from you in the film?
SG: Incidentally no song has been filmed on me in Jawani Phir Nahi Aani but yes I had been there and done that in Dil Mera Dhadkan Teri, the telefilm directed by Mehreen Jabbar a few years back. I would be open to any more film offers when and if they come but yes, from where I come and considering my family background, ijazat itni asaani se nahi milti.
You have done TV and theatre … how would you rate them along with films now that your film is all set to release this Eid?
SG: There is nothing like theatre, trust me … it involves acting from head to feet. On TV, you get a lot of time to work on your character during the 40-50 day spell which is something you don’t have when doing a film. In films you must work on character passionately before the production because once the camera starts rolling you can’t add or subtract characterstics. In TV, there is a margin to do a scene differently as its shot in a span of a few days but in films, you have to abide by the script and the character.
Has motherhood effected your career, time and schedule?
SG: I have always been selective in my TV appearances since I was always a believer in quality work over quantity. Pehle kum hota tha ab thora aur kum hai (I used to work less before becoming a mother, now I am working even lesser). I am always in search of good projects and I am thankful to Allah that I have reached a position where I have a say in scripts as well. Until and unless you can give an input in the story, you can’t become part of the storytelling.
Do you think that the film industry has revived now that so many films are being produced?
SG: The dynamics of films have changed in Pakistan – revolution aa chuki hai. Now we have good, intelligent and educated people making films, which is quite different from what we had experienced in the past. The scenario is quite similar to the TV drama revival where we had to make good quality dramas to get rid of the Indian influence. As you can see, Indianization is nowhere to be seen now on TV and I am sure the same trend will follow in films.
Does that mean you are now open to offers from film directors?
SG: If I get good projects and roles, why not … it’s time we need to create our film stars. The scope of TV stars is limited and that’s the reason why we need to create new divas. The film industry has arrived now … we need new faces to take over!
Any plans of going the Bollywood way?
SG: Well discussions are underway but I am not in any kind of hurry. I am a turtle, not a hare … main kachwa hoon, khargosh nahi … you can also call me lambi race ka ghora. The recognition I get from Pakistan is enough for me where millions of people watch me and praise my work. Since I am an art graduate, arty things attract me and that’s the reason why I loved films like Moor and Shah. So let’s see where my passion takes me.