A decade ago in the Pakistani drama industry, female actors only had the option to portray a damsel in distress. Fast forward, the ladies are playing strong-headed females with their own personalities.
One of the many accomplished actors is Sarwat Gilani, who is known for breaking type-casting culture. She went for iron-willed female characters in Churails and Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam and broadened her horizons. While Gilani is careful about what she portrays, the 40-year-old is concerned about who she works with and how she separates art from the artist.
The Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 diva, in an interview with JORE, discussed her journey from playing meek characters to strong protagonists. The Joyland star complained how misogyny and stereotypes affected the industry and the quality of work produced. Gilani also talked about how an actor's personal matters impact their professional life.
When working on Churails, Gilani felt that the dynamics for women in the entertainment fraternity were changing. She said, “Even before Churails, I was always advocating for women’s rights on various platforms. I felt like, I would not be able to justify a character this weak and meek anymore because I’m encouraging women to raise their voice on one end, how can I be acting like a woman who cannot do anything for herself on the other. There is a huge contradiction there.”
Talking abut drama serials promoting women falling in love with harassers or stalkers, Gilani stated, “We need to talk about values, self-respect. We need to teach. A man is not someone who beats his wife or stalks girls. Until we don’t show what a man is supposed to be, men will continue to be how they are.”
Talking about how public figures - whether in Hollywood or Lollywood - accused of harrasment affect the atmosphere on the sets, the Yeh Ishq Hai star opined, "Even if a certain person is a great artist but he’s a child molester, or he’s beaten up his wife but he’s a great actor, you should not work with them by principal. In Hollywood, when the #MeToo movement started, so many female artists, A-listers, had not spoken up about these filmmakers who had harassed them. But they spoke their truth when they could and this whole movement followed.”
Gilani talked about how an actor's career isn't the validation required for them to be called a good human being. She suggested, “Art is not about hushing people, it is about expression. So, if someone is a great artist but a bad human being, it should be clear what one needs to do.”
Lamenting how women are coerced into brushing domestic abuse under the rug in the Pakistani society, the Pujaran actress asserted, “All these women who are cheated, beaten and harassed by men, actually support that narrative, they want to cover up the truth. So a wife is not supposed to talk about her husband’s extra-marital affairs in public because ‘izzat ki baat hai’. So, it is completely okay for a man to cheat but it’s disrespectful if a woman talks about it? I mean, all our lives you teach us that cheating is bad, lying is bad and now, you’re telling us that beta it’s okay, let it go… No! You’re so confused.”
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Talking about how women have progressed in every walk of life, the Dil E Muztar actress said, “Girls have improved their standards in Pakistan, they are more career-oriented, they are multi-taskers, they are wise, even if they are housewives, they take care of so many things alone, there are so many successful women who have struggled so much. Not just professionally but privately. And we aren’t allowed to talk about that. Art is a beautiful medium where you can talk about the nastiest of things in the purest of ways. Like Hania in Mataye Jaan. Why aren’t we talking about more realistic, more practical, more elevating content for Pakistani women?”
On the work front, Gilani was recently seen in Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2, 3 Bahadur: Rise of the Warriors, Joyland, Khasara and Naulakha.
Pakistani rupee remains largely stable against USD and other currencies in the open market on March 2, 2024 (Saturday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.4 for buying and 282.3 for selling.
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UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.3 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.5.
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