KARACHI: After proving her acting prowess through television, theatre and films, Hareem also ventured into film production with Reham Khan’s Janaan and her upcoming film Parchi is already one of the most anticipated flicks of the year. What more could be said about the talented Hareem Farooq.
In conversation with The Express Tribune, the star shared her thoughts on the Pakistani film industry, judgemental audiences, internet trolls and experimental transformations.
ET: The Pakistani entertainment industry has changed immensely in the last few years of your career, what has been the biggest moment for you so far?
Hareem Farooq (HF): It would probably have to be producing my own film – Janaan. While it was tough, it was fun and an absolutely exhilarating experience. It was fun to see what happens behind the lens. It definitely gave me a new perspective on my profession.
ET: You have been an actor and a producer, if we leave those words aside, how would you describe yourself?
HF: I’m a fun-loving person but also pretty laid-back and kind of lazy actually. I also really love my cheat days!
ET: It seems like 2017 has been Hareem Farooq year. From donning the producer’s hat and shutting down trolls to a drastic transformation and being a leading beauty brand’s spokesperson, how would you describe your journey?
HF: I’m so grateful to have reached this point in my life; I appreciate all the people who have surrounded and supported me till now. I aim to achieve even more in life and am doing everything in my power to make Pakistan an international contender in film-making. I believe cinema is a huge impactful medium for provoking change and creating new perspectives throughout the world.
ET: Your recent transformation is simply inspiring. In your opinion, what role does hair play in one’s appearance and how does its colour define one’s personality?
HF: For a woman, hair is everything; at least for me. My hair describes who I am and it gives me confidence. As far as your hair colour is concerned, as long as you don’t damage your hair you should definitely experiment!
Hareem Farooq reveals who she'd like to be stuck in an elevator with
I get to play with colour frequently while protecting my hair. The stronger and shinier the hair, the better.
ET: What are your thoughts on experimental transformations? Do you think there are any limits?
HF: I believe people should experiment as much as they like, just as long as they stay true to themselves and their core values. That being said, obviously there are limits to everything.
I had people telling me I was too big to be in media: Hareem Farooq
If you make too many changes you may end up making yourself unhappy. An experiment which boosts your self-confidence is one you shouldn’t be afraid of.
ET: Do you think Pakistani audiences have been overly judgmental towards the appearance of female celebrities in general?
HF: It’s not just Pakistani female celebrities who are under a microscope, this happens internationally too. Women are simply more prone to judgment for some reason. There’s little that can be done to force people in the other direction.
All one can do is advocate for and defend those who are under such scrutiny, and make an effort to provoke those who are judging you into being more ‘accepting’ of us through our actions.
ET: What and who comes to your mind when you think of the phrase ‘More than just a pretty face’?
HF: Mahira Khan.
It’s hard pulling off glamour with decency in Pakistan: Hareem Farooq
ET: Being a woman, what do you think is the prerequisite to thrive within Pakistan’s entertainment industry?
HF: I believe that wherever you are in this world and which ever profession you are involved in, you need to stick to some core beliefs. You need to work hard and have faith. Most importantly, you should respect others. I believe that if you follow this route, you will not just get by; you will thrive.
ET: What does 2018 hold for you?
HF: Now, that’s definitely a million dollar question. I have a few things lined up for the upcoming year but if I tell you now, I’ll have to kill you… (giggles)
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