By Asif Khan
Mariam Mirza is one of the most dignified, elegant and dazzling actresses of our showbiz industry who has always been appreciated for accepting a variety of complex roles and for portraying them flawlessly. Courtesy to her radiant personality and reservoir of energy, she has enjoyed one of the most enthralling career orbits and clocked milestone after milestone but never let her association with showbiz and corporate sector disturb her balance of professional & personal life .
Social Diary had the pleasure of speaking to this fascinating personality as we got to know her even better:
SD: With a promising onscreen career and off-screen life followed by a thriving corporate career, how do you maintain work-life balance?
Mariam: Alhamdulillah apart from being flexible and versatile in nature, I’m immensely adaptive to situations that I come across. I was a banker in my previous career and then I became a business woman and later made a transition into showbiz. So now I have learnt how to take things in my stride realistically.
SD: As an actor, what are your pre-requisites when accepting a project?
Mariam: In terms of pre-requisites, I would say that with monotonous subjects, we really don’t have that much of a choice to opt for but I do see who the director is; the cast and most importantly the content and how important my character positions itself in the main story.
SD: How do you manage from getting type cast in similar roles?
Mariam: Well, I am doing a number of projects but I can’t refrain from getting type-cast as most of my characters are either mothers or mother- in- law. I wish I could do something different where I could have ample margin of performance. Fortunately, I got to perform a very different role in a movie but due to COVID, it hasn’t been released as yet.
SD: What has been the most challenging role of your career so far?
Mariam: The most challenging role was in the serial Dar Khuda Se where I played the role of an aged yet paralyzed wife of a husband much younger than her, played by Imran Abbas. Apart from a paralyzed woman, the role showed the character having keen business acumen with aura, anger and stubbornness. These multiple shades of her personality gave me ample room to showcase my versatility as an actor and I received unprecedented applause from viewers.
SD: Don’t you think our dramas have lost somewhere and now we get to see the same stories, time and again?
Mariam: Writers have tried and are trying to bring out of the box stories, having different subjects and serials like Uddari and now Phaans has set really good precedents. But writers too have to confront restraints and constraints from their media bosses having business mindset who yearn for ratings and also from the audience who want to watch the drama getting concluded on a happy note.
SD: Is it the rating that declares a certain serial to be a hit or flop?
Mariam: I’m not in favor of this trend. It shouldn’t be like this. But the way commercialism has affected the other fields, showbiz is no exception either. I remember my serial Aangan, received a huge response from the audience but unfortunately it couldn’t escalate the ratings bar.
SD: What was that one project that took your career to new heights?
Mariam: I think my role in serial Tamnna was the one I can mention here. It had a variety of shades to it and the character was about a lonely elder daughter in law, having a personality with different dimensions. So, coming out from one shade of the role to delve into the other was really tricky at times but it was very challenging which really helped me register my diversity as an actor.
SD: How do people react to the character that you play in the serials?
Mariam: In serial Pakeeza, I played a very nice, caring and kind hearted mother-in-law and people loved it and were immensely appreciated for showing positivity. So, whenever I used to go out in public, women started showing up in hoards, appreciating me for setting up good precedent for all mothers-in-law.
SD: Do your children have any inclination towards the glamour of showbiz?
Mariam: My children are well settled and they have no interest in showbiz at all. Mashallah both of them are the HR heads in their respective companies. One of them is in Bangkok and the other in Tokyo.
SD: How would you like to define love?
Mariam: For me it’s the realization and keeping the choices and needs of the other person, ahead of yours.
SD: If there comes a choice to opt either showbiz or corporate, what would you say?
Mariam: Alhumdollilah I have a good deal of professional experience in both fields and I can easily switch back and forth, any time I want.
SD: How do you find the junior actors and their journey?
Mariam: It’s very heartening to see lots of juniors coming in but they still need to learn a lot. After doing one or two serials they shouldn’t assume themselves as stars. It’s a long journey. Apart from that, they should also be giving due respect to the seniors.
SD: Generally speaking, what kind of misconceptions about your personality have you come across?
Mariam: Very big misconception about me is sort of a preconceived notion that Ican’t cook and not domesticated. That’s utterly untrue. Well, I’m very domesticated. I can cook everything and I am a good housewife.
SD: What are your upcoming projects?
Mariam: My upcoming project post- Eid, “Yunh Tu Hai Pyar Bohat ” with Hira Mani. It’s going to be aired on Hum tv, so hopefully you’ll all like it. I just did a play with Faheem Barni “Tumse Kehna Tha” in which I did the role of a strong mother-in-law and by going through all the messages on YouTube and fan mails, I found that people just loved my role.
SD: What are your corporate engagements these days and how much of being a popular face helps you in your professional life?
Mariam: I am into the real estate business in Turkey where I help people getting Turkish passports and their residencies. I think being a popular face of TV brings you more credibility as people trust you even more and believe in you and treat you with love. Even if I am in Turkey for real estate business, people come to see me and take selfies and share with their loved ones.