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“I have grown up watching Hindi films” – Mawra Hocane

Photo Credit: Supplied

Mawra Hocane, a well-known face in Pakistan, will be making her Bollywood debut with director duo Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru’s romantic drama ‘Sanam Teri Kasam’. The actress was in news last year for speaking out against the ban imposed on the Hindi film ‘Phantom’ in Pakistan. Here, she talks about her experience of working in India, playing a character based on her director and the desire to work with Ranbir Kapoor.

You have worked extensively in the Pakistani television industry. How did you bag ‘Sanam Teri Kasam’?
I got a call from my directors who had seen my work on television. They asked me to come on board for the film and I could not have been happier.

You spoke against ‘Phantom’ being banned in Pakistan. You have always stood up for peace and goodwill between India and Pakistan. Do you think artistes working in different countries help in bridging the gap between the two countries?
I do not think artistes are out on a particular mission to set things right. Actually, it boils down to the kind of script or project that is offered to me. If I am offered a good film, I will do it regardless of the country it is being filmed in or the industry it comes from. If, as a by-product, something good comes out it, then I one can only be grateful for it.

You play a Tamilian Brahmin in the film and your director Radhika Rao, incidentally, hails from Tamil Nadu. What is the kind of input you get from her?
Saru, the character I play, is a reflection of Radhika Ma’am herself. I consider myself lucky to be playing a character which is based on someone who has written and directed the film. Many of the events in the film are inspired from her life. While shooting for the film, I got to spend a lot of time with her and that helped me understand the crux of the character.

What are the differences, you observe, in the way the Indian film industry and the Pakistani film industry function?
I cannot compare the two industries as I have not done a film in Pakistan. The television industry in Pakistan is more dominant. The shows have also created a huge impact in India after they were aired on a television channel here. When it comes to television, there is a lesser amount of scrutiny involved. More people come to a theatre to watch a film on a 70 mm screen and are more critical about your work. Growth is very important for an actor and I see a certain growth in me after moving to films.

Do you think it is difficult for an artiste, coming from a different country, to work in Bollywood. Did you face any difficulties?
Not at all. I have grown up watching Hindi films. I never felt that I was an outsider. I was always a part of this fraternity as an audience. The people have been warm towards me. I feel proud to associate myself with this industry as a budding talent.

You are a huge admirer of Ranbir Kapoor. He even recorded a video message for you sometime back. Do you hope to work with him sometime in the future?
Absolutely. I think he is an outstanding actor. I would love to work with him.

I would not like to talk about my future endeavours at this point of time. Right now, my entire focus is on promoting Sanam Teri Kasam. I will make a few announcements after the release of the film.

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