Poised but expressive, kind yet unapologetic, actor and model Mareeha Safdar surely knows how to speak her mind. In a tête-à-tête with Social Diary, the larger-than-life artist shared how she is continually seeking ways to realize her full potential, why the world of entertainment isn’t all as glamorous as it is hyped up to be, and why 2023 continues to be her year. Learn more:
SD: How did you venture into the field of modeling?
Mareeha: When I was in school at Lahore Grammar School, we used to have an annual Grammathon which was like a talent show, which had different categories to participate in, one of which was modeling. I just happened to take part in it and we had to make an outfit out of recycled items and then do a catwalk on the show. The judges were Mehreen Syed and Hassan Shehryar and they voted me the best female model after which I took part in a similar show for another school for my sister where I had to walk in an outfit made by my sister’s friend and I won the best female model for that too. I did a few shows for local brands after which I was approached by a designer to sign with them as a model but I was already moving to England so I parted ways with the industry.
SD: What is it about modeling that fascinated you the most?
Mareeha: I never planned to become a model, it just so happened that I ended up doing it because it came naturally and effortlessly, so to me, it wasn’t like a fascination as such.
SD: Do you feel there is favoritism in the modeling industry?
Mareeha: There is a lot of favoritism and nepotism in the industry. It really depends on who you know and who you hang out with. In most cases, I’ve seen certain people being given more preference by who they know, or to whom they are related to or are comfortable working with rather than an individual’s talent. It’s convenient to rather pick someone with no talent, just looking to get famous and make them work with less money so they don’t have to spend too much and they can control them however they want.
SD: How did you venture into the field of acting?
Mareeha: I was with a modeling and acting agency in London through which I got my first Bollywood film, followed by other roles in other films then I went to an acting school in London called the Identity School of Acting and then continued in the field – Bollywood and Pakistani projects.
SD: What remains your top criteria when choosing your projects?
Mareeha: I always like to read the script before I agree to any project. The script has to be a fresh concept or a fresh take on an existing concept, the way it’s written, the dialogues and the character is what really grabs my attention. If the script is amazing and it grabs my attention from the start, it gets me excited to work on it.
SD: Do you feel we are progressing in our drama industry or are we still stuck in cliche concepts?
Mareeha: I used to love watching old Pakistani dramas but then I stopped as I noticed the same faces and the same cliche concepts repeated over and over again which made it very difficult, predictable, and boring for me to watch so I haven’t watched anything lately. It’s been a while.
SD: What about movies? Does the film industry entice you?
Mareeha: I haven’t had a good experience working in the film industry in Pakistan.
SD: What kind of learning experience you got when working on“Adhuray Nishaan”
Mareeha: Adhuray Nishaan was a film with a good script that really got my attention. Also, the director was very passionate about it which made me more eager and excited to work on it. We shot 1/3 of the film but the director’s own partner and the main actor got into a financial feud which brought the film to a halt.
SD: How do you take on the negativity thrown by trolls?
Mareeha: I think your haters are your best friends. The time and effort they put into trolling and writing negative stuff about you or on your profile just to get your attention is incredible. If you don’t have haters then you’re a nobody.
SD: Has 2023 been going as you anticipated?
Mareeha: 2023 has been amazing. I never planned anything my entire life because I’m pretty spontaneous and I like to surprise myself but this year has been exceptional. I decided to just pack my bags, leave everything and venture out and discover more of myself and the world. It’s been amazing so far.
SD: Concluding words for your followers?
Mareeha: I encourage my followers to stay true to themselves, and be authentic and original. I encourage them to be independent, travel, and aim on staying mentally healthy. I have a YouTube channel where I help people have a positive outlook on life to manifest a better life for themselves.
IN A GLANCE
What is your absolute superpower?
Your favorite digital personality?
I don’t have any
A director you wish to work with?
The one thing that is a mood killer?
Three things you have with you all the time?
My faith, my etiquettes and my respect
Which season is the best style statement?
Morning Person or Late Nights Enthusiast
Late night enthusiast
Desi Wear or Western
Don’t have any
Don’t have regrets. Everything in life is a lesson
Most Prized Possession
This chain my mum gave to all the siblings
Someone you wish to meet
Top 3 things on your bucket list
See the world before I die
Be able to give my parents everything they gave me
The best thing about your work
It’s my passion so I love doing it
The worst thing about your work
Your favorite movie
What people don’t know about you?
I’m an introvert
Your dream destination?