It’s not everyday that you see a female actor in an action role, least of all in commercials, which (in Pakistan at least) are as testosterone infused as anything in a moving picture can get. But Mehwish Hayat has managed to glean a reputation for herself. After playing a bindaas character in popular drama serial Dillagi, it was only a matter of time before someone was bound to cast her in an action sequence, and as it turns out, that someone turned out to be Nabeel Qureshi for the exciting advertisement for UC Browser.
“I already am very sporty and I’ve done and won two seasons of Madventures (on ARY Digital). I have action germs,” the actor, who is currently shooting for Nadeem Baig’s Punjab Nahin Jaungi spoke to Something Haute about the filming of the UC Browser commercial. “The TVC was a great experience; it had impact and got great feedback. People usually think of a man for that kind of action so it was unique for them to go with a woman. Oddly, these guys had seen me in Billi (Na Maloom Afraad) and felt that I could do it!”
How did she prepare for the character?
“I take care of my diet and though I couldn’t gym in Bahawalpur (during the filming of PNJ) I do acrobatics, stretching and dance workouts on a regular basis.”
Contrary to common perception, Mehwish did not ask for a body double and wanted to do all the stunts herself.
“I did all the action myself,” she confessed, “but of course, after training quite a bit. I had already lost weight for the movie so was in good form and I’m generally very active and always up for a challenge. The thing is that not many people want to take the risk of doing action but I really wanted to do it.”
That said she did admit that it was a challenge and she ended up with quite a lot of injuries and bruises, which she now laughs off lightheartedly.
“We were filing at the railway workshop (in Karachi) and everything was covered with diesel so action was not easy. There was grease on my boots and everything was super slippery. I slipped and hit my knee during the shooting and boy, did that hurt! Then I also did that flip, which you see and I got hurt doing that as well. When I came back after finishing the 13-hour shoot there were bruises all over my body; it was a really difficult shoot but it was absolutely worth it!”
Mehwish added, obviously excited by the taste of action that she’s gotten in the commercial, that she’d love to do an action film now. Not many people are doing action films in Pakistan and she feels Nabeel Qureshi and Bilal Lashari would be good at it. That’s why she’s looking forward to Maula Jutt 2.
And coming back to the ad, Mehwish spoke about UC Browser and how important it was to have fast Internet connection these days.
“Oh absolutely,” she agreed. “And the speed of internet surfing really matters. As far as I know, UC Browser speeds up the browsing and downloading experience with its signature technology. I’m always on my device and without the internet it feels like there’s no life!”
– Advertorial feature