Humaima Malik may have landed a Bollywood film with Sanjay Dutt and a contract with Lux as its brand ambassador in Pakistan, but her aspirations to be in the limelight were born when she was a young girl. At 14, she landed her first modeling project. Since then, there has been no looking back for the starlet. She forayed into acting and successfully worked her way up in the industry. But it wasn’t all hunky dory for Humaima.
“It was difficult because we didn’t really get permission to leave our homes,” she explains, talking about her initial days. “The competition was such that people never really allowed others to move forward.” Opportunities were scarce as there wasn’t much happening in the forefront. However, Humaima now feels that times have changed and the competition is healthy.
She claims she is a self-made woman. “I didn’t have any letter [of recommendation] or CV. Whatever I have done, I’ve done it on my own,” she says proudly. “I learnt and understood everything by myself. I now look after my family and I feel proud of it.”
Humaima, who recently hosted the Lux Style Awards (LSAs), feels that awards are a great way to encourage artists to work harder. “Awards mean a lot to artists because they allow them to grow; they also provide opportunities for artists to receive appreciation and encouragement for their work,” she says. “We need awards like Lux [LSAs] to promote and appreciate our own artists for their work and credibility.”
Bollywood, here she comes!
“I don’t know how I started to act but when I did, I found it quite interesting,” says the model-turned-actor who played the lead in Bol, which consequently opened doors for her in Bollywood. “There was less money in acting but it was a place where you had to constantly prove yourself by playing different characters.” Malik has just wrapped up her B-town project Sher, where she plays the wife of a don (Sanjay Dutt). While Sher is slated for an August release, Humaima signed three films with Vidhu Vinod Chopra, with one being Chittiyan.
“I really enjoy working in Bollywood movies. They are professionals and I am also looking forward to seeing a positive attitude towards my work in our own industry as well,” she continues. “And as far as working with Sanjay Dutt is concerned, it was an amazing chance for a young actor to work with such a legend.”
Humaima says she is quite picky when it comes down to the roles she plays.
“I always want to do something different and roles that will be remembered by my audience and fans,” she explains. “I am very selective in choosing my characters and a unique script is my priority.” She adds that she wants people to see that she is a versatile actor.
With or without Wasim Akram?
Malik has been quite guarded about her personal life. While sources told The Express Tribune that Humaima was approached by cricketing legend Wasim Akram and that she declined “due to the age difference”, the star denies any connection. “At the beginning of my career, I would panic over rumours and wouldn’t know how to react to them. But with the passage of time, this seems like a part of my job,” she says. “Now, I don’t pay any heed; I treat them with ignorance.” Akram is 47, while Humaima says she is 24 years old.
“My full focus is on my career and rumours will never be able to come in my way.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2013.