The year 2019 has seen many ups and downs when it comes to films and TV; not many films have done well in cinemas whereas TV doesn’t offer anything new to its viewers. However, one thing that remained constant during January and October has been Zara Noor Abbas, the beautiful actress who is out to make a name for herself.
She started the year with drama serial Qaid, went onto make a fantastic film debut last Eidul Fitr through Chhalawa, had another release at Eid ul Azha Parey Hut Love and is currently giving Osman Khalid Butt a run for his money in Ehd-e-Wafa. Her cameo appearance in Deewar-e-Shab also got her noticed because her elegant dance caught everyone’s attention. The News Tribe got hold of the talented actress who is doing justice to her mother and aunt’s legacy, her husband’s support and her fans’ expectations.
TNT: First of all, let’s start with your latest project Ehd-e-Wafa that is on air and breaking records. Why did you opt for the drama that had more emphasis on boys and less on girls such as yourself?
ZARA: This is not the first time that I have worked with an ensemble cast; it might be an ensemble for the audience but for me, the character I have been asked to play matters the most. Nothing else attracts or bothers me about the project other than that.
TNT: Which of the boys from Ahad Raza Mir, Osman Khalid Butt, Wahaj Ali and Ahmed Ali Akbar, did you enjoy working with the most?
ZARA: My scenes have mostly been with Osman Khalid Butt only. I have not shared the screen with Ahad or other main cast members. For me, it was just about me, my character Raani and the director Saife Hasan, of course. I had a great time working with Osman as he is a thorough gentleman. We haven’t had any interaction in the drama till the fourth episode so let’s see how the audience reacts when we do.
TNT: Your character is shown to be a bully as well as a loser who wants to enjoy life to the fullest. Is that how you were when you were in college?
The audience saw you in depressing roles during your first few projects, including Khamoshi and Qaid. How difficult was it to convince them that you can make them happy too, not just sad!
ZARA: Personally, I am a very happy person and those who know me were surprised when I did serious roles on TV. In all my cousins, I am the one everyone fears the most because I love to make them laugh at their own expense. When I did films and roles that weren’t sad, it was me playing a part of myself that not many had encountered till then. It was just about changing gears and giving it my 100%; no rocket science there.
TNT: Now something about the two films you did this year – Chhalawa and Parey Hut Love. Both managed to do good business at the box office and your performance was praised in both. How does that feel?
ZARA: It’s a great feeling, to be honest. I had signed Parey Hut Love first but Chhalawa came out first where everyone loved my character as well as my dance moves. When Parey Hut Love came, people appreciated my acting and chemistry with Ahmed Ali Butt, and I can’t be happier. Working with both Wajahat Rauf and Asim Raza was a wonderful experience and I got to learn a lot during the two projects.
TNT: You went to the most beautiful places in Asia during the shoot of Parey Hut Love. How would you rate that experience?
ZARA: Oh yes, we shot in Bahawalpur, Muzaffarabad, and Istanbul, Turkey and it was great fun. The love and care that Asim and his team bestowed on their cast and crew were amazing. He took care of everyone so well. We spent a lot of time together be it shooting, shopping and dining.
TNT: Which cast member from the film was the most mischievous during the shoot?
ZARA: I had fun with all, be it Sherry (Sheheryar Munawwar), Butt sahib (Ahmed Ali Butt) or others. However, Maya Ali and I spent most of the time together and loved every bit of it. And then there was a prank I played on the set with Adnan, our makeup artist, and the complete story is nothing short of a drama.
TNT: Something about working with your husband Asad Siddiqui in your first film; were you expecting the director to pair you two together?
ZARA: When I was signed for Chhalawa, Asad wasn’t part of the film as he was busy working on TV and the director had someone else in mind. He asked him after he couldn’t rope in the other actor and I was suddenly acting opposite my real-life husband on my first reel film release. It was fun having him around and working with Mehwish Hayat, Mehmood Aslam, Azfar Rehman, and others, and dancing on some of the best songs of the year.
TNT: Moving back to Television, you recently had the chance to share the screen with your Mother and Aunt for the first time. Were you nervous during the shoot of Deewar-e-Shab?
ZARA: Both my Mother Asma Abbas and Aunt Bushra Ansari have been part of showbiz for more than three decades, and sharing the screen with them was a dream come true. It helped me get one thing off my checklist because a) I was able to share the screen with two Legends and b) I am so glad that I was able to do it without disappointing either of them.
TNT: Coming from a family of talented ladies, people expected you to excel at comedy and serious acting. However, you surprised them all with your dancing skills, besides comedy and serious acting. How?
ZARA: I have always been fond of dancing and used to dance at family weddings with my mother. I learned to dance by watching films so when I was offered to play a role in Chhalawa that involved a fascination with films and dancing, I immediately said yes. Later, I also got to display my dancing skills in the guest appearance in Deewar e Shab and had a lot of fun performing the role on TV.
TNT: Who helps you pick such diverse scripts – your mother, your aunt or your husband?
ZARA: I discuss my scripts first with my husband Asad Siddiqui and also with my mother who has always been more of a friend and a mentor to me. The reason why I am able to play anything under the sun is that my husband trusts me and my instincts that help me in deciding whether I want to play the character or not.
TNT: And finally, what is next on your to-do list now that you have done films and TV both?
ZARA: Let’s see. I have a couple of good offers at the moment and I will try my best to choose what is good for me as an actress. It could be a film, a drama or both. Until then, they should enjoy Parey Hut Love in cinemas or Ehd-e-Wafa on TV.