Vardah Aziz - Reaching New Heights

We’ve been lucky to witness new actors in our industry with great acting talent. Vardah Aziz is one such name who has been garnering all sorts of praise and recognition for her role in Marvel Cinematic Universe’ latest superhero franchise Ms Marvel. In this highly competitive entertainment industry, Aziz is a rising star who has so much more to offer as an actor. Her strong screen presence and amazing acting abilities makes her a complete package and a credible artist since the start of her career. The actor is all about breaking stereotypes and likes to perform and indulge in characters she actually believes in.

She is now exploring her acting skills while performing on different platforms and in different genres namely theatre and films. Is there something that this young starlet can‘t do? And then, landing a role in Hollywood’s biggest franchise, surely is an achievement for the Summer Love actor.

The stylist cum actor sits with MAG, for a fun conversation about how acting is her ultimate passion, fashion being her top game and how debuting in Hollywood that too so early in her career has impacted her life and made her to dream even bigger in order to accomplish her goals. Read on to get insights from this in-depth interview:

Icebreaker! Tell us about yourself, who is Vardah Aziz on and off camera?

I was born to be dramatic (laughs)! I have been through some super filmy phases in my life so I feel like my life’s a movie and I’m always performing (laughs). But I’m really chill mostly. You would hardly ever see me in a bad mood unless you try to talk to me when I’ve just woken up! But if you see me flipping my hair during a conversation, take no offence and remember, it’s only because I see my life as a real life movie!

From being a stylist to an actor that everyone needs to lookout for, are you happy with the way things are shaping up for you in the industry?

I won’t lie; it’s definitely scary but exciting at the same time. What’s fun without some thrill though right? I’m ready for the challenges and see what this profession has in store for me!

Out of all the projects you've acted in; which has been your favourite role so far?

I really enjoyed my character in Summer Love, and also being a super hero’s cousin in Ms Marvel. Both of these roles were so fresh.

What is it about the acting profession that drew you in the first place?

Growing up, during my teens, I would imagine myself in different situations and act it out in-front of the mirror every night when I couldn’t sleep. I guess that was it -- the beauty of bringing life to an idea or a character on paper.

The entertainment industry is said to be full of stress and pressure; what do you do to tackle the pressure that comes with your work?

I don’t think any work comes without stress and pressure in any field. The world is becoming so competitive each day and everyone is struggling and hustling to do better. In my case, I get a migraine if I stress too much so I sleep it off. I’ve also become a solution finder in all these years and everything eventually falls into place so I’ve stopped panicking anymore. The camera can cheat so much, you just need to get better with hacks and make it work for that shot.

With Ms Marvel garnering lots of praise from around the world, how was it to get featured in a big franchise Hollywood film that too very early in your career? How did you end up landing into that role?

Landing a role in Ms Marvel was like a dream come true. Ofcourse, life has its own ways to surprise you and who doesn’t love surprises. Sharmeen Obaid’s producer at SOC films recommended me for the role so the casting company had reached out to me through an email that was in my junk folder for almost a week. Luckily, they sent a few follow-up emails which appeared in my inbox and caught my attention. I called them up to confirm if it was legit and not a prank, lol. It was a process after that -- signing NDA’s, auditioning, waiting and praying.

You got to act with some of the biggest names from the acting world, how was your experience?

I work with celebrities quite often as a stylist but it hits different when you’re sharing the screen with them. It’s a wonderful feeling! You don’t realise it then but you learn so much.

As we all know that the Hollywood comprises of thorough professionals, what do you think our industry needs to change for good in order to at-least try and match their level of professionalism?

There’s so much we need to change but we really need to set our working hours straight. Anywhere abroad, and not just Hollywood, people work a certain number of hours so they can go back to their personal lives. Shooting 24 hours straight is a norm in our industry. There have been times I’ve been on set for 35+ hours. And we don’t even get paid for overtime! I’m all about being passionate for the work I do but I don’t think it should cost us neglecting our families, personal health and mental peace.

Every industry, including the entertainment industry, is full of competition; what do you think you need do as an actor to stand out amidst competition?

Put an essence of myself into the role I’ve been offered. Anyone can learn dialogues and play the part but they can’t be you.

You've also done theatre; do you think it has an increased benefit to excel as an actor?

Definitely. Theatre is beautiful in its own way. It’s much more difficult than acting on camera though because you don’t get second takes. I never act thinking I would do better in the next shot -- I give it my all in the first take! Even if I’ve forgotten the dialogue, I improvise and finish the scene before they call ‘cut’ rather than breaking the momentum of my co-actors and crew mid-way.

Some subjects draw a lot from you emotionally, and it gets difficult to break away from them even when you are not facing the camera. Have you done any project of that kind as of yet?

Not yet but I would like to put myself into a role like that and see what comes out of it!

Walk us through the process of how you pick and choose the scripts you really want to be a part of?

For me it has to be something the audience can relate to closely and what I can bring to the table with the role I’m being offered.

Films or television, what is your ultimate preference? Also, you've been closely working in the fashion industry as a stylist, will you continue to do so along with acting?

Films!! But there are so many digital platforms with a massive audience now so I definitely want to get into web-series also. I may not be getting work as an actor all the time so I see no harm in working as a stylist until something comes up which requires me to prioritise.

I enjoy my fair share of doing both - Better to keep myself busy than to sit idle at home, waiting for my phone to ring.

Lastly, would you want your fans to know about any of your upcoming projects?

I’m a daughter of a very superstitious mom and I truly believe in evil eye being real. So, I want to keep it to myself until things are locked and finalised!

Coordination: Umer Mushtaq
Hair & Makeup: Nabila Salon
Photography & Styling: Yasser Sadiq