Interview By: Asif Khan
From being a model to an actress, Heena Chaudhry’s journey is surely an inspiring tale. In 2017, she delivered a confident audition before two veterans, writer Faseeh Bari Khan and actor Ali Tahir and grabbed the lead role in drama serial Mohini Mansion Ki Cinderella and since then, there has been no looking back for her. In her career spanning for more than four years now, Heena has given some fantastic performances in serials like Nalaiq, Dulhan, Mujhay Rang De, Kausar Kahan Gai etc. proving that she is adept at playing both soft and layered roles, which is reflective of this actress’ range of acting ability.
Social Diary had a great conversation with this talented artist who knows how to take things in her stride.
SD: What are the basics that you keep in mind when saying “yes” to a project?
Heena: Actually, it has to be a good script; if the story is epic, it will automatically give wings to the project. I’ve set my own set of priorities for the work coming my way and if I’m offered anything conflicting to those principles than I will prefer to opt out no matter how good the script is.
SD: Are you satisfied with the content of our drama and do you agree that our writers are not ready to explore new subjects?
Heena: Viewer’s choice always matters so our writers will always prefer to bring stories that are of mass interest. So, if a certain thing is hit with the masses and selling like hot cakes then why would a writer be exploring something else?
SD: Why is the mindset of the media programmed around ratings? Doesn’t the content matter anymore?
Heena: It’s so obvious in a competitive market, like the one we have. Once a project sets some milestones in terms of viewership, the demand of its cast, director and production house escalates overnight.
SD: What has been the most challenging project of your career so far?
Heena: To portray the role of a Sindhi folk singer in a serial. I had to learn Sindhi dialect which was quite challenging. I took the help of my house keeper who is a Sindhi native. By observing her body language and enunciation, I learnt quickly.
SD: It’s the job of a director to give the actors a well-knit and cohesive screenplay to peg their acting skills. Do you always get that?
Heena: I have been really lucky that I always attained a good support system not just from my directors, but also my unit and co-stars.
SD: How do you maintain the balance between your onscreen and off-screen life?
Heena: The moment I stroll on to a set, it’s actually not Heena who makes the entry there. I make sure that it’s my character who is there on the set. Similarly with the final sound of pack up, the character exits and Heena comes back and leaves home like a typical girl next door. I always accept the work, which I think I’ll be able to do in a certain time period without disturbing my off-screen life.
SD: In showbiz your life doesn’t remain yours – it is everyone’s, which is why do you feel being famous is sometimes not a good catch?
Heena: Being a celebrity has its own set of perks but I agree that being famous is not good all the time. What I enjoy the most is the amount of love and appreciation I get from the people from this career I’ve chosen.
SD: What do you currently aim to attain in your career?
Heena: Well currently my only focus is to perform a character which can actually inspire our youth, in reel as well as real life.
SD: What is the biggest lesson showbiz has taught you?
Heena: To be honest, it has to be patience.
SD: What would your preference be if you had to choose between your on-screen or off-screen life and why?
Heena: I would choose off-screen life. Because at least I’ll be in a real world, surrounded by my loved ones and have the freedom to do anything.
SD: How do you find working with veterans in this field?
Heena: So far I have worked with an amazing cast and my seniors have been so humble and helpful. I did my first project with silver screen’s super star Shabnam jee. It was a huge honor for me to perform alongside the woman who is undoubtedly a living legend. Even my parents are huge fans of her and she never made me feel like a newbie. She helped me a lot and I have learnt so much from her.
SD: What are your upcoming projects;
Heena: My drama serial Youn To Hai Pyar Bohat and my film Baghawat which is getting released soon.