Searha Asghar - Proving Her Mettle

Searha Asghar is just 24, but has quite a few dramas to boast about on her resume and is fast becoming a distinguished face in the industry who knows her craft. A look at the young girl’s countenance and you can’t stop yourself from smiling at the beaming innocence. In a candid chat with MAG, the actress opens up about her current projects, what the future holds for her and what her peculiar name means. Excerpts:

Having grown up watching Indian movies, Searha “always wanted to be an actor”. It wasn’t long before she booked her first gig through a talent agency and hasn’t looked back since. You may remember her from Khoat, Zindaan, Kambakht Tanno, Waada, and Be Aitebaar and can catch her these days in Babban Khala Ki Betiyaan, Ishq Ya Rabba and Ki Jana Main Kaun. One of the intriguing things about Searha’s persona is her name. I first and foremost want to know what it means. “My father decided my name. Searha means ‘a palace or a tall building (from the context of Quran)’. He wanted a unique name, so when he came to pick me up after school and called out my name, there should be only one Searha. That’s what my mother told me,” she shares the story which takes her further down the memory lane. “In my early life, I was very active, always ready to play and make a lot of friends. I would immediately form my own group of friends. I was an above average kid in my studies, really good in Urdu and Islamiyat; however, very bad at math,” the graduate in Media Sciences shares with me a few details about her real life.

Not much has changed since her childhood, Searha is still pretty active in her daily life; she starts her day by working out early morning, five days a week and her favourite hobby is to dance her heart out.

She describes her style sense today simply as “chic”, but one can imagine Searha being picture perfect even as a little girl. “I would always wear frocks with a lot of pockets, so when I go to the shop, I could fill them with as many candies as I would want to. [Hence, I] had really bad cavities [growing up].” It is hard to imagine, someone as petite and cute as a button could even experience the slightest brush of anger, but dealing with that seems important to her, for when I ask what her ideal man is like, she replies, “Supportive, loving [and] who could deal with my anger.” But the anger sits well in contrast with her natural innocence. Searha reveals that when she first started out, she “didn’t know much about [an] actor’s life” and had to figure out and learn everything as she went along. “I didn’t know the same car picks every actor in the morning, so I would have to be ready accordingly, I had zero knowledge about make-up. I just observed during my first project,” the young Libran says and laughs as she adds that she was relieved and quite excited, actually, to see refreshments offered on sets.

Searha admits that it has been the support and encouragement of her family that has been her biggest strength through every kind of trying times. “I am very close to my mother. She is my inspiration for being a strong woman. She raised five children as a single parent. My father passed away when I was three months old. So my mother is my friend and guardian,” she speaks fondly of the bond she shares with her mother and says of her siblings, “My siblings are very supportive, specially my elder brother and sister. [While] my sister helped me choose my major, my brother supported me in my career.” Having majored in direction, the starlet says if she weren’t an actress, she would be a video editor. But since she is lucky enough to be doing what she loves, Searha is open to playing an antagonist or protagonist on screen, as she enjoys her work, and is especially looking forward to playing a warrior, or dancer. She says her favourite actors are Faysal Quraishi and Fawad Khan, and she would love to work with the latter because “I love his acting skills. I want to do a commercial or a photoshoot with him.” Apart from the heartthrob, the dimpled beauty would like to share screen space with Ayeza Khan, as she has “heard a lot about her professionalism”, and work with director Badar Mehmood after watching his serial Aisi Hai Tanhai. “I loved his work and direction!” she quips.

Searha may be considerably new in the industry, but she seems to be on the right path and is as professional and focused as her experienced counterparts. She tells me that as a fresh face in the field “I think there is a lot of competition [and] some people just can’t accept that you are doing better [than them]. This makes it (work) very difficult.”

Despite the challenges, Searha believes one’s success in this industry depends only upon their own “hard work, selection of work, punctuality and persistence”. Speaking of her selection of work, the actress mentions that her only criteria of zeroing in on a role is to see whether it’s “different from [what I have done] before”.

Sharing some memories of her work so far, she discloses that the most challenging role yet has been the one from Kambakht Tanno “where I had to act like a psycho”. Other moments have been less intense, though. “During a scene, my jeans got ripped around my thigh, as it got stuck under the table. That was quiet embarrassing yet funny,” she gives out a hearty laugh.

But it is having good co-stars that is the biggest motivation for Searha on sets. Though she has enjoyed working with Ash Khan, Bilal Qureshi, Ali Abbas and Rabiya Kulsoom, she holds Sana Fakhar in the highest regard. “She is a gem. She is so kind-hearted and humble. She would always motivate me to do better.” It is seeing good work from actors like Sonya Hussyn and Ryan Gosling – “even his silence in movies speaks a lot, I want to master that” – that inspires her to do better. The artiste is currently working on a serial Sheher-e-Malal, playing Maria Wasti’s daughter. “I have one project lined up for the end of November [which I] can’t disclose now,” she sheds light on her professional engagements.

For Searha, the next 10 years mean climbing the ladder of success untiringly. She wants to see herself as “a known actor with a few awards”, that is, of course, alongside flying to and from one of her favourite travel destinations – Germany. •