Mohib Mirza: Celebrity with a Personality to Match

By Ruchi Gulati
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Having started his career with Pakistani theatre, Mohib Mirza made his debut on television in 1999 with Zebunnisa, a drama about domestic violence. The rest, as they say, is history. This 35-year-old actor, host and model has gone on to make his mark with the many characters he has played in Pakistani drama serials and films, having also worked in dozens of music videos and commercials. In 2009, Mohib won the Best Supporting Actor award at the International Filmmaker Film Festival held in England, for his performance in Insha Allah.

 

As FUCHSIA would find out during the course of this conversation, the very suave Mohib has a personality to match his celebrity status, which was apparent in his cheerful chatting and his indulgence of us and our many giggles. Mohib spoke to us mostly in khaalis Urdu, which we have attempted to translate.

FUCHSIA: Your acting caliber matches a long list of accomplishments from 1999 to date. How has this journey been for you so far?

“I do not think I could have been anything but an actor! I am very grateful to my parents and the friends who stood by me from the very beginning. This is my passion and the creator helped me realize my dream.

 Had I not been an actor, I would probably have pursued Basketball, with which it is very difficult to survive in Pakistan; or I would have followed my passion of painting or writing.”

FUCHSIA: You won an award on an international platform, for Insha Allah. Were you catapulted to success as a result?  

“I have never been a one-night, one-film wonder. My career spans a long line of gradual accomplishments; the spotlight did not shine on me instantly. I worked very hard in theatre as well. The media and the people who watched my film might have made it bigger than it really was!

 I performed a stage play once that was originally planned to run just 3 days, but it ran for 9 days and we had to have people sit on the stage as that was the kind of appreciation I got. I have had many moments of encouragement that allowed me to shine, which I am grateful for.”

 

Didn’t the stardom get to his head?

 “I live my life very normally, to ensure that I understand stardom is not eternal. I go to the market, do my own work, to ensure that my head retains well on my shoulders!”  

FUCHSIA: Which of your performances is your favourite?

“My favorite has to be my portrayal in Ward Number 7, directed by Shamoon Abbassi It was a unique concept where 3 mental patients become very close friends, and the story takes you on an emotional journey. A sequel was made, called Ek Naya Din, which followed up with how the 3 re-established themselves into society. This has to be my favourite part, and that which was closest to my heart.

Mohib explained that actors can sometimes find it difficult to disengage after a particular act, and he remembers how his portrayal in Patriyaan affected him significantly.

 

“Ishrat Baji was a performance that I did extempore; a spontaneous performance I did at the moment on camera; which was again a very different concept and gained me popularity.”

When asked about his competition, Mohib is confident in his claim that he can perform better than other actors in any area, except romance.

Oh, and he was quick to add that Noman Ijaz is an exception to this claim.

In June 2014, Indian TV channel Zee Entertainment launched Zee Zindagi, which airs Pakistani dramas. In Bollywood-obsessed India, these Pakistani dramas are receiving an overwhelming welcome.

“Zee Zindagi has given birth to ‘chocolate heroes’ that cater to the subcontinent in general. It is catering to a market that allows women to swoon over fair, good looking men. There are stereotypes attached to each role, and these stereotypes are portrayed on-screen by actors from both sides.”

Mohib’s interesting analysis of the Zee Zindagi phenomenon in India left us comparing his confidence and self-assuredness which borders on an almost forgivable arrogance, to Ranvir Singh. Mohib responded by stating that Ranvir is his own man.

Now, wouldn’t that be a blast – Ranvir and Mohib together in a Karan Johar film

FUCHSIA: Does Fawad Khan’s success and fan following ever make you think, “That could have been me”?

“Firstly, human psyche definitely makes me say yes!. Fawad Khan has opened doors for all of us. Bollywood is the biggest (film) market in the world catering to millions of Asians worldwide. Fawad making it big there is a huge phenomenon, and to be a contemporary at this time is huge! In the last 60-70 years, there are only 2 Pakistani actors who have made it big in Bollywood – Ali Zafar started the trend, and now Fawad Khan has gained huge popularity. India and Pakistan share the same languages, understand the same temperaments and enjoy the same films, so it’s a great opportunity to crossover.

 

I did audition for Tere Bin Laden; I have met Imtiaz Ali and Sanjay Leela Bansali, hopefully something will materialize that works in favour of everyone.”

 FUCHSIA: Does Mohib Mirza have a to-do list that he is ticking off one item at a time? What remains?

“My house was the biggest item which I ticked off a year ago! My entire list is the obsession around my art, my work. The biggest thing I have yet to tick off is to play James Bond in an Asian setting. The other is the Sherlock Holmes series, with an awesome mystery storyline.”

 

This multi-talented artist also recently produced Silent Cinema, a pictorial book featuring a series of photographs that he feels portrays the talent and scope that Pakistani cinema holds. Ironically, he states it is a book that also portrays his frustrations in the period when he could not find good work.

FUCHSIA: Does your wife, Aamina Sheikh, make for a better director than you? Will we see you both in a drama soon?

“I have just directed one theatre play; nothing that huge yet. Aamina was directing the show we met on, and she makes a very good director, as she has studied the field.

 

Yes, InshAllah soon, Aamina and I will come together in a drama that allows us both to show our creativity.”

Mohib Mirza in 2 minutes FLAT:

Favorite co-actor?

Noman Ijaz.

Favorite role?

Hamza in Shehr-e-Zaat, and Ishrat Baaji.

Favorite co-actress?

Saba Qamar

Social Media

Friends on FB. The public on Twitter

Aamina as Wife or Best Friend

Best friend. Wife is just a concept!

Film or Drama?

Film 

Biryani or Haleem?

Haleem

Orange or Pink?

Orange 

Feminism?

Very over hyped

Film or Drama?

Film 

Favorite Holiday Destination?

Where I connect with my true self. Mountains. Dubai, the ostentatious, is a good waste of time.

Favourite On-Screen Couple?

 Deepika Padukone & Ranbir Kapoor. Aamina Sheikh and Adeel Hussain.

Bollywood Favourite?

Deepika Padukone, Ranvir Singh, Ranbir Kapoor.

Acting or Modeling?

Acting

Dancing or Singing?

 Singing

Yoga or Weights?

When you’ve had a hard day, then yoga; when starting out a new project, then weights.

Married or Single?

Married, absolutely! (Unless you’re a self-obsessed psycho, then single.)

What struck FUCHSIA most about Mohib Mirza was how much of a ‘thinker’ he is; an untamed, free spirit who has depth of character and thought. Of course, as you have seen for yourself in this interview, his self-assuredness needs no further mention. And finally his talent and ability to mould himself into characters each mukhtalif from the other, is undeniable. That Asian James Bond and Sherlock Homes dream might not be out-of-reach after all!

Mohib Mirza has promised FUCHSIA an exclusive podcast. Send in your suggestions on what you would like him to do for us! (Psst. We suggested comedy.)

 

 

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About Ruchi Gulati

Ruchi Gulati aka Curvy Craze will always welcome a pair of Jimmy Choo patent leather heels into her life and wants Karan Johar to cast her in a role opposite Ranvir Singh.Having worked as a consultant for Atom Consultancy, Ruchi is interested in Change Management and quotes her most significant achievement as establishing fair practice within Singapore. She has a Master in Human Resource Management, is married to the man of her dreams, and a mother to 2 handsome boys. These days, she is enjoying consulting curvy women on fashion and presentation of self.

  • Adil

    This man is amazing, We hardly have true stars like him , God bless him

  • Hadia

    SUPERMAN ! THAT BEARED ! THAT KILLER LOOK ! dying to see him in more phaaro films