Both Sammi and Aangan were heavy duty projects, but Daasi brought a change: Mawra Hocane
Mawra Hocane is one of those actresses who love their work; be it films or TV, she seems to have ticked most of the boxes in her checklist.
However, with Mohsin Talat’s Daasi, she gets to play a vibrant girl, something that wasn’t associated with her. After Sammi and Aangan where she played compassionate and caring characters, she is back but in a very different avatar.
Hum Spotlight got hold of the actress while she was shooting for the drama and asked her everything about Daasi and not Daasi. She had an answer for each question and vows to continue working on TV for a long time.
It was surprising to see you go for Daasi, especially after serious plays like Sammi and Aangan in the last couple of years. Any specific reason for choosing this project?
Both Sammi and Aangan revolved around a social cause – one tackled Vani, the other Partition. Both were heavy-duty projects, so yes, when Daasi came to me, it brought a change with it. The plain and simple love story excited me the most.
The character of Sunehri is very vibrant and full of life and that gave me a chance to experiment. I have been doing compassionate roles for quite some time – from Sanam Teri Kasam to Aangan – where my character cries a lot, likes to keep to herself and support others when they are down.
Trust me, such characters drain me out as an individual so by going for Sunehri, I thought maybe I will be able to get some life out of the character and take it with me.
There was another reason for doing Daasi – getting a chance to work with Adeel Husain. I couldn’t have left a project with him!
How did you prepare for the role of an energetic patakha girl in the play?
You have no idea how hard I had to work to look the part; I haven’t had cold water for a long time, just to keep my voice according to the Sunehri. I had riyaaz sessions with Farhan bhai (Farhan Saeed) because Sunehri had to sound like a patakha girl who likes to try things.
Through Daasi, I am trying to change it as Sunehri is a chatterbox, the exact opposite of my character in Aangan. When my mother saw the first episode of Daasi, she called me up and told me that now she understood why I was talking nonstop when I was in Australia last; because, in her opinion, this role affected me in a good way!
Do you get affected by all the negative criticism out there, be it on your choice of characters, achieving a milestone or something else?
Yes, you do get effected when people make fun of you. When I was in school, the boys made fun of my voice a lot but I didn’t reply much because I believed that whatever you are being mocked for, is what then Allah Mian gives you for. I got my first lead role because of this voice; I can’t change my voice and if anyone wants to mock it, let them do that.
I can just try to perform so well that one day no one will criticize me. I don’t think I am a great actor at all – not even close – but I want to reach there. There are a few actors whose work inspires me; they make me think whether I would be able to achieve that level of perfection. My job is to try hard and give my best and that’s why whatever character I get, I really want to play it well.
How would you remember Daasi five years later, will it give you and the audience something special to remember it by?
There is a song that Adeel (Husain) and I shot which was unconventional considering we don’t do such stuff on TV. I was recharged after the shoot and when senior actress Fazila Kazi (who plays my mother) saw me later that night, she asked me why I was so energized at 10 pm! I am sure the audience will like it because shooting that song gave me the ‘I love my work’ feeling.
You were part of the highest-grossing Pakistani film ever – Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 – whereas your last few dramas have done well too. Don’t you think you bring a luck factor with you?
I hope this turns out to be true (laughs). If that’s so, then I hope it remains like that. I believe that when you sign a project, it becomes your own and although I wasn’t responsible for JPNA2’s success alone, I am glad that my film did well at the box office around the world.
Usually, actors leave TV or take a break after a successful film, but you are still doing TV. Why?
I don’t get it why people leave TV after their film becomes a hit. I will do a film as well as TV because if I don’t do dramas, what will I do? Dramas are the biggest creative product from Pakistan so why should I leave the best thing for something that is still being tested.
Yes, I will continue to do films, learn from that experience and play my part but will not quit TV. The experience of working in a film is profound but not at the cost of taking a break from TV or leaving dramas; I want to do dramas forever!
Both you and your elder sister Urwa are working in TV and films. Have you ever envied her for getting a better role or thought of collaborating on a project?
Whenever one of us gets a good role in a good project, we are happy that it came our way. (Smiles) We are happy for each other and it’s the same thing if Urwa does it or I do it. As for working together, there is something in the works for the past few years; let’s see how it shapes up. I don’t know when was the last time two real sisters played onscreen sisters, but in our dramas, one sister is evil and one is good, which isn’t the case with us.
In real life, it’s not black and white as two sisters can love each other like Urwa and me. Either we will do something different than the norm or something similar to us. She is on top of my list of the actors I want to work with!
Who are the other actors with whom you still haven’t shared the screen?
Fawad Khan! A few years back director Aehsun Talish had offered me a project that I couldn’t do, because of issues with my dates. It had Fawad Khan in the lead and was completed with another actress and aired on Geo Entertainment. Now, when I look back, I think why I didn’t leave everything else for that project.
Sigh! Mahira Khan is another person I want to share the screen with; she and I are very good friends and were even supposed to work in a project back in the day but couldn’t materialize. I know it for a fact that because of the bond we share, it will be fun, if and when it happens.
You have been working with HUM TV a lot recently; is there any specific reason or is it just a coincidence?
When I get an offer, my first concern is the script, then the director, then the cast and that’s usually the time when I decide whether I want to do the play or not.
Channel is the last thing on my mind; surprisingly my last few plays have been with Hum TV. I may have worked with them more because their offer timing and my work time seem to coincide with each other.