Real to reel: Breaking the fourth wall of love

Published: October 30, 2016
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While Mirza does not have any acting projects lined up till January, Gillani is working on Pujaran. PHOTO: FILE

While Mirza does not have any acting projects lined up till January, Gillani is working on Pujaran. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: All great actors can generate chemistry with the right partner, but there is an extra level of excitement when viewers know that there is no disconnect between onscreen romance and reality. There are plenty of co-stars who have played lovers and have not had to act much in certain films, because they were playing opposite their significant other. Sarwat Gillani and Fahad Mirza, who tied the knot in 2014, are new additions to that list.

In Ahsan Khan and Merajuddin’s latest seven short film series, Dukh Sukh, the off-screen duo brings their chemistry on-screen. Their episode is based on ToTo by Saadat Hasan Manto. “Ahsan Khan approached us and they wanted a real life couple because it is an intense, emotionally driven play”, said Gillani. “It was amazing to do it as co-actors, especially bringing two people who really do share a real life relationship on screen,” she added.

Many actors have gone on record to admit that they do not like appearing on screen with their spouses. They feel that fans would only want to see them opposite them and that can potentially limit their scope. Gillani added, “It’s something you want to do as a couple and if you are comfortable, there is nothing like it.” She revealed that her fans got excited when she shared the news on social media. “They’ve seen me and Fahad do other stuff as far as acting is concerned so it won’t be like that”.

Mirza was equally delighted about the opportunity to work with Gilani on the big screen. “It was a great learning curve, especially since this was something I was doing after two years because of time constraints. When you act with someone, you see them in their work place and their behaviour with everyone from the director to the spot boy. It’s not very often that one gets to see their spouse in their work place and besides, the chemistry was off the hook.”

Wrapping up the shoot in three days, Mirza felt this was the ideal on screen debut for the couple. “The thing with both of us is time constraint. It was short and it was Manto, who is one of the best writers I know, so everything fell into place.”

Talking to The Express Tribune in an earlier interview, Khan admitted that Dukh Sukh has classic stories mixed with new thoughts. Mirza shared that although the storyline is that of ToTo, there is a surprise in the end so we can imagine a contemporary twist to an age-old classic. “Manto is a bit tragic and a realist, so everything he does reeks of realism and it’s an absolutely beautiful story,” stated Mirza.

While Mirza does not have any acting projects lined up till January, Gillani is working on Pujaran. “It is an Adnan Siddiqui production with Aijaz Aslam, Alizay Rasul, Zahid Ahmed. It’s a message oriented story about a materialistic girl,” Gillani mentioned.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2016.

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