Hira Umer - Strong, Smart & Spirited

You may recognise up-and-coming actress Hira Umer for her recurring roles in web series and TVCs. She got her start on TV by appearing in various TVCs and has proven her acting prowess in a short time with projects such as the web series Ranjish by ABK films and a short film, Sindh Meri Jaan for Voice of Sindh web TV and has not slowed in her drive for success in a field that she considers both, a calling and a choice. The young starlet will soon be seen in another short film Wanted by Mohsin Talat, a drama serial Aye Mushte Khaak by Ahsun Talish and in a lead role in her first feature film Udham Patakh by Abu Aleeha. Recently, MAG spoke with Hira about her journey as an actress, how she found success in an industry welcoming new faces every now and then and so much more. Excerpts follow:

Tell us a bit about yourself for those who may not know!

I am a business graduate turned actress and model. I always wanted to be on television. It was my childhood dream, so after studies I chose to pursue my dreams. I'm from a very respectable military background. Other than that, I am also a strong believer of gender equality. I am currently working on some projects, so for those who have not seen me yet will soon see me on TV and big screen.

How did you discover your passion for acting?

I have wanted to be on screen ever since I was a child. I started acting in school plays during student life and that's how my interest in acting grew stronger.

Which characters and actors were you obsessing over when you first started out in the industry?

Well, the Pakistani media industry has so many talented artists but if I had to choose, I would say Mahira khan. She is a very beautiful, extremely talented actress and her characters in top hit dramas like Humsafar and Shehr-e-Zaat are my forever favourites.

Actors are people of enormous influence. What do you want your impact to be as an actress in the entertainment industry?

Actors are the trendsetters for their fans so they have a huge responsibility of setting the right examples for their followers. As an actress, I would want to portray the right roles and choose meaningful content that raises awareness on social issues and conveys a positive message to my viewers.

Tell us about your first feature film Udham Patakh.

Udham Patakh is the first upcoming horror comedy feature film of Pakistan. The zombie genre hasn't been experimented in Pakistan before, so Udham Patakh is the first film of this kind. It's a perfect blend of humour and horror with a pinch of political satire and is going to be a breath of fresh air in Pakistani cinema.

Now that you’ve been in a couple of large projects, how do you choose your roles?

Script is most important to me while choosing a new role. Whenever I take up a new project, I read the script very carefully and check if it appeals to me.

In your wildest dreams, what does your future career look like?​

In my dreams, I see myself as Pakistan's biggest superstar, with awards in every genre.

When was the first time in your life that you felt like you were represented onscreen? That you first saw someone that you felt mirrored to in some way or a character that you resonated with?

Hannah Baker from 13 Reasons Why, because I'm a very sensitive person and have faced similar situations like she did during my high school.

Every industry, including the entertainment industry, is full of competition; what do you do to stand out amidst competition?

Yes, the entertainment industry is highly competitive. I polish my skills and talent, and work on my personal grooming because I believe no matter what industry you're in, if you work hard you eventually make your place.

If you had a word of advice for people wanting to step foot in the world of acting, what would you give them?

I would advise the newcomers that there's no shortcut to success. With consistent hard work and talent, you can make it.

• Coordination: Umer Mushtaq
• Hair & Makeup: Angie’s Salon
• Wardrobe: Ambeia Agha & Alchemist Team
• Photography & Styling: Yasser Sadiq
• PR: Alchemist