In a recent interview, Mahira Khan talked about artists in Pakistan and India, saying that they can’t be open about their good bond in order to “protect each other” and avoid becoming “scapegoats”.
In an interview with Variety, she talked about her time in Bollywood. “I had the most amazing time working in India. I am still in touch with so many people and there’s a lot of love there. Unfortunately, we are easy targets, soft targets, whether it’s us here in Pakistan, whether it’s them there in India,” she said.
She said as artists, they are connected by the thread of art and understand each other very well. “So we’re trying to look out for each other, more than anything. Even now, we are so careful with what we write on social media. It’s not that we don’t talk to each other. It’s not that we don’t wish each other on our birthdays. It’s not that we don’t meet each other in different countries. It’s not that — it’s just that we are actually not just protecting ourselves but protecting each other.”
The Raees actor said it’s not personal, but political. “On both ends, until the time that scapegoats are needed, we will always be that,” Khan added. Painting a positive picture, she said it could get better if the people in power do not use the artists as an easy target. According to her, the collaboration that would come, as a result, would be “lovely”.
Calling her Maula Jatt character Mukkho “empowered”, she compared the 1979 cult classic and the reboot, saying the representation of women is quite different. “[Mukkho] loved fearlessly, her moral compass was so intact, she had integrity and she was fierce also,” said Khan. “That was a very big thing that the women in this, in today’s Maula Jatt, are very empowered. And I think this is something that a lot of people asked me prior to the release that ‘Are we going to see the same 1970s representation of women?’ I said, ‘No, you’re going to see Bilal Lashari’s representation of women.’ I’m glad to have been a part of it.”
After a super successful run, The Legend of Maula Jatt is now looking at releasing in Turkey and China. Another Pakistani film that’s doing particularly well internationally is Saim Sadiq’s Joyland. Connecting the two, the Superstar actor said we need more visionary storytellers.
“Whether it’s Joyland, whether it’s Maula Jatt, the people at the helm of these projects are passionate. They have stories to tell and they are visionaries,” said Khan. “We need more directors, more storytellers, who are telling stories from the heart.”