KARACHI : It’s a longstanding belief that in modelling, you have to look your absolute best in front of the camera at all times. When it comes to acting, however, the more vulnerable and imperfect it is, the better.
Perhaps, that’s why, not a lot of models make good actors, Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum being mere exceptions. With Pakistan’s entertainment industry being vastly different and smaller as compared to Hollywood, we often see our celebrities transition into other mediums every once in a while. And some going from television dramas to films, do succeed. Case in point: Mahira Khan.
Similarly, Sadaf Kanwal recently made her acting debut as Sharmeen Mukhtiyar, opposite Osman Khalid Butt and Ainy Jaffri in Haissam Hussain’s Balu Mahi. While her performance received a lot of praise, many thought her character was controversial because, frankly, it wasn’t one of the typical, female victim. Some might even argue Sadaf was presented as eye candy while Ainy and Osman did all the hard work.
But the accomplished model is not worried about her detractors, claiming that everyone is entitled to their opinion. “I did not take up this film to portray myself as just another piece of eye-candy,” she told The Express Tribune. “It was the spiciness and wit behind Sharmeen’s character that I gravitated towards. It gave me room to be creative with my acting and expressions. Hence, my role was loved by all in the end.”
Nonetheless, there is always the assumption that models are cast in acting roles primarily because they are easy on the eyes. Sadaf believes that was not the case for her in Balu Mahi. “No, it’s not about the looks, all the time,” she stated. “Yes, it would give you a good space on the screen but there would be no longevity in one’s acting career then.”
The debutant actor says she has grown up with actors and it’s the art behind the craft that makes her want to pursue acting. “It’s not that ‘Oh, I’m so pretty, I’ll look so good in this character.’ That won’t get me anywhere. And again, opting for Balu Mahi was solely because I wanted to experience that bubbliness of Sharmeen on screen and explore the acting arena,” Sadaf said.
The budding starlet is glad her performance has garnered positive reviews. According to her, she had been quite nervous about it. “The fact the character was a bit out of the box and yet, gathered such an amazing response really surprised and motivated me.”
Beside the positive reviews from peers and audiences alike, it’s important for a performer to feel confident and satisfied with what they do. About her transition from modeling to acting, Sadaf said, “It was difficult at first but not entirely. I have grown up watching movies and idolising actors so I would say it was more exciting than difficult for me.”
Nonetheless, Sadaf admitted she was not that comfortable at first. “I swear, if you had asked me this before Balu Mahi, I would have said, ‘Getting there, day by day.’ But, after so much guidance and support from everyone. I feel very comfortable now.”
But even with new doors opening for her, Sadaf hasn’t switched sides completely. “I want to remain focused in both acting and modelling. The latter is more like my forte; I love doing it and I’m proud to say I’m good at it,” she quipped. “However, I do want to be remembered as an actor in the long run.”
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