Mahira Khan's slight frame doesn't betray the burden she's carried in the past few months.
While in India for the shoot of her Bollywood debut film Raees, the actress not only had jitters working opposite megastar Shah Rukh Khan, but also faced the pressure of what people at home would think about her work. After all, actresses are particularly scrunitised for their work in India.
"I was constantly very scared during my shoot, so much so that I couldn't deliver my dialogues," she disclosed during an interview on The Reham Khan Show on Dawn News.
"The [Raees team] tried to make it easy for me. Still, I was so stressed out. But everything was all in my head," she later added.
While explaining that it's an actor's job to embody the traits of their character (even if it ruffles a few feathers at home), she went on to say that she feels very lucky to be an actor in Pakistan.
"The more clothes you wear, the more respect you're given. You don't need to do an item number for respect here," she observed.
While the actress refused to disclose anything further about Raees, she did offer the following as word of advice for other Bollywood-bound actors:
"Just remember that you're being asked there because they've seen your work, and it's good."
Mahira Khan's television series are a hit on India's Zindagi TV. But some people criticise her for playing too many weepy roles.
"Humsafar is a drama that's embedded in everyone's memory. After Humsafar, I got lots of offers to do similar roles, but turned them down, even though some of those scripts were really well-written. I wanted to do something different, and decided to do Shehrezaat instead."
But she admits that weepy characters may have depleted her personal stock of tears.
"I don't know how to cry anymore, and I'm not sure that's a sign of strength. For Sadqay Tumhare, they were pouring glycerine into my eyes, but not a teardrop would emerge. It was only when I witnessed a grisly incident at the hospital where I was shooting, that the waterworks turned on!"
Mahira also revealed that her on-set nickname is 'Mazdoor Khan' because she doesn't mind mingling with the rest of the 'awaam' on set.
"My makeup team is constantly telling me, 'Don't sit like this', 'Don't eat with your hands'. But it's not fun otherwise!"