If there are any Pakistan TV buffs who would recognise Sana Javed better by her screen names Heer and Khaani, from her recent drama serials ‘Heer Weds Romeo’ and ‘Khaani’ respectively, you can’t blame them. Both these shows went on to create a cult following; the latter even found an audience in the UAE when it was aired on MBC Bollywood early this year. And now ‘Khaani’ is out on Netflix, too.
A jubilant Javed tells Gulf News tabloid! that she is “very happy about the [Netflix] release. I understand that it’s a huge platform.”
One of the most popular actresses from the younger lot, Javed has also appeared in hit plays such as ‘Pyare Afzal’ (2013) which had a successful rerun on Zee TV’s erstwhile Zindagi channel. She also featured in ‘Mehrunisa V Lub U’ (2017), a film which was a box office success but a critical disaster. Thankfully, she does not look back at the project with a false sense of pride. And when she lost the Best Actress trophy to Iqra Aziz, at the 18th LUX Style Awards, it shocked many; but Javed, who was also one of the hosts of the night, conducted herself with grace.
What gives her the confidence to be herself is evidently the kind of work she has got to do on the small screen, where she has invariably played a strong woman. Currently, she is starring in ‘Darr Khuda Se’, opposite Imran Abbas, which tackles the issue of sexual harassment at workplace. Her next serial, not yet titled, shall see her portray a rape survivor. “I can assure you, I haven’t played anything like this before,” she declares.
The play is written by Naila Ansari and directed by Rubina Ashraf. Javed is paired with Mikaal Zulfikar.
Read on to find more…
‘Khaani’ is out on Netflix. Are you excited?
Yes, I am. I understand that it [Netflix] is a huge platform. Earlier, thanks to MBC Bollywood, ‘Khaani’ got a great Arab following. But let me tell you, I have already got so much love and appreciation in Pakistan that I don’t know if anything can top that.
You were the most likely winner of Best Actress for ‘Khaani’, at the LUX Style Awards. How did losing the trophy impact you?
I don’t work for awards. Also, I believe that awards don’t define your success and achievements. My award is that I have given four back-to-back hit drama serials, ‘Darr Khuda Se’ being the latest.
Your character in ‘Darr Khuda Se’ is a departure from the breezy Heer in your earlier serial, ‘Heer Weds Romeo’, which followed the intense ‘Khaani’. Is there a conscious effort on your part to maintain this pattern and avoid getting stereotyped?
My conscious effort is only to pick strong characters that also have a message for society and women. ‘Khaani’ was a very strong character. I still get feedback from women who tell me how it inspired them and gave them courage when they were going through similar experiences in life.
Have you ever faced harassment at workplace?
No, never. Thank god for that. But I also believe that I am the sort of person who would react very strongly if someone so much as even looked at me in a weird way.
So how does an actor like you internalise something you haven’t experienced? What are the sources you draw from? Any particular actor’s performance you are inspired by?
I don’t draw inspiration from any other actor’s work. If I started doing that, I’d lose my individuality. I just try to get into the skin of the character I am playing. It takes some method.
Is there a screen character you played that came closest to your personality?
I think I’m like a number of characters, in different ways. For instance, I am a fun person like Lubna [in ‘Pyare Afzal’]; I have her energy and sense of humour. Similarly, I’ve the strength of character of Khaani. Maybe, I’m also a child-woman like Heer.
Tell us about your future projects.
I am very excited about my next serial, which is a Six Sigma Production. Again, it’s a very intense character, but I can assure you I haven’t done anything like this before. I play a doctor who is a rape survivor. It’s an amazing story.
What about films?
I hope we can do without a mention of ‘Mehrunnisa’…! [Chuckles.] On a serious note, yes, I am open to doing [more] films. In fact, I’m sifting through a couple of projects I’ve been offered. Let’s see what future has in store for me.