UZMA KHAN - Upbeat & Unapologetic

The best decisions in life are often unplanned. It is absolutely true for this alluringly beautiful model-turned-actress who had never planned to enter the fashion industry. Uzma Khan’s entrance to the world of fashion happened by chance and then she continued to grace the ramps for quite some time. However, it was her role in the blockbuster movie Jawani Phir Nahi Ani that garnered immense praise and popularity for the diva. The graceful lady is not only blessed with good looks but is a complete package with commendable acting skills. 

Oblivious to her fate in the world of glitz and glamour, Uzma once accompanied her friend for a shoot and that is when it all started. “I was visiting Khawar Riaz with a friend of mine when he asked me to consider modelling as a career. I thought he was joking then, but here I am today,” she reminisces. “Khawar bhai launched me and he was the one who spoke to my mother and convinced her. I had seen his work and it was great. He was the one who basically pushed me to work harder,” she credits her mentor for her success in the industry where many don’t even get a chance to try their luck.

With no roots in the field whatsoever, Uzma quickly got along with everyone around her. “When I joined the industry, I was warmly welcomed. I have never had any bad experiences. People are very supportive and helpful here and this is what I try to do for others, as well,” says the girl who thinks she is ‘blessed’ to be a part of the entertainment fraternity.

How did she see the people in the fashion world before becoming a model herself? I enquire. “Every field is difficult in its own way. People who belong to the fashion industry are as hard working as people from any other profession and we are as normal as people in any other field,” she rejects all the misconception that people hold against models and actors.

So, what is her key to surviving in a field that pumps on cut-throat competition? “I have never had any rivalries. I think no one bothers you as long as you are nice and focused on your work,” she confesses. “You keep meeting new people, making new friends and learning new things all the time. The industry helps you understand yourself better,” she says, revealing what she has learned during her professional years.

From walking on the ramp to making her way to the show business, Uzma Khan’s transition was a rather smooth one. “It wasn’t difficult for me to switch from the ramp to movies because the people you work with are the same,” she comments, and mentions her debut on the big screen, “I hadn’t done any acting before Waar, but everyone around me was very supportive. I never felt out of place.”

With blockbuster movies like Waar, JPNA and Yalghaar under her belt, the actress is very mindful when it comes to signing projects. “When a script is offered to me, I do a background search before signing it. I look at the script, co-stars, directors – everything. It is all important for me. I am very choosy when it comes to work. I don’t want to associate myself with bad projects – that is the reason why I work with limited people.I won’t go on and work with just anyone,” she shares her formula to success.

During her limited experience in the film industry, Uzma has worked alongside ensemble casts with names like Shaan Shahid, Humayun Saeed, Ayesha Khan, Mehwish Hayat, Adnan Siddiqui, Hamza Ali Abbasi and Ayub Khoso. “I am always working with great people and I have learned a lot from them, especially the senior artistes,” she talks about her experience with her co-stars.

While the up-and-coming star knows the importance of associating herself with reputable brands and banners, she also vouches for the significance of hard work. “When I sign a project, I give my 100 per cent to it. I make sure I do my very best and work hard,” she states.

Unlike other actors who often define the kinds of role they like to play, Uzma is open in terms of the characters that she portrays on the screen. “I have just started. I am not too centred on what kind of roles I would and wouldn’t play. I am trying to learn and experience as much as I can right now and when I reach a certain level that’s when I will decide what I will or will not do,” says the talented actress.

Born and brought up in Lahore, Uzma went on to pursue her Bachelor’s degree privately after completing her early education from Lahore Grammar School. “I was always a very quiet child. I had never thought I would become an actor or model when I was young,” she shares. A Lahori at heart, Uzma moved to the city of lights for her work. “I love both the cities and its people,” she remarks.

The good-looking lass has always been a family person and knows how important it is to spend time with her loved ones. “Now that I have lost both my parents, I know that one should always cherish whatever time they have with their parents,” her voice breaks. One can only imagine trying to cope up with such a loss. “It’s really difficult but I think it comes naturally with time. Death is inevitable and this is how life works,” she reasons with maturity.

The kind-hearted and compassionate girl is close to her siblings and likes to spend whatever time she has with them. “Even if we are just sitting at home and having tea, I like to be around them. My younger sister and I often hangout post work,” she expresses how close of a bond she has with her siblings. While Uzma tags herself as “an extrovert and an open person who doesn’t keep secrets,” she doesn’t like to talk about her personal life and thinks “it’s not for everyone to talk about.” Giving us an insight on the kind of person she is, she says, “I don’t judge people at all. I am an easy person and like to go with the flow.”

The pretty lady likes to stay fit and fab. “I love going to the gym and doing yoga. I try to work out every day but sometimes my schedule is so hectic that I don’t have time for anything other than work.” Travelling and shopping are some of her other hobbies, she shares.

Does she enjoy being in the limelight? One wonders. “Who doesn’t? Whoever says they don’t enjoy being in the limelight is lying,” she retorts with an unbeatable confidence.“The field that I am working in is all about limelight, you have to be seen to be liked.” Negativity is part and parcel of the popularity that artistes enjoy. How does she deal with that? “I take everything very positively but I have always been loved by my fans, so I do not have any bad experiences,” says the woman who has got her ball rolling.

With a movie and two dramas in the pipeline, Uzma plans on to keep working, and she signs off by sharing her goal in life. “I don’t ever wish to stop working and learning, simultaneously. I think this is what keeps an artiste going.”

Hair, Make-up & Photography:Akif Ilyas