In an exclusive interview with Instep, the actress – who made her TV debut in 2017 – breaks her silence on relevance with the Mohsin Abbas Haider controversy.
One recent addition to new faces on television is actress Nazish Jahangir, who has caught attention in recent months for her acting prowess. Presently essaying a negative character in Kahin Deep Jaley alongside Ali Abbas, Imran Ashraf and Neelam Muneer, she has versatile roles to her credit (thus far) in drama serials such as Alif Allah Aur Insaan, Tohmat, Thays, Kamzarf and the now-concluded Mere Mohsin.
Born and raised in Islamabad, Nazish graduated in fine arts and fashion designing before beginning her acting career. She started off with an Anwar Maqsood play in 2015 for which she came to Karachi.
Passionate about theatre since schooling days, after starring in the theatre production, there was no looking back. Nazish received offers from television and was initially reluctant to try her hand at it but then decided to give it a shot.
Nazish Jahangir made her television debut in 2017 with drama serial Bharosa, followed by Gali Mein Chand Nikla and Khatakaar. Instep caught up with the actress to speak about her journey and why her name has been associated with Mohsin Abbas Haider in a recent controversy.
“My journey has been great so far; my fans appreciate me every time I appear on TV,” Nazish shared her experience. “Even when I am playing a negative character (Kahin Deep Jaley), I get so much love.”
“I think it’s ‘always’ in your hands how you carry yourself in the industry,” she continued, adding, “I hear a lot of stories from people that they face casting couch and harassment at the beginning of their careers but fortunately things have been very smooth for me. I did an Anwar Maqsood theatre play and I started receiving calls from TV immediately. There have been some ups and downs but again this is what life is all about; the journey taught me a lot of things. The industry has been kind and they have accepted me with open arms. I am hopeful and very positive about the future.”
Nazish is of the view that constant hard work is the key to survival in the industry. Having begun her career as a theatre artist, she takes every role very seriously and becomes the character she plays onscreen.
When asked about portrayal of women on the small screen, Nazish responded that in recent times, there have been some incredible female characters on TV, written by Asma Nabeel, Bee Gul and others.
She furthered, “I even like negative characters like the one (Shamila) I am playing in Kahin Deep Jaley. I was a bit apprehensive to play Shamila at first because it is grey in nature. The feedback has been great and I think women can relate to her as well. The reason I agreed to play Shamila was because she knows what she wants and how she can get it. She is a modern-day girl; she is beautiful, she is clever but Shamila also has a powerful message to convey. It’s actually a story about kids who are neglected in their childhood and the impact it has on them.”
However, Nazish does feel that some female characters play victims in dramas for far too long. “I believe that victimhood needs to change,” she asserted. “Modern girls are really not like that anymore.”
Speaking of roles that appeal to the actress, she informed that she wants to take up powerful roles; negative or positive characters don’t matter to her much. “I’d rather play a strong headed, negative character than playing the role of a girl crying from the first episode till the very end,” she explained. “I don’t want to portray women in tears all the time; there is no such thing in reality. Modern day women are so strong and smart so I really wish to show reality through our screens. I liked my character in Kamzarf, which was short but meaningful and gave a good lesson to everyone about how moving on is important at times.”
When asked about her association with the Mohsin Abbas Haider controversy and the accusation that he cheated on his wife with Nazish, she says she was friends with the couple at best. “I was friends with both Mohsin and his wife Fatema and I knew the truth but stayed stay quiet out of respect for Mohsin.”
“I don’t think social media is the place where we openly and publicly discuss our personal matters and get the whole nation involved in trivial matters,” she spoke up, adding, “It is below my dignity. I am totally against domestic violence but I will always stand by real victims and not those who have an ulterior motive. I actually have no shame in saying that ‘har roti aurat sachi nahi hoti (every crying woman is not honest)’. No one has the right to destroy someone’s career, image and life by putting up one status without any evidence. And even after all the drama, you moved on with your life without proving anything in court; how can someone do that? I am a woman myself, why would I support a man who would harm another woman? Wouldn’t I be scared? But now people have realized the real agenda behind the whole drama; the reality is in front of everyone now.”
On a parting note, Nazish revealed a bit about her upcoming projects including a drama alongside Sonya Hussyn that has an ensemble cast and a brilliant director, she claims. Besides, the actress will be making her big screen debut with Lafangay alongside Sami Khan, Mani, Saleem Mairaj and others.
Directed by Abdul Khaliq, the film is expected to release later this year while Nazish is also in talks for more future films.