In an industry which is known to be extremely competitive in every possible regard, looking into roles going to so-called ‘nepotism’ links makes people question whether real talent even exists. However things aren’t always as they may seem. Some of those faces you see on screen actually have to work hard to get where they are at. Minna Tariq is one such actress. Daughter of veteran star ‘Rubina Ashraf’, Minna knows she is a star kid but she is not letting that get to her head, as she makes her mark- her very own way. Speaking to
Social Diary, the rising star who chooses roles that are unique and story-oriented, gives a peek into what it was like growing up with a superstar mother while also discovering her own true calling!
SD: Was acting always on the cards or did you wish to pursue something else earlier?
Minna: No, not really. However in the back of my mind, I did think about it. But I was actually an overweight child so I knew to get into acting, there’s plenty of homework and commitment that I needed to give from my end. I went for studies to London in 2010 and I stayed on till 2014, studying film, television and music. The field did always attract me but acting wasn’t in the equation. Once I came back, I thought of giving acting a chance to see if this is the field for me or not. That’s when I went on a weight loss journey in 2018 and in 6 months, I lost major weight; it was about 22kgs. After which I went to Six Sigma for work and auditioned for ‘Ruswai’. That’s how it all worked out!
SD: Being the daughter of a legendary actress, would you watch your mother in dramas when young?
Minna: I remember watching her dramas when I was very young. I remember one specific drama where she gets violently locked up in a room. That left me traumatized as I wondered where did my mom go? Now I am usually watching most of her plays and work. We also discuss between ourselves the projects we take on.
SD: What was it about the entertainment industry that fascinated you?
Minna: I think it’s the fact that working on television gives you a lot of different characters to play. So while in reality , you are this one constant personality with limited options to explore. But as an actor, I am able to live and experience a range of characters. Example how I’ve been able to explore the concept of mental health with one of the characters. So you live in this range of characters and learn and take a little from them back home. Like how from Wardah, I learned how patience is an integral part of life.
SD: Among all the drama serials of Rubina Ashraf, which fascinated you the most and why?
Minna: Pas-e-Aaina is probably one of the most fascinating ones for me. I remember checking out whether that gun that she used to carry is real or not. It was during my school days that serial used to come on and my friends would also get curious and ask whether the gun was real or not. And I would burst their bubble that it was indeed just a plastic prop. I would really get fascinated by the way the series was shot as I would occasionally join my mom on sets.
SD: When deciding to pursue the same field, did you feel you will be targeted on the basis of nepotism?
Minna: Actually when I started work on Ruswai, I wasn’t really aware of what nepotism really meant, at least in the sense of how it was used in our country. See the thing is, getting it all due to your mom is something that can work on the initial one or two projects. But that card can’t be played all the time. You need to show what you’ve got from your own talent. However I did hear a lot of nepotism talks after Ruswai regarding me and how I was able to get the project. For me, I felt I can’t take the privilege away from the fact that I am a star kid. I will always have to listen to all of these things and the least I can do is appreciate what I have.
SD:How do you handle criticism and what keeps you passionate about this field of work?
Minna: Oh I love criticism! I feel that’s one of the best things to keep you going. After Ruswai and when the nepotism radar began, there was a lot of criticism that I had to deal with as well. Some writers supported me, others were brutal. But the good thing is that this feedback, regardless of how it is, makes you really strong. With all sorts of things that are going to come, I have always remained secure. I knew who I was and where I came from; I don’t really bother with what people say when I know how honestly I have done my work and committed to it wholeheartedly. Also the love of the audience, the way they commit to following your character is what drives my passion and makes me coming back for more.
SD: How do you decide on your projects?
Minna: The fact is I am not being offered a hundred plays at a time. But the 2-3 I do get, I look into the one which is different whether the role is meaty or limited. I always choose quality over quantity. In Benaam, I had chosen a completely different character where she has been on medications and has variations. The only reason I picked this role up, despite it not being the lead, is because I know the audience will click with something new and different being projected on the screen.
IN A GLANCE
The Thing You are Grateful for in the Pandemic?
My mother’s recovery from Covid
Your most prized possession?
The one thing that is a mood killer?
Bad body odor
Three things you have with you all the time?
My phone, my tasbeeh and my diary to write my thoughts in
Morning Person or Late Nights Enthusiast
Depends… Morning person if I have shoots and late nights with my friends
Desi Wear or Western
Hurting my parents
Not being able
Someone you wish meet
Top 3 things on your bucket list
Watch Kapil Sharma perform live
Adele live in concert
The best thing about your work
Living the life of different characters
The worst thing about your work
Your dream destination
London and New York