I am in no hurry to become a Social Media darling: Hareem Farooq
Hareem Farooq started off her career with theater and performing on Anwar Maqsood’s scripts brought her into the limelight.
Be it her role of Jahan Ara in Aangan Terrha or in the August series, She stood out as a future star.
After doing an indie film Siyaah and getting nominated for Lux Style Awards as Best Actress there was no looking back for her. She then ventured into TV and made a place for herself in films both as an actress and as a producer.
Hareem is currently the most sought out thespian to migrate from theater and with 2018, she has reached new heights be it with the success of Parchi, her ongoing drama Main Khayal Hoon Kisi Aur Ka on Hum TV or hosting the Defence Day celebrations.
Spotlight got hold of the beautiful actress and spoke to her about her exciting journey in showbiz and how she manages to keep herself apart from the juggernaut of too much in too little time.
Let me begin with a complaint from your fans – they want you to be on TV in more than one play, but you choose to do one project at a time. Why?
I am so grateful to my fans who want to watch me all the time, but ever since I have entered TV I have tried to give my best to one project at a time.
I can do multiple projects but then that will make me like all the other actresses who are increasing the number of plays but not improving their skill.
For me acting is not just a profession but a way to express myself, and I can only do that when I am giving it my 100 percent.
Ever since I turned producer, I have been associated with Imran Raza Kazmi who is a dear friend, and it is because of him I don’t have to worry much because we work as a team. Wherever I am weak, he is strong and wherever he is weak, I play on my strength and that’s why we have been doing good work for quite some time now.
You are part of IRK Films and have co-produced Janaan with them; why did you venture into TV after doing a couple of successful films?
Television is undoubtedly the biggest medium in Pakistan, even bigger than films because it caters to the whole country.
It would have been unfair on our part had we limited ourselves to films only because we have many stories to tell and many issues to tackle, and we can do that by producing quality plays for an already established medium that is TV.
Don’t you think doing TV is a step backwards for a film actress and producer?
Not at all. In my opinion, the film revival happened because of TV as it gave the film folks the reach it was missing. International stars in America and India are now appearing on TV because that’s the future. Also, in a country like Pakistan where you hardly release a dozen films in a year, it isn’t feasible to be just limited to films; although many actors and actresses claim to be just film actors here, they return to TV when they want to experiment.
Also, TV is a medium for the masses and by masses, I don’t mean you and me but those people who can’t afford to buy tickets, and get entertainment by just watching dramas.
We have a duty to that kind of audience as well, and that’s why I believe that we can’t neglect TV which is the most popular medium in the country even today.
Why do TV dramas in Pakistan constantly revolve around divorces, second marriages, extramarital affairs instead of something constructive like child abuse and other such topics?
Recently Indian drama Nagin was rated as the most watched play in Pakistan and that shows what the public wants.
Where we are today is something that didn’t happen overnight; from Aangan Terrha to Alpha Bravo Charlie to Nagin, we have evolved and that’s exactly what keeps the audience’s glued to the screen.
We are currently evolving into a diverse industry and it will take time before we produce plays on other subjects as well. It took 22 years for Imran Khan to become the Prime Minister; change will come slowly and gradually.
And how is Main Khayal Hoon Kisi Aur Ka different from other similarly themed dramas on TV?
Main Khayal Hoon Kisi Aur Ka deals with the sensitive topic of divorce and remarriage and for that, we had to first present it as a love story and a marriage went wrong.
The play has already changed the perspective of many audiences by trying to play with their psyche and I am sure that by the time it ends, people will have a changed opinion about things that are part and parcel of our society.
You are present on Social Media but not that active; any specific reason for that?
I am in no hurry to become a Social Media darling because of my tweets and Instagram posts; everything should be done in a proper way and Social Media isn’t any different. Let’s not be negative here for those who are Social Media stars because they work hard too – by waking up in the morning, getting ready and then posting selfies and all. It’s just that they don’t work hard enough on their acting while others do the exact opposite.
Globally, it’s part of everyone’s life and I am present on Social Media for my fans who don’t get to see me there (internationally) and want to be updated on what I am doing here.
However, it has given everyone the right to have an opinion and that means both good and bad ones. If used honestly and properly, it’s a good way to stay in touch with your fans but then you can’t please everyone at the same time; there will be good comments and bad comments and you have to prepare yourself for both. In the future, people will have to be careful as countries are coming up with laws as nasty comments are sending many into depression.
How will you describe your recent trip to Canada where you had the honor of meeting their Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well?
I had no idea that Canada would be so cold (laughs). When we went there, the temperature was minus 38 which is something I hadn’t experienced before.
People don’t come out in such low temperature because it felt like minus 48! However, the amount of love Canadian people have for Pakistani actors is huge and I got to see that side of Canada as well when I hosted the Hum Awards there recently.
For some reason, I ended up going there thrice this year and every time I went, I found them more loving. I also consider myself very lucky as I met their Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who I found to be very humble and courteous just like other Canadians. They love Pakistani actors and Canada can be a huge market for our films and TV dramas.
Do you see yourself going back on stage anytime soon?
Theater is in my blood and I can’t leave it even if I want to. It taught me the basics of acting and the adrenaline rush the applause from live audience gives you has no replacement. Unfortunately, theater hasn’t been able to fulfill its potential in Pakistan but I hope that it will reach that level soon.
One of the reasons why I agreed to host the Hum TV Awards was because it reminded me of the stage days, which remains my first love.
Your first film Siyaah was released in 2013 and since then you have acted in just two more films including Dobara Phir Se and Parchi. Don’t you think that’s unfair to your fans?
For me those three films are as big as 300 and currently, I am one of the few actresses who have three films on their credit. The entire industry is in revival mode and we haven’t made that many films in the last five years. It isn’t unfair to my fans because if I am not acting, I am producing films, so in five years I have done quality work which is how my fans see it as well.
People had seen you act on TV and on theater but many were surprised when they saw you dance first in Dobara Phir Se, and later in Parchi. Where did that come from?
I like to surprise the audience and dancing is one of the many skills that I had hidden from them.
When I did theater and TV, many were of the opinion that I wouldn’t be able to dance but my friends and family knew that I could, and through Dobara Phir Se and Parchi, I shocked many by doing it right. It was a nice experience especially Billo Hai, and it turned out to be a chart buster song that people play at weddings now.
This article was originally published in GLAM Magazine.
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