Aamina Sheikh talks to Slogan
Q. With your multiple talents, you could also have been a singer. Why did you become an actor and model?
A. That’s kind of you to say but a singing ability is something I greatly admire in others and never thought to be a singer myself. I guess that’s what it’s all about. With my theatrical background all through academics and a major in film, I ‘thought’ about being given an opportunity to act commercially and once I enjoyed the experience I focused all my energies towards it. That’s how I chose a career path in the performing arts!
Q. How did you get cast in Seedlings (Lamha)?
A. I got an inquiry to which I responded and met with the young and dynamic team of Bodhicitta Works who then knitted me into their story as Maliha of ‘Seedlings.’
Q. How many movies have you appeared in including Seedlings?
A. Four so far. As ‘Maliha’ in ‘Seedlings’, ‘Fatma’ in ‘Josh’, ‘Zarnab’ in the Tarang film ‘Armaan’ and one movie under the banner of Zeba Bakhtiar and Azaan Sami Khan which is currently under production.
Q. What was the most motivating or convincing aspect of Seedlings that made you give such an outstanding performance?
A. Outstanding or not is for the audience to decide. But what did motivate me to give it my all was the scary fact that the story itself depicted a real life incident close to the writer’s heart and knowing that this is a journey of many in the ‘real’ world.
Q. How did it feel bagging two awards at the New York Film Festival?
A. Surreal. Felt so blessed and honoured.
Q. Tell us about your association with the ‘Always Karo Yaqeen’ Campaign. How did you become a part of this initiative?
A. Rarely do multinationals devote their energies and budgets towards causes that make a difference. Primarily a society like ours is most difficult to tackle when it comes to changing mindsets or lifestyle choices as so much is embedded in religious and cultural ideologies. Any concrete development or impact is hard to gauge. So when a multinational devotes itself to this kind of thing, it is very heartening and actually an honour to join hands with them in making this much needed effort. Awareness of women’s health and hygiene, developing body-image concepts and confidence in a conservative society like ours, where a lot of taboos already exist, in even basic communication is integral. For it to be
A. I am evolving! executed sensitively and intelligently is even more essential. I am most impressed by the brand Always and P&G in their fantastic approach in taking up the challenge and doing the necessary. One has to be inspired by a concept in order to endorse it so, for me, this was very much in alignment with my ideologies and hope for Pakistan.
Q. What are you doing these days?
Q. What are your plans for the coming 5 years?
A. As an actor, my efforts will continue to groom and educate myself in order to constantly evolve and bring something new, more layers, more nuances and maturity in my performances. One must experience and observe each day of life and of this world to the fullest. My focus will most definitely continue to be on films and I will be continuing in my efforts to see a booming Pakistani film industry in our lifetime.
Q. How do you feel you can be a source of inspiration for the millions of Pakistani girls out there whom you will be reaching out to as part of the ‘Always Karo Yaqeen’ Campaign?
A. There are many occasions when I find new inspirations. Recently I was reminded yet again about the power of the word! How much that can influence and change minds. Then there is the power of an image, of a persona - they are all vehicles of communication and change. It is these tools that due to the blessed nature of my profession have been handed to me to use, to bring about a change and some difference regardless of how minuscule it may be.
Q. As much as it is clichéd but please do tell us how much you have achieved of what you are today?
A. It would be so much easier to tackle this question if I had one definite answer. There are a multitude of factors responsible for where each of us stand today. Having said that, another truth is that it definitely starts somewhere. In my opinion it starts with a thought. The rest is up to you - how much energy, how much physical, mental, emotional hard work you choose to put in that thought - that is what decides the journey of that initial thought. My thought and my journey are right in front of you.
Q. What’s your present dress-code?
A. I don’t have a consistent dress code. Versatility is my code.
Q. Who would you consider your moral support in this journey of success?
A. Mohib Mirza, absolutely - my partner in crime all the way.
Q. What lies ahead of you - both in life and work?
‘I think I’m fairly easy to see through, unless the characters in my projects require a facade for reel life.’
A lot of learning, growing and evolving, inshallah.
Q. Where do you hail from?
A. My parent’s thoughts.
Q. What does the word LOVE mean to you?
A. It means gratitude.
Q. What names in the industry can be said to have inspired you?
A. Many aspects of many personalities inspire me on a daily basis.
Q. What does beauty mean to you?
A. It is a state of being, different for each, yet intriguing for all.
Q. Any guilty pleasures?
Q. Who are you in real life as a person?
A. I am who I am. I think I’m fairly easy to see through, unless the characters in my projects require a facade for reel life. Apart from that, what you see is what I am.
Q. What other latent talents do you have?
A. I was trained as an artist, that is painting and sculpting. My father constantly desires me to tap into that whenever I can, but I haven’t done so since college. I guess that would pass for a latent talent.
Q. How would you best describe yourself, both at work and in life?
A. Passionate at both - and being lazy!
Q. A candid final word to the
aspiring young girls out there who look up to you …
A. When you have a thought which is progressive, positive and holds potential of greater good, act on it!