Mehwish & Humayun - The Hottest Couple Onscreen

We have seen them in JPNA, fell in love with them in Dillagi and can’t wait to see them again in PNJ. Humayun Saeed and Mehwish Hayat have become everyone’s favourite on-screen couple thanks to their unmatchable chemistry and unbeatable comfort with each other. The duo gets candid with MAG and opens up about their newest venture together and more.

How have things progressed for you professionally in the last few years?

H.S – I think ever since we have started making movies, things have changed drastically. Since the last 15 years we wanted this change, but it finally started when cineplexes started getting built and screened Indian movies, which made people come out of their homes and go to cinemas. We understood the kind of audience we have for films. Phir mene bilkul aasra nahi kia and immediately started working on Main Hoon Shahid Afridi. It was a sports film and I was constantly warned against the idea. People said that a sports film wouldn’t do well, I should make an action or a romantic movie instead. But I had included commercial elements in the film and I knew it would work. It did a business of about seven crores at that time and amazed people. Then came Waar and that did well, too. That’s when I felt like things are about to change.

Your climb to success has been pretty steady. Has that been deliberate or do you attribute it all to luck?

M.H – I have been very conscious of picking up the right project, team, script, character, this is very important. Everyone makes mistakes but some mistakes can jeopardise a whole lot for you. With time and more success, you become even more careful and make deliberate choices of selecting one project over four others. It allows you to give proper time to the project, as well.

I have been doing only one movie a year when I could have done four. And all my movies have been blockbusters, Masha Allah. I could be doing a lot more work but I have been holding off on a lot of things just so I pick up the best work and give my all to it.

You are one of the most important people behind the revival of modern cinema in Pakistan. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

H.S – I agree with it completely and feel extremely proud of it. I had started making films thinking that if I make them, then that will encourage the rest of the producers, as well. Shoaib Mansoor used to make one film every five years and he is a big name, so people would say only he can make films and only his films can do well. But I wanted to show that a producer like myself can make films that will be appreciated by the masses. And you can see, after my movies, television producers, like Yasir Nawaz and others also felt encouraged, and now the number of movies being made each year is increasing.

Should we expect to see you making a Bollywood debut anytime soon?

M.H – I have been getting offers from Bollywood since the last three years. But honestly, the projects I’m getting here, especially after having worked in Actor In Law and Punjab Nahi Jaungi, I can proudly say that we are doing such a great job. Pehlay yeh hota tha k yahan pe filmain hi nahi ban rahi hoti theen. That is when the actors here would be craving to show their talents on the big screen and the only medium they had was Bollywood. But now things have changed. Since the past few years, I feel like we are making great movies, we have good scripts and people are going to the cinemas to watch us. [Actors] are getting feedback and appreciation, so I don’t think there is that void left anymore. Now we have everything happening in our own country.

I haven’t made up my mind about this [Bollywood], but if it’s a good character and a challenging role then I don’t mind going to Hollywood, either.

What’s your take on actors getting distracted from T.V and focusing solely on films?

H.S – We are not as strong as a film industry that our senior talent can completely let go of the small screen which is our strength. You see the people going after films alone returning to the small screen shortly, as well. Be it producers or actors, they understand very soon that they still need television. I think we have to create a balance between the two mediums and as long as you are doing good work, there is no need to completely shun anything.

You have worked with two of the biggest stars of current times, Humayun and Fahad Mustafa. What is the difference between working with them?

M.H – They are lovely co-stars, they are just amazing. I have a different vibe with both of them but both are actually very funny, co-operative and helpful. I never feel that I’m working against them because they are the male lead and I am the female lead, instead we work together to make our performances and the project look better, so the team work is always there with both of them. Humayun and Fahad are very good friends of mine and fantastic actors, so I don’t find any difference in working with them, but there are many things they have in common, like they both are fun loving and bring a very positive energy on the set. It’s always fun working with them.

Between Mehwish and you, who comes late on sets, throws more tantrums, forgets lines and laughs in the middle of the shots?

H.S – I get late because I am also managing production. [Tantrums] merey tou bilkul nahi hain, us k mujhse zyada hain. Heroines indulge in it more, so does Mehwish. I forget lines and I laugh a lot too! [Laughs]

How easy or difficult is it for you to build chemistry with a male actor on screen?

M.H – With Humayun, I don’t know how but it just clicks. When I see us together on screen, even I go ‘wow’. [Laughs] I don’t know what that is or how that happens, but I think our chemistry is something magical that you can’t explain, you know like that of Madhubala and Dilip Kumar’s. We don’t make a conscious effort for it, it just happens.

What expectations do you have from PNJ especially considering that it is releasing alongside Na Maloom Afrad 2?

H.S – The dialogues, performances, songs, music, we have everything covered. Even our wardrobes have been worked hard on and the locations have been carefully selected. Everything has been thought through, the film is definitely a treat for the viewers.

M.H – I wish all the best to the team of NMA2. They’re all my friends, and I was also a part of part 1. I know their team is really hard working and so far they have been receiving good feedback. My expectations from PNJ are really high because it’s a family film. Everyone who lives in Pakistan or has ever lived here will relate to the story and the characters. I see the potential in this film of becoming a cult like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayengay. The audience saw me and Humayun together in Jawani Phir Nahi Ani and then from Dillagi onwards we have been enjoying a crazy fan following. So everyone who has loved our chemistry and rift so far is going to love this film, as well.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

M.H – I don’t even know where I see myself tomorrow [laughs] but I know I’ll be doing something experimental and different. I get bored very easily, so I always try to do something exciting, something challenging. I am already working on my music tour and concerts. I have a US tour coming up as well with my sister and brother who are musicians and singers, where we’ll be performing different set of songs. Last year after Coke Studio, I couldn’t concentrate on my music at all. I started working on Actor In Law then Dillagi and by the time that ended shooting for PNJ started, so I have had no time at all. Now, I want to take a breather from acting projects and focus more on my music.

How has your experience been working with the younger lot? What are the highs and lows of working with them?

H.S – We have a lot of talent and good people are coming into the field now. I particularly like Sajal. I enjoy working with young actors. Sometimes I find them a bit unprofessional in that they are self involved which amazes me because you see the senior actors being so down to earth and humble. But having the younger lot around also brings a different kind of energy on the set and is a whole different experience.

Any suggestions you can give to aspiring actors?

M.H – These days it’s different, when I started in the field, about seven years back, one had to work really hard. Even then I was very particular about the work that I did. But now because of social media it’s very easy to get noticed and get work. What happens is, when they get noticed so quickly and easily, they don’t know how to handle that responsibility. Getting noticed, appreciated and getting a fan following is something a lot of young boys and girls can’t deal with. And that is when talents get wasted and people go down the hill instead of climbing up the success ladder. To have the right mindset is very important right now. You have to understand that this is not an easy job and you can’t throw tantrums in a team of around 50 people.

What other projects do you both have in the pipeline?

M.H – Apart from my music tour in the US, I have a few projects that I’m discussing these days for big screen. I haven’t made up my mind about anything, still thinking.

H.S – Sequel of JPNA is in the works. You will see a few of the same actors as in the first movie and a few of them would be new.

Hair & Make-up: N-Pro
Mehwish Hayat’s wardrobe: Deepak Perwani
Humayun Saeed’s wardrobe: Amir Adnan
Photography: Yasser Sadiq