• 08 Aug - 14 Aug, 2020
  • Eman Saleem
  • Interview

I remember watching Navin in the drama that became all the rage – a household name now – and couldn’t help but hate her character. How could you not? It was such a ferocious and confident performance; nine years later, the character is still synonymous to the artist. But she doesn’t live in the shadow of that character, or in the safety of a comfort zone. Unapologetically herself and true to her talent, Navin reflects real badassery in her choices, a quality we love about women in the industry. Here’s more from my conversation with the actress:

We’ve seen Navin as the antagonist often, but who is Navin Waqar in real life?

I am a total family person. I'm quite reserved too and it takes me a while to open up to new people. Since I'm an introvert by nature, I spend most of my time at home doing creative and artistic projects.

What did Humsafar and Sarah’s character mean for you?

It was special because it was my first. I'll never forget Sarah's character because she was the polar opposite of everything I am in real life and playing her was a lot of fun and such a challenge. It was the first time I transformed myself into someone else for screen and it was quite overwhelming. I gave her a back story in order to get into her frame of mind, why she was the way she was and that made it realistic on screen.

How did the industry change you?

I've seen many faces of the industry. I've seen its kindness and cruelty. It has taught me a lot of valuable lessons but thankfully has changed me for the better. I've become wiser and have learned how to deal with all kinds of people.

Do you think playing an antagonist and amassing unforgettable fame set a tone for your screen career?

Not really. I've only played the antagonist twice in my career so far. Yes, it put me on the map as the most powerful antagonist in the recent Pakistani plays and definitely helped me highlight my acting capabilities.

Many actors have said in their interviews that they’re tired of the repetitive scripts that reduce women to a domesticated setting. Do you agree?

Absolutely. Women are powerful creatures but unfortunately the damsel in distress is all that's shown on TV. We never show strong women who dare to think or do something different. It's frustrating as an actor and as a woman to keep playing the same characters knowing women are so much more than that. It's a trend that needs to change if we want to educate the future generations.

You have a film to your credit. What do you prefer for your craft: TV or film?

I would love to show my talent on the big screen provided it's a good part and a good script. Till then, I'm happy doing TV as it's what put me on the map.

What kinds of stories do you think scriptwriters need to explore?

Social issues would be a good start. Anything that doesn’t involve love, marriage and divorce would be great. We need to take more chances and experiment in different genres. Psychological thrillers, horror, dark comedies and even crime stories; life is more than marriage and saas bahu nonsense.

What would be a challenging role for you?

I would love to be a part of a psychological thriller. I'd love to play something like Angelina Jolie's character in Girl Interrupted, such a strong and well written character with so many shades. Or even Jennifer Lawrence's character in Silver Linings Playbook.

Does the demand of always being in the public eye get overwhelming? How do you deal with it?

Now I've kind of gotten used to it but it can still get difficult, especially when people overstep their boundaries. Social media has become so severely toxic and it’s hard to sometimes deal with all the unnecessary negativity out there. I deal with it by reminding myself these are people who mean nothing, who haven't seen my personal struggles and don’t know me. Mostly I just feel sorry for them for having that kind of time to waste.

Do you consider yourself an influencer? What are some responsibilities you have to undertake?

I don't consider myself an influencer. I am an artist. I see myself as doing my job which I love. At the end of the day it's my life and my choices and I'm not bound to explain my personal life to anyone. As far as social and professional responsibilities are concerned, I try and do my part.

Give us the scoop on your future projects.

I am shooting a supernatural thriller titled Challawa which will be on screen soon and I am very excited about it. I haven’t dabbled with this genre before and I love experimenting so fingers crossed (I hope) people will enjoy it. •