Armeena Rana Khan has made successful appearances in Bin Roye as well as Janaan but rather than go down the road that leads to Bollywood (it is a bit barbed these days) Armeena has opted to work in a British film, The Achilles Protocol, the production of which is underway. For an actress who has became the country’s darling with her first film as a leading lady, the move was unexpected and yet very impressive. Something Haute got hold of Armeena Khan and asked her about her decision to work in the West despite being the Sweetheart of the East. Excerpts:
SH: Why are you working in a foreign film, right after the success of Janaan?
ARK: Every corporation or entity aims to be global these days and actors are not very different. However, a very little known fact is that I started acting formally in the U.K. before I set foot in Pakistan. I am an international artist so hence I continue to work in ‘foreign’ films. Janaan in all fairness only forms part of my body of work. However, Pakistan gives me an identity, as this is where my roots lie and I always enjoy working there immensely. I will continue to work in Pakistan as long as the audience welcome me and as long as good scripts keep coming my way.
SH: You are barely recognisable in The Achilles Protocol? Is that a conscious effort?
ARK: Being an actor requires versatility and an element of that is ‘looking the part.’ This character was particularly tricky as I am playing an extremely advanced, artificial intelligence. I had to look completely flawless, beautiful and yet menacing at the same time. I cannot take all the credit for the look as this is where the makeup magic of MonnieK and PIP came in. My character was shot on green screen and I was sometimes suspended with wires making it even more technical.
On another note, this kind of character required me to get into an extremely fitted body suit. Naturally, the amount of training that went into carving out my body was painful and a long process. In short, a lot of a lot of work has gone in and the post-production has started, which will take a few months.
SH: Who is behind the film and how did you meet them?
ARK: I was put through by my agency in the U.K. Immediately, upon reading the script, I found it very interesting and different. I decided to take on the role and the rest is history. The film is being directed by Aatif Zafar and produced by Rebecca–Clare Evans. My co-stars include Christopher Faith of Sophie’s Fortune fame and Mark Hill of Emmerdale (UK TV Series). The film was shot entirely in the U.K and will be released at all the major international film festivals next year.
SH: Your film Janaan is still playing in the cinemas and your play Bin Roye is on TV; what else can you hope for?
ARK: It is rare but it happens, a TV series and film airing simultaneously. Last year Bin Roye the film and Karb also went on at the same time. I think the universe is on my side and for that I consider myself quite lucky. On another note, the aim is to bring good quality work to the audiences. I am constantly moving forward and browsing through the best scripts irrespective of region or country. I always have something up my sleeve for the audiences and aim to deliver hits for the production houses. I say, watch this space.
SH: People have fallen in love with you in Pakistan. How does that feel?
ARK: Thank you for that. Indeed, the love and support that I receive from my fans and supporters is truly unparalleled. I am inundated with messages of love and loyalty daily for which I am truly grateful. I am where I am due to the grace of the ALMIGHTY and my fans; I am nothing without their support, a big shout to my Inna Girls!