6 things Ali Safina and Hira Tareen recently shared about the drama industry that shouldn't surprise anyone

Published 15 Nov, 2021 05:09pm

Images Staff

Turns out nailing the character's wardrobe for a television serial is quite the magician's trick for actors themselves.

Photo: Hira Tareen/Instagram
Photo: Hira Tareen/Instagram

Celebrity couple and actors Ali Safina and Hira Tareen recently appeared on a talkshow and revealed some interesting things about what goes on behind the scenes in the drama industry that the average viewer might not know.

The couple appeared on Express TV's Time Out With Ahsan Khan on November 13 and talked about the various challenges actors usually face in the industry with the show's host, fellow actor Ahsan Khan.

Typecasting is a serious issue

Typecasting seems to be a thing in our industry, according to Tareen and Safina. Turns out it is pretty hard for actors to breakaway from performing certain roles they become known for and they had a lot to say about that. "After Dolly Ki Ayegi Baraat became a huge hit, when I'd meet directors and producers, they'd like me more for comic roles as opposed to for more serious roles," Safina said. "I have made my own brand in comedy and that doesn't bother me. What does bother me is that if you make a niche like in the industry, you don't get work for that niche in a large volume."

For Tareen, this problem wasn't limited to comedy alone. "Every actor experiences typecasting I feel, " she said. "This is a larger issue in comedy because there are few people good at doing comedy to begin with. Otherwise if you look at my career as well, the roles I am offered, more often than not, are those in which I have to play either a girl who's from abroad or a home-wrecker or husband stealer."

Production houses might offer you a role only two days before shooting starts

Actors aren't given enough time to prepare for a role, according to the couple who themselves have been bombarded with offers to play a character at the last moment. During the interview, Safina shared how he got a call from a production house and was offered him a role only two days before shooting began. For the actor it was important that such offers were communicated well before hand, primarily because it plays a huge role in determining the quality of the drama in turn.

Tareen also felt strongly about this issue. "I get such anxiety when I'm faced with something like this," she said. "When production is starting in a day or two and they ask whether are you in or not. I already face anxiety issues and hearing this suddenly overwhelms me with thoughts about wardrobe, character and script. How can we decide these things in just a day? How is it possible? This is unfair."

Actors might have to pay out of their own pockets to create a character's wardrobe

It was interesting to learn that many actors often get their own character's wardrobes made for a project, as opposed to wearing what the production team designs or curates for them. "We shouldn't be doing our own wardrobes as actors," Safina said. "If all the actors are getting more or less the same clothes from the same shops then what is going to differentiate the lead character and make it look like how the director envisions it?"

Tareen felt the same way, and according to what the host himself had to say on the matter, this is an issue that many actors have qualms about.

Digital content is (finally) bringing in diversity and originality

Tareen and Safina are pretty happy about the rise of digital content in Pakistan, especially short films that premiere on online platforms as opposed to on television or the big screen. "Television is not showing or creating content for particular age groups, like the younger audience or millennials," said Tareen. "With digital content, you can choose what you want to watch or choose when to zone out and jump to something else. It is a new medium. I don't think it can replace television but it is here."

TikTok and other social media apps are altering the face of the industry

Speaking of the digital era, the couple strongly believe that social media is starting to have a strong impact on the industry. "There will come a time when our actors will be girls who've risen on TikTok or other social media apps," Safina said. Tareen thought that time is already here.

"Things have changed when it comes to acting since the days of PTV," he said. "And Hania Aamir is a strong example of this."

Actors are taken for granted in Pakistan

Pakistan doesn't seem to giving its artists and actors their due respect it seems. "As an industry we haven't been recognised," Safina said. "The Actors Collective Trust was only just formed. It's only now that artists are getting health insurance for the first time. If someone had health insurance before, it was by showing themselves as engineers, doctors or by showing some other educational qualification.

"There was that shooting that happened at the production house in which a security guard opened fire on our engineer and seven others were injured as well. That was all over the news. A lack of security, late payments and dishonesty. No target oriented work which would mean that if you reach a certain target, this is the level you'll achieve or be promoted. Actors or artists are investing their own money into social media. They're getting their own pictures taken, putting in their own efforts to get them published and posted. If I put in this much effort in any other industry, I'd reach such heights in my career."