Mawra Hocane - Living The Life Of Dreams

Mawra Hocane is a go-getter and highly believes in being focused and working hard. Between travelling, hanging out with family and going from one set to another, most days you will see her keeping to super busy schedule. Even as she takes a breather and sits down to chat about love and life, the starlet tells me “we have too many hours in a day and if you stick to [doing just] one thing, you waste so many [of them]”.

Mawra has wrapped up shooting Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 and has already hopped on to shooting Aangan with Ahad Raza Mir, Ahsan Khan and others. As she prepares for the release of her first Pakistani movie in just a couple of weeks, I ask her what took her this long to say ‘yes’ to one.

She shares that it is actually her debut film in India, Sanam Teri Kasam (2016), which kept her from taking up any more projects for a while. “It really took the best of me and I couldn’t work for some time. I was really depressed because of the character I played.”

She decided to stick to doing TVCs for a while and shot Sammi only later that year. “In Pakistan, the main problem is that people bring to you great scripts but apko aik dar rehta hai film release hogi ke nai, I know how much work goes into a film and I didn’t want my hard work to waste,” Mawra lets me in on another fear that she had while reading scripts a while back. It was watching her elder sister Urwa do back-to-back movies that gave her the motivation to do one herself.

“I think our dramas are still far better than the movies being made here which is why I’d always prefer doing a drama over film if I had to pick. It was only after Urwa did a few projects that I realised who else would do it if not us. Even though dramas can make more money, she chose movies. We complain that our films aren’t doing good, but how will things improve if we won’t play our part?” Of course, it helped that she was offered a multi-starrer film being written and directed by aces and the prequel to which had done tremendously well at the box office. This is why she said ‘yes’ to the project without even looking at the script, she says. “I knew it would be a boys’ film but I [also] knew this is one particular character any actress would want to do. You know when you’re young and dreaming of becoming an actor, these are the characters you want to play where you don’t have to cry all the time and you can look glamourous.” Mawra reiterates that it is the glamour quotient of her character that sets it apart from all the roles she has done so far and that makes her the closest to reality for her.

Zoey (the character played by Mawra) is a very rich girl but when it comes to her relationship with Rahat (Fahad Mustafa), she is emotional and takes it very seriously. She’s in love like any other girl.

Mawra has worked with Fahad before on television, but admits that shooting with him and the rest of the cast was a different experience altogether for her.

“We all took care of each other. When you have fewer resources and you have to give big results, you automatically become very tight with each other. Even though I didn’t get all the luxuries I got on Indian sets, things that I learnt here, I didn’t learn there,” she says comparing shooting for a Bollywood movie to a Pakistani one.”

The 25-year-old also shares that she was the closest to Fahad and Vasay Chaudhry on the sets. While she would have long, deep conversations with the latter, she had an amazing chemistry with the former. “Nobody was happier than me that I get to do my first Pakistani film with him. I think Fahad is a great actor and a film star, he has it in him. He is very unique. The way he is on set, the way he is with his co-actors, it’s very rare. It’s a dream to work with him.” Even though it seems she has finally gotten a role that she had been craving for, there is another kind of character that she would actually like to play. “I want to do something like Umrao Jaan, a period film, something from the Mughal Era,” says the actress thoughtfully.

She would also want to do Nazia Hassan’s biopic, if chance be. But whichever characters it may be, one thing is for sure, the multi-tasker, who has just finished with her law degree, wants to keep working for the rest of her life. Like a true Libran, she is forever grateful for what she has achieved so far and deems herself nothing but lucky.

“I’m really grateful for the opportunities that have come to me. Whether you’re talented or not, you’re nothing without them, and I feel the kind of opportunities that fall in my lap, Allah has decided to give me,” she utters with the sweetest, most comfortable smile. She has an inherent star quality and an aura about her that makes everyone around her feel comfortable. Among other things, she is also one of the most followed celebrities on social media. It begs the questions that even while the Hocane sisters keep getting targeted online, how does she keep calm and the faith alive amidst the chaos? “I’m not constantly trolled. I feel journalists find it really fun to say that. I think people like to tell you that you’re not everything you think you are but I don’t like being told otherwise. I don’t give trolls a lot of importance because they are not to be given importance. I don’t know when our publications would understand it,” she is firm and clear on where she stands as far as the issue goes.”

“I don’t know any artistes who are not romantic.
This drives us! This is the fuel to our fire”

In contrast to these minor incidents, Mawra likes to recall the great things that have happened and continue to happen with her. Recalling one of the proudest moments from her career, she shares, “When I went to Mumbai to shoot Sanam, I didn’t understand the magnitude of actions at that time. I didn’t realise that I could make headlines. So, for me to come back with that movie, and see the entire industry showing up for the premiere, like I’m their child, was a time that I felt the proudest so far.”

Her relaxed countenance is far from a face of a young actress whose debut movie is about to release with two other major movies alongside. But it’s not like Mawra to be under pressure. Instead, as she gobbles down on half-fried eggs, she talks to me about her favourite things to wear and being in love with love, like a girl would talk to her friend on a typical girl’s night out.

“Fashion for me is not what you will like or she will like or somebody’s wearing. For me it is what I like. And whenever I like something, I wear it to the red carpets,” she explains her sense of fashion, and continues to mention that criticism about her looks don’t faze her one bit, “I wore big gowns for the longest time when the publications kept telling me ‘ball gowns are out of fashion!’ [But if] I love it and want to feel like Cinderella, I’ll still wear it. Two, three years ago when I was promoting my film, I liked quirky things, so I liked wearing bags, or earrings, necklaces that said something. Later on, I liked these big dresses and that’s what I’ve worn in events here, in London, in US and wherever I went. I think it (my fashion sense) has more to do with how I am as a person, how I grow. It’s just a matter of that time or phase that I’m in. I just wear what I feel beautiful in and what I’ll be comfortable in. But I’m almost seen wearing pink, I don’t know why [laughs]. I want try on different colours and go beyond red and pink now.”

I finally move on to asking her the questions that every actress is haunted by! The love struck girl confirms that she is in love but teases by saying that she doesn’t want to say anything beyond that. But to my surprise, she is glad to have been asked the question. “People are too shy in Pakistan. They want to pretend nobody is in a relationship. I think my sister and my brother-in-law (Farhan Saeed) were the first to break that ice when they went on red carpet and said, ‘yes, we’re dating. Can you guys calm down about that now?’” Now that the elder Hocane sister has snatched a handsome singer off the market, all eyes are on the younger one. What is Mawra’s ideal man like?

“I don’t look at the qualities he might have for me but what I really care for is that he needs to be really passionate about something in his life, like I am for my work. The only quality that I look for, perhaps, in a man is that he should be driven to achieve something. I don’t like people who sulk. I feel people who don’t have a drive are close to being dead,” the star says and makes it further easier by saying that she doesn’t have many demands from her guy, either.

“I like travelling. If he could make that happen, great (laughs), but I like really basic things, like having coffee while you gaze at stars, sitting at the bonnet of your car,” she sounds like a real romantic! “I don’t know any artistes who are not romantic. This drives us! This is the fuel to our fire,” she admits and laughs.

Hair & Make-up: N-Pro
Photography: Umair Bin Nisar
Styling: Mavi Kayani