Does crossing the border always have to cause a controversy?
It's no secret that local TV darling Mawra Hocane feels right at home in India. She's been in and out of Mumbai in the last few months and happily catalogs her travels on social media.
Recently, a picture from a photo shoot appeared online that saw her depart from her usual girl-next-door look. The photo, which features Mawra in a racy red choli, only served to pique interest in Mawra's Bollywood adventures, spurring both positive and negative criticism.
|The much talked about shot of Mawra from a photo shoot with Paul Aiken Photography (L), and Mawra in an ad campaign for Mahiymaan lawn (R)|
So just what has this young star been up to?
In a candid chat with Dawn.com, Mawra talks about her new look, her move to Bollywood, the people she met in B-Town and above all, that video message from Ranbir Kapoor. Read on:
Your new look shocked and surprised many... do you really want to get rid of your bubbly image in Pakistani dramas?
Mawra Hocane (MH): First of all, let me clarify a couple of things. Now that I have entered Bollywood, I have to explore new horizons as an actor. Our people always take time to adjust whenever something new is done and that’s exactly what happened with my shoot. I'm absolutely fine with the general public reaction, however, I'm very thankful to my fans for such a huge positive response.
I don't feel I've done anything different to what's happening in all the Pakistani films too. It's just that the platform is comparatively huge so the response is massive too. As for the bubbly image, I don’t intend to get rid of it for a few years. The real-life bubbliness is never going away; at least not till I'm in my early 20s.
How different is Bollywood from our local drama industry where you have worked hard to make a name for yourself?
MH: Our drama industry is quite small compared to Bollywood and that’s a fact, not just my observation. For me, I'm living my dream and that’s one of the reasons I don't dwell into the technicalities of how different they both are. I'm glad I'm getting to learn the basics of film acting from the very best people. I am also ecstatic that I'm being loved and pampered here in India and am super motivated to deliver my best.
|Mawra with her debut film co-star Harshvardhan Rane — @mawrellous/Instagram|
Ranbir Kapoor's video message was a huge thing for a newbie like you... have you got to meet him yet?
MH: I've got more things to be joyous about than just that video alone.
Even getting to work on such a huge platform in such a tender age is a big thing for a newbie like me. I'm the youngest to hit Indian cinema from Pakistan because in the past people first got to establish themselves in Karachi or Lahore and then got a break in Bollywood. Nonetheless I'm extremely happy; I don't want the updates on this matter to overshadow my work. I'll be updating you all slowly and steadily.
|Ranbir Kapoor's personalised video message sent this celebrity fan-girl over the moon in March|
Who else did you meet during your stay in Mumbai?
MH: I'm meeting quite a few people but that's not important right now; my priority is my work at the moment. Once I am through with the shooting of my debut flick, I shall bombard my Instagram with all the selfies I am saving at this point of time (laughs).
Any message to your increasing number of fans in Pakistan and also in India?
MH: I am overwhelmed by the fact that the number of my fans is increasing in both India and Pakistan. I love my fans in Pakistan for being so kind and letting me be myself. Along this journey of exploring myself and a new world out here, I'm always going to make them proud too. They're my constant support system. I would always want that support and love to keep flowing to me, no matter where in the world I go.