From classic, period drama Dastaan to the intensely romantic Dur-e-Shehwar, Sanam Baloch has proven herself to be a chameleon of an actress. After tying the knot with theatre actor Abdullah Farhatullah, the actress stuck to hosting a morning show on ARY News for quite some time and finally returned to the world of drama with a Sarmad Khoosat directorial and an Urdu1 and Air Force joint venture. Baloch essayed the character of Pakistan’s first fighter pilot, Mariam Mukhtiar, in Ek Thi Mariam and while the tele-film was initially a Defense Day special it is about to acquire feature film status as it makes it to the silver screen this weekend.
Sanam talks about debuting on the silver screen and reveals what the future holds for her. Read on:
Something Haute: Ek Thi Marium was an extremely emotional story; did it get the response you were hoping for?
Sanam Baloch: The response was prodigious; I wasn’t really expecting people to like it this much. I don’t think I could have chosen a better project to return to screens with. Many people call me choosy over the scripts I choose but that’s what makes me Sanam Baloch; I need scripts that I can personally relate to. All my colleagues came forward to appreciate and help promote my work, which was of course was very touching. Also it kept trending on Twitter for the entire time, it nudged me to nervousness and excitement (laughs).
SH: How did your family like it?
SB: I was flooded with calls and messages after Ek Thi Marium went on air. The entire time I was in touch with people, who were giving me constant feedback (scene wise). After getting married, it was my very first project and Almighty kept my esteem as an actor. Where I am a critique of my own work, Abdullah [husband] loved Ek Thi Marium.
SH: How does it feel that the film is seeing a cinema release?
SB: It’s quite a mixed feeling. The news came to me as a surprise. It wasn’t really a part of our contract and I was casually told by the producers that they might take it to the cinemas. I wasn’t expecting it since it was a telefilm. But I think portraying a national hero on the silver screen is indeed an honor for me; a story of Pakistan’s first woman fighter pilot to die in the line of duty. It’s not Marium Mukhtiar’s story only; it’s the story of a daughter of the soil.
SH: You were offered quite a few projects from across the border and you’ve been a keen supporter of the cultural exchange. What’s your take on the ongoing tension that involves the artist community?
SB: I think cultural exchange always has a positive impact on getting everything towards a peaceful extremity. I strongly condemn any act of terror or loss of human life anywhere in the world and pray and extend to build and live in a peaceful world. But, about the ongoing tension, I stand with my country and its forces as a Pakistani citizen.
SH: Apart from Ek Thi Marium, what other projects are you looking into?
SB: I really can’t talk about them right now. But, just to live up to the puffery post Ek Thi Marium, I have one specific project directed only towards my fans. I’ll just do one project at a time and give my best to it. So for now, I look forward seeing each and every one of you in cinemas watching Ek Thi Marium.