Noor maybe my sister but she is like a daughter to me: Sarah Khan
The Pakistani drama industry is indebted to young actors who have given dramas a new direction with their freshness and their love for the profession.
Sarah Khan is one of them as she has worked hard to achieve stardom and continues to impress the audience each passing play.
Her serial ‘Mere Humdum’ ended recently on Hum TV, while she is making inroads with ‘Deewar-e-Shab’ where her performance is being liked by all. Considering she hasn’t migrated to films like her colleagues or hasn’t been considered for awards despite carrying ‘Belapur Ki Dayan’ on her shoulders, Sarah Khan believes she still has a long way to go.
We spoke to the young actress about her past, present, and future and what kind of role could make her go for films in the near future.
‘Mere Humdum’ and ‘Deewar-e-Shab’ have done well with your performance being appreciated by all. What is the reason behind the improved performance?
I don’t think I am a brilliant actress because I am still in the learning phase. If the audience thinks that I have done justice to a character or worked hard in a play, then the credit must go to the director of that play.
In ‘Mere Humdum’, I was directed by a new director Haseeb Ali who did a wonderful job, while in ‘Deewar-e-Shab’ the credit goes to Iqbal Hussain who was outstanding behind the camera.
Usually, I do simple characters, like a girl whose family has financial issues or a woman whose husband is violent and unfaithful; in these two plays, I was given a chance to explore myself. The directors did their best and helped me a lot and that’s why I will not take the credit myself.
Both the dramas had an ensemble cast … with which actor did you have the most fun on the sets?
Oh yes, there was a fantastic array of artists and with Bushra Ansari around, you can’t name any other actor. She is so full of positivity and has the personality of a superstar, and continues to work with the same energy that she possessed on her first day.
It was an honor to work with her in ‘Deewar-e-Shab’ and learn from her because there is no one in the industry like her. I am also friends with Nosheen Shah who plays my mother and we had a great time on the sets.
As for the guys, I am good friends with Shehroz Sabzwari and Shehzad Sheikh, and we simply had a blast while we were shooting ‘Deewar-e-Shab’.
How do you pick your dramas? Do you go for the cast, writer, director or channel?
My first priority is the channel on which the drama will air, if the director is good but the play is for some lesser ranked channel, I will not do it. It is only if the channel and the director match my expectations then I look at the script because that matters too.
As for the cast, I think about it in the end because if the channel, director and script are good, nothing else matters.
Your sister Noor Khan is also an actress; how competitive are you two considering you both have worked in successful projects?
Noor maybe my sister but she is like a daughter to me and I am like her mother. Whenever I get an offer that suits her better than me, I recommend her name to the directors and withdraw because I believe she is a better actress, a more beautiful person and more energetic than me. She is my daughter when it comes to professionalism and I love her more than anything in the world.
You missed out on a couple of awards recently despite being a strong contender … doesn’t it disappoint you as an actress?
I would have been disappointed had I considered my work award-worthy. I don’t consider myself at that stage where I would go for awards and that’s why I have continued to do my work without any pressure. I have to be satisfied with my work first of all then think about anything else.
For me, the love of the audience is the biggest award as they pour their love wherever I go. I am going for Hum Awards where I am nominated for ‘Belapur Ki Dayan’ but I am not very confident that I would win. The day I feel satisfied with a character and not get an award for it, then I will be disappointed.
What is the one thing that you would like to change in the current drama culture in Pakistan?
First of all, we as actors have to understand that we are ambassadors of Pakistan. Millions of people follow us and want to be like us, and that adds a lot of responsibility on our shoulders. If I am given the chance, I would like to portray Pakistan as it is so that the world could see that we are peace-loving people.
We must work to improve the image of our country abroad and impart positivity. Yes, we have people who are impatient and live on negativity but that can change through our dramas. We must point out these issues rather than show a man beating his wife and she forgives him for it, which is wrong on so many levels.
Two of my projects in which I played such a woman are ‘two’ of my biggest regrets, and if I can think like that so can others. We must show the good life, the strong woman and the ideal man instead of one who has multiple affairs doesn’t care about his wife and is forgiven in the end.
Your wish to work with an actor or actress, you haven’t worked with so far?
I have been very lucky in working with all my favorite actors including Nauman Ijaz, Aijaz Aslam, Faisal Qureshi, and Bushra Ansari. I want to work with my sister Noor in a drama because we haven’t worked with each other yet!
What about working in films, considering TV actresses are trying their luck on the bigger screen?
I don’t think I will be able to fit in the film world; in fact, it would be better to say that I don’t consider myself ready for films. I have certain rules that I would like to follow in dramas such as not wearing revealing clothes, not showing skin, etc.
I can also not do bold scenes, would not be comfortable with the kind of romance we portray in films and would definitely not be able to dance on an item song. If there is a role that would require my services as an actress and not as a glam doll, I would definitely go for it but till then I am happy with my work on TV.
Hum TV has been your home for quite some time … how do you rate that experience and how is it different from the rest?
I started my career with Hum TV’s ‘Badi Aapa’ that brought me recognition and have stayed with them because of many reasons. The best part about Hum TV is that it is an organization that is managed by successful women who know exactly how to treat other women.
In fact, no other channel gives the kind of respect we get here because the management has provided an ideal atmosphere for women to work in. That’s the reason I will continue to work with them because respect is more important than anything for working women out there.
Any advice for the girls out there who want to emulate you and enter showbiz?
I have a simple message for them and that is to pursue acting, but first, complete your education so that when you enter the field you do that with an open mind. This industry is one of the very few that can make you a star in no time but that will only happen if you work hard, listen to your elders and carry yourself with dignity.
Become the role model for others so that people would tell their kids to be like you and send them willing to work in TV dramas. If you become popular, people will comment on everything you do because, in our society, everyone judges a working woman for no reason.
Earn respect through your conduct; work hard and everything will fall in place.
This article was originally published in GLAM Magazine.
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