Tête-à-Tête with Aleeze Nasser: Debut in Yalghaar, chemistry with Adnan and love for Jazz and Salsa

Conducted By: Aayan Mirza

Rapid Fire By: Momin Ali Munshi

When you are making a debut in a film as big as Yalghaar, you tend to get noticed, every bit of you. And thus, Aleeze Nasser has been noticed. Well more than noticed, she is more of a face and name that has constantly stood out in the heavily star studded War-epic Yalghaar.

Here we bring you a very candid, very open-ended insight into the actor, the person behind the actor and the soul behind that person that says Yalghaar has provided her an opportunity to know her motherland more.

GL: Let’s start with this one, in every interview with the Yalghaar cast, in every piece on you, they say you are Dr. Hassan Waqas Rana’s find for this film. How true is it? How did he discover you? How did a Dubai based model  land on the sets of Yalghaar?

AN: It is absolutely true. I met Doc Hassan through a common friend Adam Hills, who also has been a speaker at my university in L.A where I studied acting. Doc offered me the role and then we auditioned for it. I watched his production Waar and I was impressed to see Pakistani Cinema come up with such a brilliant movie, and that definitely was the reason I was ready to be a part of Yalghaar.

GL: Your face is as new to Pakistan and its film industry as they would be to you. How about a little peek inside your career book. From UAE to Pakistan and it’s most expensive film in the making to date, what has the journey been like?

AN: They say preparation meets opportunity! 

You are right, Pakistan and I are very new to each other in the context of fraternity, although I have my roots from the country, I have not been familiarized with the fraternity and the people for most part of my life. Pakistan is a beautiful and a resilient country and that is apparent in its people, their creativity, richness in culture and the ability to thrive against all adversities.

My career is as diverse as it can get, after education I worked for companies and brands such as Ralph Lauren in USA, Al Tayer and Apparel in Dubai. I have been blessed to be able to manage and grow family businesses whilst pursuing my love of Acting. I have been involved in a few projects in U.A.E with the Dubai film commission here which are collaborations with Hollywood. Yalghaar however is my very first feature film and I am looking forward to doing more work in Pakistan in the future.

Aleeze and Adnan Siddiqui
Aleeze with her co-star Adnan Siddiqui

GL:  Let’s talk a bit about your character in Yalghaar, you are paired with Adnan Siddiqui; who by the way seems quite fond of your work. How has it been working with him? Also reveal a bit about your character, what makes it worth being a part of the film? Also, being primarily a war-action film, should we expect seeing you in an action sequence may be.

AN: It would be amazing to be able to do some action in the movie but let’s wait and see 😉 The character is of a girl who moves to Pakistan to get married to the military lieutenant and her journey from there onwards. Adnan is an easy person to work with, very spontaneous and I have over all enjoyed getting to know him as a friend. The movie is an action packed war story but it has nuances of love, relationships, heartbreaks, and that’s what makes it so wholesome, real and worth telling. Adnan and I have a good opportunity to create memorable characters in this movie as they have been passionately carved out by Doc Hassan, now I just pray that we do justice in bringing them to life. I would play any role that has integrity and contributes to the movie positively.

GL: Yalghaar is a huge project, so huge that it is already being declared as a hit in some circles. How is it working in such a project. Does that put an added pressure on you as an actor? A pressure of living up to the attached expectations and hype perhaps?

Aleeze, Adnan and Doc
Adnan Siddiqui and Aleeze Nasser with director Dr. Hassan Waqas Rana

 

AN: It sure is a huge project and requires an immense amount of courage from the producer to take on such a feat especially with all the odds and circumstances that we currently have on going in the country. The pressure for me however, is to make sure that I as an actor do my job well and to best of my abilities….I do have my moments where I am unsure of my shots and feel like it could have been better. The expectations are high and every single person on the team is contributing to making a beautiful cinematic experience for the audience.

GL: Films in South Asia are naturally lot more demanding. It’s not just about acting, you have to dance sometimes, sometimes you have got a background score to play with, and sometimes there is an item number. You think you are entirely ready to embrace this broadly demanding industry, or you feel that, No, item numbers are absolutely out of question.

AN: The more versatile one is in their art the easier it is to enjoy doing the job. I have been professionally trained in Jazz, Salsa, Indian classical and modern dancing, dance is my second language, if that makes any sense. I believe there is rhythm in nature and in the universe in totality and dance is a great expression in itself. In any profession it’s integral to have all the tools and know-how to do your job well, therefore even as an actor it’s vital to acquire some level of training and set of skills. If you are asking about my ability to perform, I would say absolutely yes but if it’s a question about the esthetics and integrity of that performance, then I absolutely have standards for myself to maintain. I would take it as it comes and make the call accordingly.

GL: Yalghaar is almost done. But with an introduction in Pakistan film industry as big as this one, people would naturally be expecting to see more of you. What are your future plans? Any other on-going film projects? Or even Dramas perhaps. What is on your radar post-Yalghaar.

AN: Audience will definitely see me in more projects in the future, one of which will hopefully be Waar 2 with Doc Hassan and some other scripts that I am looking at for now. I respect Pakistani TV for its quality of plays and that’s something I would want to be a part of. I just hope and pray that my performance and I are received well by people as that’s the bottom line.

 

GL: So let’s end it with a short rapid fire bit of this interview:

Shaan or Adnan Siddiqui, the better actor?

AN: Lol Me! They both should work with me.

Shaan or Adnan Siddiqui, the better person?

AN: I haven’t spent time with Shaan yet so for now Adnan

If not an actress you would be?

AN: A full time interior designer

Yalghaar for you is?

AN: An interesting and a wholesome experience of working with some great people and reacquainting myself with my country.

If you had to choose one, modeling in UAE or Acting in Pakistan’s new age cinema?

AN: Acting, its super satisfying, although even in Dubai I am now more involved in movies.

You love?

AN: Love Life, people, and this beautiful planet.

You hate?

AN: Dirt and stupidity

Aleeze the actress or the model

AN: Acting is certainly more wholesome for me as it’s a great mode of expression.

If you were a guy, which female celebrity would you hit

AN: In a million years I wouldn’t want to be one!  lets see now…I admire Mila kunis and Jennifer Anniston

You would kill to?

AN: Save my family

Meera or Veena, who is sexier?

Ans: Well I haven’t really seen them, besides don’t you think a man would answer that better;)

If you could change one thing about Pakistan you would?

AN: I would educate each and every person.

The most attractive Pakistani male celebrity is?

AN: It won’t be a fair one as I don’t know many. The ones that I do think are attractive are Asad Zaman and Fawad Khan.

 

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Live in Karachi. A Charted Accountant to be, hopefully. A writer today, a writer always. Email: aayanmughal@gmail.com

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