With just four TV projects to her name, the young, pretty and talented Zara Noor Abbas has won many hearts. Starting off with Dharkan in 2016, she shot to fame as Arsala in Khamoshi last year, followed by the recently concluded Lamhe and the ongoing Qaid that highlights juvenile obsession. Though Khamoshi, in which she essayed the role of a damsel in distress, turned out to be a game-changer for Zara, Lamhe and Qaid failed to make a mark among viewers. The actress had nothing new to offer to fans who loved her work in the former.
What does Zara have to say about it, we asked during an exclusive telephonic interview with her.
“At first, I thought it’s great because women’s miseries sell on television but that wasn’t the case,” she responded, admitting that it was perhaps not the right decision to opt for similar roles. “Khamoshi was a hit with a bechari larki at the heart of it. I did Lamhe thinking that the audience will appreciate my work but they didn’t, because I had a similar role. What am I trying to achieve out of it? I am not learning anything new; it is all the same. Likewise, though the story of Qaid is different, my role has no variation. This made me realize that I can’t keep doing similar roles or else I won’t grow as an actor.”
Having understood how important it is to diversify as an actor and choose different roles every time they appear on screen, Zara was quick to take up a supporting role when Asim Raza offered her one in his upcoming film Parey Hut Love (PHL).
“One realizes what they have to do only after they experience it,” she shared. “When I was offered Asim’s film, I grabbed the role though it was a supporting one. It was small but I decided to do it anyway.”
Fans can rejoice as they will see Zara in a completely refreshing role in PHL, as opposed to her characters on the small screen. She will add the comic element to the film (alongside Ahmed Ali Butt) that is otherwise a light hearted, soulful romance and stars Sheheryar Munawar and Maya Ali in lead roles.
“My character in Parey Hut Love is called Shabbo,” Zara informed. “She is high on life but she is innocently dumb; she doesn’t think before speaking. She is not a leader, she follows others. She is interested in the guy, essayed by Ahmed [Ali Butt], but he is not into her.”
“It was a lot of fun shooting for the film; Asim is a great director,” the actress added. “Initially my role in PHL was very limited but as soon as we began shooting, Asim extended it. With Ahmed’s role, mine got more prominence as I’m playing opposite him. So you will see the two of us in songs and a lot of other sequences.”
While Parey Hut Love is scheduled to release on Eid ul Azha this year, Zara recently signed her second feature film that she is currently shooting. She didn’t reveal much about it at the moment except that she will be playing the parallel lead in this one. Besides, Zara has also shot for her next TV project, titled Deewar e Shab, that features her mother Asma Abbas and aunt Bushra Ansari, whom she worked with for the first time.
“It was a dream come true to work alongside them,” Zara expressed, adding that Bushra Ansari will be playing the role of her onscreen mother while her mother will be seen as her aunt in the upcoming project. “Deewar e Shab is based in the 1980s, set in a household that is led by women who sell their talent (music), not their bodies.”
Being a part of the industry for a couple of years now, Zara is of the view that though it was easier for her to get into the business given her mother and aunt’s association with the field, the industry is biased. She feels that there are some favourites who are preferred over others; hence, a lot of talented actors such as Iqra Aziz, Saba Qamar, Sajal Aly, Bilal Abbas Khan don’t get the recognition they deserve.
“I feel it was easier for me but it is very difficult for anyone else to make a place for themselves,” Zara admitted. “It has just been a year and things have worked really well for me but it has been really tough for these women including Saba Qamar, Sajal [Aly], Iqra [Aziz] and Saheefa [Jabbar]. In this industry, if you really want to do something, you have to work your a** off or have some contacts. There is so much favouritism.”
Moving on, the actress also spoke about award shows and their credibility. She feels that they are not credible whatsoever and people who are actually talented don’t get the awards.
“There is no appreciation of talent; it is all about who is more popular,” Zara asserted. “There are very limited award shows with so many categories that they are unable to justify talent in the entire industry.”
On a parting note, Zara spoke of her future plans. It is interesting to note that she will decide her next project after seeing how people respond to her work.
“I act because people like it. If my film doesn’t work out for me, if audiences don’t like me on the big screen, then I might not do anything. If they don’t want to see more of me, I will not bother them. I have not signed on for any other project; my biggest concern is how people receive my work,” she concluded.