There are many Pakistani artists who have truly won over local audiences with their ace acting skills. However, there are others who have managed to break the twin barriers of generation and geography alike, making waves in various nations world over. Thanks to their onscreen appeal, their stardom knows no borders.
They have not only won the hearts of international fans, but taken over prime time slots on the small screen all across the globe too, including India. From Sanam Saeed to Maya Ali, here are six actors that have managed to make their mark across the border, as compiled from Vogue India.
1. Sanam Saeed
Sanam began her time in the entertainment industry being part of Pakistan's first standup comedy group, had a stint as a VJ, and appeared as a backup vocalist on Coke Studio.
The London-born star then landed her breakout role as Kashaf in Zindagi Gulzar Hai, which is what made her a household name, not only in Pakistan, but India too. Although she has featured in a couple of films in the past, this year came her critically acclaimed international hit film Cake.
Her dream role is “One that is based on a real-life character and has the power to stimulate the audience and make them laugh and cry.”
2. Fahad Mustafa
Actor, producer and TV host Fahad is known as the “people’s champ” for a reason. He has worked in dramas including Main Abdul Qadir Hoon and Kankar, and super hits such as Om Puri-starrer Actor In Law. The star recently struck gold by playing a comical character in the sequel to 2015’s blockbuster Jawani Phir Nahi Ani.
His dream role is playing “the aam aadmi (common man) on screen.”
3. Ayesha Omar
Singer-model-actor and a qualified painter, Ayesha first surprised Indian fans with her dance number Tutti Frutti from Karachi Se Lahore. On TV, she received much praise for her role as Khoobsurat in Bulbulay, which ended in 2017 after nine great seasons.
Her dream role is “A biopic... maybe on the life of Nazia Hassan or Marilyn Monroe.”
4. Mehwish Hayat
Model-actor Mehwish has time and again proved her versatility: From breezing through roles of a woman fighting patriarchy in Dil Lagi to her role as a nautch girl in Na Maloom Afraad.
She is considered the most saleable film star today, having featured in three of Pakistan’s highest grossers of all time and has also made an appearance on Coke Studio. Hayat hopes to be able to play the “first Muslim super-heroine” soon.
Her dream role is "to play Cleopatra and Mughal-e-Azam’s Anarkali.”
5. Sheheryar Munawar
Shehryar is best known for playing the reticent Aaliyan from the TV series Aasmanon Pay Likha and, more recently, the introvert who wins it all in the fantasy film 7 Din Mohabbat In.
A business graduate, what sets him apart from his contemporaries is that he works both behind and front of the camera. An avowed fan of Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese, Munawar is on to his second feature as a producer and lead actor in Paray Hut Love.
His dream role is “Marlon Brando’s role in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Daniel Day-Lewis’s in There Will Be Blood.”
6. Maya Ali
Maya became popular as Zara courtesy her 2013 drama series Aunn Zara. She claims to be filmy in real life and would love to get away to the Swiss Alps, à la DDLJ’s Simran.
Her last TV serial, Mann Mayal was a smash hit, and Maya is now eyeing the big screen, after having debuted opposite Ali Zafar in one of the year’s biggest hit, Teefa In Trouble. Up next is Paray Hut Love.
Maya's dream role is “A differently-abled character like Rani Mukerji’s in Black or Priyanka Chopra’s in Barfi."
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