In media industry, we often come across the term ‘superstar’ being used for the celebrities who are larger than life. Some define this term by the number of followers on a celebrity’s social media handles, while others measure it against the yardstick of ratings these celeb’s TV serials generate or the box office numbers their films garner. For me, in present times, a superstar is someone, who can grab numbers, i-e, number of admissions on their film’s opening weekend, number of footfalls to shopping malls when they visit for their film’s promotions and number of views and clicks to every video or article published on them. These are the celebrities who are renowned globally and they have what it takes to influence and inspire. And when I look around in Pakistan to find someone who seems to be entitled for it, the only name that pops up in my head is Mahira Khan.
In a tête-à-tête with the superstar herself, we asked her to define stardom and this is what it is in her head, “Stardom for me… It’s something given to you first of all by God and then by the audience. No matter what you do, sometimes even the best of us don’t have it. It’s something… I don’t know how to describe but there is a dialogue in our film “Superstar” and it’s like ‘Jo kisi ko samajh naa aye, lekin sub kay dil ko bhaye, jo kahi sama na paye, magar dil pay chaa jaye.. usi ko kehty hyn SUPERSTAR’.. so it’s something like this.”
In the trailer of her upcoming film “Superstar”, we saw her as a common naive girl ‘Noor’ with big dreams who in a turn of events rises as a superstar. If you are a fan of Mahira Khan and have been following her career, the trailer must have made you draw parallels from Mahira’s journey, from being a VJ and a die heart fan of Shah Rukh Khan to then playing the lead star in an SRK film, the journey does sound similar and we had to ask her if there is really anything similar between the two? “Little bit. I would say my journey would require a three parts film to be told, (laughs), and this is not an easy journey by the way, not at all. When people look at me, it feels to them that this all has been very easy but it isn’t. There has been struggle of years. Some times we do talk about it but then sometimes we don’t. So both ‘Noor’ and I had struggles. Her might be different from mine but yes, the grain of this character is quite me.”
Mahira in some of her previous interviews described this film as her ‘dream project’. We asked her to explain what makes “Superstar” a dream project to her and this is what she replied, “I had my belief in this project ever since I heard it’s story and some of it’s songs (both are done by Azan Sami Khan). For me it’s like giving my word to at that time 19 years old Azaan and then sticking by my word. I mean in his little office space he would play piano and I would be twirling around him and we used to discuss the story.” she said with excitement in her eyes while picturing that time, “There was no one around (onboard) back then but the two of us. I always wanted to do this project and when you want to do some thing so badly and that one project keeps getting delayed, it eventually becomes your dream project and that’s what happened to this film. Infact I tell you there came a point when I started to feel that this one might never get made and may be one day after five years when I quit acting, I would direct it myself.”
In “Superstar”, we are going to see Mahira pair up against Bilal Ashraf for the first time. Before the trailer and song ‘Bekaraan’ came out, we were all looking forward to see if this pairing will really work out or not. And it’s not just us, Mahira too at first was not sure about it. “I was a bit hesitant, honestly, as we had never worked together before so I wasn’t sure how would it turn out but when we started shooting, we both slipped in to our characters right from the very first scene.” But the Bin Roye star soon got comfortable with her co-star, “I don’t know what Bilal would say about this but we had some really good time together. We didn’t feel like strangers and even at times when we had those strangers vibes, it actually worked for the scene. But even in that I never felt uncomfortable with him.”
Mahira Khan’s fans are in for a big feast this Eid as she will be seen in not one but two of Eid-ul-Azha films. She is the leading lady of Momina Duraid’s “Superstar” and is playing a pivotal extended cameo in Asim Raza’s “Parey Hut Love”. We asked her if she wishes that both of these films were released on different dates?, “I do. I really wish both these films were released at different times, not so that I would have been able to promote both films as ‘Parey Hut Love’ is Sherry and Maya’s film. But i feel it would have been better for the audiences as they would have enjoyed both films at different times. But you know the good thing is that both these films are pole apart and both are going to serve entirely different flavors to the audience.”
With two films ready to release on Eid, we can certainly say that this Eid ul Azha belongs to Mahira Khan and we at Pakistani Cinema wish the star a good fortune at box office.
Watch here for complete interview: