Syra Yousuf set for the silver screen


KARACHI: Saira Shahroz has come a long way since hosting the music quiz show Bheja Fry on MTV Pakistan. She has proved her mettle as a dedicated television actor and now has been roped in for not one, but two Pakistani movies which she will be working on simultaneously. The VJ-turned-actor will be making her big screen debut in a project by the Hot Water Bottles production house, titled Chalay Thay Sath. The film will be directed by Omar Adil, with the shoot scheduled to begin in April next month. It will be shot in Karachi and Hunza.
Chalay Thay Sath will follow the lives of four friends, depicting an unconventional story of love, friendship, family values and disasters. The actor will be seen essaying the role of Resham – a free-spirited, adventurous youngster. Talking to The Express Tribune, Saira expressed her pleasure over the fact that she got an opportunity to voice her opinions regarding the creative aspects of the film. “The team-members are open to suggestions on how things should be done,” she shared. “That is clearly and interesting aspect – where I found it lacked, I have played my part.”

From hosting, modeling, television assignments and now films, Saira appears to have done it all. But according to her, she has only just begun. “To be honest, I always wanted to direct,” she shared, adding that she would be more than happy to take the director’s seat for a project of her own. “I don’t want to be too old and regret never having opted for it. So yes, I want to do it soon and do it well. It’s definitely something I am looking to explore in the future.”

Nonetheless, Saira refrained from revealing too much about her second cinematic venture, except that it is going to be a super hero film with a “very well-written” script. She did, however, express a desire to follow in the footsteps of fellow actors Humaima Malik, Mawra Hocane and Mahira Khan and cross the border into Bollywood productions. “Yes, I am open to Bollywood but not random offers,” she claimed. “The script needs to be good. There has to be high production value and a worthy cast.”

Saira notes a general inclination towards lighter, more entertainment-centric films in Pakistan which have been influenced by Bollywood. But according to her, it is important to make films which the public can relate to in terms of culture. “I am happy with whatever is coming on the screen. The game has certainly picked up.” She also looks forward to working with her husband Shahroz Sabzwari in films someday. “We have a great chemistry on screen, but for films, we would have to rely on a great script and a good production. We are certainly not wasting ourselves as a couple, neither do we plan to waste an opportunity that comes our way.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th,  2016.