One of Pakistan’s biggest star, Mahira Khan has been all over social media promoting her upcoming film, Verna and right next to her has been the musician turned actor, Haroon Shahid, who is trying to keep up with Mahira’s professionalism and ease in front of the camera and beyond. Something Haute met the two actors at a cafe to discuss their upcoming film and while Mahira was flawlessly moving about the room, we noticed that Haroon was struggling to keep up. “I’m literally learning how to pose for pictures. I’m a little clueless at the moment,” he spoke with refreshing honesty.
We also noticed that Haroon has shed a ton of weight for the film. “10 kilos to be exact,” he pointed out, and while we poured over the details of Haroon’s weight loss, Mahira joined us a few minutes later. There was still some distraction though, as the Parwaaz Hai Junoon star Hania Amir, who was also present at the venue, was “having a major fangirl moment” and could not stop taking pictures and videos of Mahira for her Snapchat fans.
The first thing that came through is that Mahira was almost protective of Haroon. She could be seen guiding him over the course of the interview, helping him formulate his answers when he appeared conflicted, and Haroon readily reciprocated the respect. He was all praises for Mahira for all her help during the shooting of the film and later.
“I could almost see myself in him because that is where I was 6 years ago as well. I was just starting off, it was my first film and that too with the great Shoaib sahab, and I remembered what it was like,” shared Mahira when we started discussing how the two stars helped each other on set. For those who need to take a trip down memory lane, Mahira made her big screen debut with Shoaib Mansoor’s second film, Bol. “I was very careful not to intimidate him, because I felt very intimidated back in the day and I had no one looking for me.”
Haroon has on record spoken about how Mahira made him feel very welcome on set and he took this opportunity to say it again. “She has mentored me and helped me out a lot on set. I now understand even better why Mahira is who she is. And I understand why Shoaib sahab wanted to work with her.”
“We’re like siblings in real life, even though we’ve been paired opposite each other in the film,” joked Mahira. Did one ever hate the other for getting more attention from Shoaib Mansoor? Haroon chose to answer first. “No, he was like a parent to both of us, but he loves Mahira .”
“No, he loves you quite a bit as well, Haroon. Shoaib sahab is very fond of him,” Mahira added.
Ironically, as dark and troubling as the film appears to be, the relationship between the cast and crew was extremely light and non-serious at times. “Shoaib sahab runs a tight ship so there was a lot of discipline on set but we all got along so well, we would just be hanging out together and having a great time,” she elaborated. Did the actors ever break out into laughter during a serious scene? This made Haroon and Mahira crack up over some inside joke.
“Oh yeah, all the time. It has been an interesting journey, making this film,” Haroon explained. We wondered what the stars were remembering at that moment but we guess what happens on set, stays on set.
However sometimes, things don’t remain on set and that was something the Verna team faced when an article by a news publication left everyone fuming. The said article had given away more information than was intended by the director, including a rough plot of the film. “Yeah, we were all really angry when we saw that. But actually, that article also helped us in a way because if you go and watch the film, you’ll see that it’s actually about something else. For instance, Verna isn’t about rape. It’s about power and how it’s abused,” replied Haroon and to be honest, he has gotten our curiosity piqued even further.
The film is all set to be released on 17th November, 2017 and we cannot wait to see this mutual respect and workmanship translate on the big screen.