LAHORE: From the time we saw her playing the most notoriously loved character in Bashar Momin we knew this girl was going to make a mark in the entertainment industry. Born and raised in Canada, Ushna Shah graduated from York University, Toronto, with a major in English Literature and Professional Writing. She started her career as a radio jockey and moved to Pakistan to pursue her career in acting.
Although she maybe only two films old, these movies have won her accolades for her performances and this fierce artist is here to stay. Surrounded by artists in her family, Ushna always knew where her career would be headed. “I grew up in a family of artists. My mother was an actor, my sister (Irsa Ghaza) is one and my brother is a director. So, I always knew this is the field I would go into” she told The Express Tribune. Her first break was a drama called Meray Khwaboon Ka Diya, which did fairly well. Since then she has been balancing work on both big and small screens. She recently appeared in the first Pakistani online film Oye Kuch Kar Guzar alongside Uzair Jaswal and Ali Safina. The movie was released on YouTube.
“We shot the entire film in about eight days. It was a tough shoot but well worth it. I loved the team and it was a wonderful experience” Ushna added. Ushna has a fierce loyalty to her instincts when it comes to choosing her roles, sometimes they do lead to unexpected outcomes but she doesn’t mind as long as there’s a lesson at the end of the day. “Teri Meri Love Story didn’t do as well as we hoped. It was disappointing to say the least. The creative team put their best effort in, but unfortunately the project wasn’t executed the way it should have been by the people I like to call ‘suits’ (yes that’s stolen from Billy Walsh),” she quipped.
“It was a wonderful learning experience nevertheless, my acting was appreciated and that’s all thanks to the director of the movie Jawad Bashir.” She is drawn to the challenge of choosing characters which are rewarding as an artist. “It has always been a steppingstone for me to step into this field. Films are perhaps more rewarding because they are more condensed so the story plays out faster,” she stated.
“However if the character is interesting, then a drama can be just as rewarding. I have not been challenged in a while and just recently took up a project with a lead character so looking forward to that.” Talking about the artists whose work inspires her most, Ushna said, “I recently worked with Nayyar Ejaz and I think he is brilliant. There was so much to learn from a senior like him.
There are people who up your game when you’re around them and he was one of them. I am a huge fan of female actors Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchet. Their choice of work and performances inspire me tremendously. I also love Al Pacino and Daniel Day Lewis and yes I am a huge Aamir Khan fan”.
Despite the limelight, Ushna stays close to family and a small circle of friends. “When I am not rehearsing the script or busy shooting, my idea of unwinding is just like any of you; I love catching up with my close group of friends or veg out with my mom and my dogs.” Ushna was awarded Best Soap Actress at the third Hum Awards for the play, Hum Theray Gunegaar, and received Best Emerging New Talent Female at fourth Pakistan Media Awards.
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