DUBAI: When Hira Mani first came into showbiz, she was merely referred to as “Mani’s wife.” But that didn’t bother her. She climbed her way up one sitcom after another and has now graduated into one of Pakistan’s leading television stars, whilst raising her two sons and maintaining a healthy married life simultaneously.
Needless to say, Hira is a multitasker; living proof that women don’t always have to give up their careers for the sake of family. “I have to say, I love acting,” the actor told The Express Tribune. “It requires a lot of work; it has to run in your veins. And to me, it always felt like I had it in me to play different characters.”
Hira, who was the female lead opposite Ahsan Khan in 2015’s Preet Na Kariyo Koi, admitted that she began acting rather late. “I suppose there is a time for everything and everything happens for a reason,” she said. “But I want to prove myself. You see, I often feel at war with myself and ask, ‘Can I do this?’ I know I’m not on top of the charts per se but it’s nice when someone comes up and says, ‘This part requires a heavy performance and so, we thought of you’.”
The starlet went on to reveal how she ended up in acting in the first place. “I’ve taken a lot of risks,” Hira shared. “Mani used to do sitcoms and whenever there was a missing female lead, he’d call me and say, ‘Hey Hira, do this role, these are your lines!’ and I’d just go ahead and do that. Luckily, I’ve been able to choose the kind of work I wanted.”
But Hira also used to host a show with her husband Mani and has nothing but fond memories from the time. “I used to be a good host because I didn’t make anyone feel unwelcome. I used to greet them really nicely and hosts, I feel, often get insecure when the interview starts.” she said.
According to Hira, many anchors and talk show hosts are intimidated by other peoples’ talents. “I think talent should be appreciated as once that happens, it always multiplies,” she explained. “Look at it this way: If you accept someone else’s talent, your own talent will also shine. If you try to sabotage someone else, you will get hurt. I truly believe that. If you want to showcase how good you are, try and be generous to others and you’ll see how good they are too. We need to inculcate that within ourselves.”
Building up on that, Hira went on to praise the new actors trying to make their names in the industry today. “They are all working so hard! I make sure to appreciate all of them. Iqra Aziz, for example, is fantastic!” she said.
After doing many plays with ensemble casts, such as Sun Yaara which started Zarnish Khan and the very popular Yaqeen Ka Safar with Sajal Aly, Hira has learnt that it is the chemistry between two co-actors that makes a scene worth watching. “One person cannot make it a great scene alone. I have to have a very good co-star with me as I rely on cues.”
Hira is currently starring in Mera Khuda Jaane with Ali Abbas and Thays, opposite Junaid Khan. “Both of them are fine, fine actors and help make every scene great,” she added. “Mera Khuda Jaane is a very different story and I’m very pleasantly surprised that people are accepting it. They’re really involved in this character, her storyline and future. The subject of rape/domestic violence is difficult and it’s hard to create these characters.”
After this, Hira will next be seen opposite Imran Ashraf and Neelum Muneer in Dil Moam Ka Diya.
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