Pakistani actresses can make you fall in love with their charm and elegance, but they can pretty much don a negative hat with the same aplomb, making the roles more memorable. We have recent examples of Mansha Pasha pulling an evil Shumaila in Surkh Chandni, an inncocent-looking Yumna Zaidi (Shakira) acting as a sinister alter-ego of Zahid Ahmed in Ishq Zahe Naseeb or Ayeza Khan (Mehwish) as a wife whose commitment to her marriage is wavering in Meray Paas Tum Ho.
Gone were the days when negative roles were considered unhealthy for the career growth of an A-list actor. In fact, grey characters for female leads are the talk of the town these days. Legends like Meryl Streep also played Mary Louise (mother of deceased Perry Wright) in the dark tale of Big Little Lies recently. With web series and movies on the cards, there is certainly more room to perform for all our leading ladies.
Having said that, we are not talking about conforming roles that have been done to death like an evil sister, daughter-in-law and a home wrecker. Whether it is a good character gone rogue or bad character on her way to redemption, we would love to see some of our favorite actresses tread in dark waters.
Here are six who we think should take a plunge…
Speak of a rebel (with a cause indeed) and Saba Qamar is a must on the list! She must have done some mischievous characters in her career, but it is high time the actress explore some more. Imagine Saba playing something along the lines of a tycoon, a psychotic lover or femme fatale. With a strong script, we are sure she can ace such a role, setting a benchmark for her peers!
We have seen her as a young, independent, fierce and carefree spirit so many times in dramas and movies alike. But what’s the harm in writing a character for her that’s complex and creative at the same time; someone that clashes with our stereotypical ‘good girl’ image. We saw her as a gangster’s daughter in JPNA but the theme wasn’t explored much. However, she is one of the few Pakistani actresses who can pull off an act of defiance convincingly.
We have always seen her in a girl-next-door avatar in films and television alike. Everyone’s darling, Mahira is a genuinely beautiful person inside and out and hence directors usually see her in the same kind of characters. However, if you had a chance to watch Mahira perform in Parey Hut Love, you would agree that the lady can pull off a snobbish persona just as easily. Mahira can explore so much with a character like Zeena whose motivations might be dubious, but intentions are pure.
Long ago Sanam played a girl called Minah in drama serial Kadoorat (which means grudge). Undoubtedly, I have never seen an actress hold a grudge that persuasively on screen. Though underrated for many reasons, the performance never made it to the limelight, however Sanam left a mark. We loved her in a complex character like Kashaf in Zindagi Gulzar Hai and we wish to see her more in such refined roles.
Sohai Ali Abro
Sohai Ali Abro recently pushed the envelope portraying the plight of an acid attack survivor. Earlier, she was seen in Motorcycle Girl and the actress won our hearts there as well. Sohai has a lot of untapped potential and we think she can nail a multilayered character with ease. Considering movies, we can easily picture Sohai giving some cold and calculated gazes or doing fight sequences.
There’s something so refreshing when you see an actress shatter her female archetype characteristics without turning into a vamp. Sonya Hussyn has got all the trappings of excelling at it. She can play anything from a single-minded go-getter, sharp and controlling boss to downright psychopath like a true baddie. These enigmatic antihero vibes will resonate with our viewers much more than the seedhi saadhi khamosh larki [naïve and quiet girl] usually portrayed on screen.