LAHORE-Sarwat Gilani is a Pakistani actress best known for his character of a fierce pashtun wife in the film Jawani phir Nahi Aani.  Her enigmatic way of pulling things off adds excellence to any unexciting moment.  She believes that no matter what field you are in, passion drives you to push boundaries and go the extra mile. In 2004 she graduated from IVS Indus valley school of art and architecture with masters in film making. The stylish and charming Sarwat has efficiently used the wide popularity of her super hit television drama serials to find a foothold in the upcoming films of lollywood. In an exclusive interview with The Nation she talks about her career and success. Following are excerpts of the interview:

Tell us about your career. When did it start? How did you discover your talent?

My passion, my need and my love for art started even before I knew what it was. In kinder garden my parents were told that I will be an artist because I was the only one who colored an object with different colors, always! So, I believe talent found me and not the other way around. As for my career.it started as a job but now it’s not just a passion but it also involves a lot of responsibility. A responsibility of spreading awareness, giving a positive message, an opportunity to give back or being an ambassador to non-profit organizations that struggle for some attention.

Do you feel that is important for someone to be passionate about the theater and acting to be successful?

I believe no matter what field you are in, passion drives you to push boundaries and go the extra mile. Especially if one belongs to the field of performing arts and has no passion for it then he/she would merely be a puppet not an artist.

Sensodyne’s Reasons to Smile campaign has come up with some very powerful messages, what’s been your role in this project?

I always wanted to be part of meaningful campaigns that make a difference in the society and help others to gain something. When Sensodyne approached me to help them build a campaign that would project a positive image of Pakistan the first thing that came up was to bring first those people who did great acts of kindness. With the help of the team and lots of brain storming we concluded it had to be about heroes of Pakistan whose efforts should get the limelight.

Which story from Reasons to Smile campaign touches your heart the most and how does it tie in with your glamorous world?

KHEL by Tahira Hassan. She brings kids off the street and indulges them in gymnastics and grooming. It has nothing to do with my glamour world but everything to do with a great humanitarian and life changing act. I wish more people could think about other’s children like Tahira and her team does.

You have different experiences as an actress &model. If you had to choose one thing from these, what would you select?

Satisfaction doesn’t come to me very easily especially while I am acting or modeling but there is nothing more self-gratifying than philanthropy. I could say it came to me naturally.

How was experience when you made your movie debut in Jawani Phir Nahi Aani?

It was a good experience. It’s one thing being an actor and it’s totally another thing seeing yourself on the big screen.

You played the character of a fierce pashtun wife in Jawani phir Nahi Aani which made every one laugh while watching the film. Is it harder to make people laugh then cry?

It is definitely harder to make people laugh because everyone has a different sense of humor. I feel when you say the funniest things with a straight face that cracks up people.

You have worked in many drama serials. How has that shaped your acting style?

I consider myself lucky to have worked with good teams and co-actors, when the team is intelligent the product is promising and when the co-actor is intelligent there is more room for creativity. With each play I have learnt a lot but what really shaped my acting style is when I observed classic actors while they performed the detailing of their expression and their body language, the ever so smooth transition of their moods to their different characteristics of a personality. I feel if you are good observer only then you will be a good actor.

Have you ever considered branching out into directing or screen playing?

I have a story that I want to tell and it’s been cooking since the last five years. I have found people who would be willing to take the leap with me so let’s see.

Silver screen is considered the ultimate medium in media; you too are shifting from mini screen to big screen, what was the motivation?

Times have changed.TV is no longer the most coveted medium for an actor. I think that film has now become the preferred medium to establish actors.

Pakistan film industry is on its revival. What would you like to say about it?

Film industry is one of the biggest revenue making markets in the world and it’s about time we understood the importance of this investment. This is a revolutionary time for our industry and we see the right sort of people getting involved in making films which was once an alien thing for us to even imagine.

Has filmmaking in Pakistan become feasible as a career or is there too little work out there to make a steady income from?

This is a time when we should only think about giving to this industry whether it’s our skill, time or effort. Only when we make something of it is when it will make something of us be it money, fame or glory.

Would you like to share about your upcoming projects?

My upcoming projects are Seeta Bagri which is a TV serial on Hindu minorities. Pujaran another serial based on a materialistic girl. After then working on a film by Asim Abbasi which is going to released in February. On the Special Olympics front, we have our new year’s ball to collect funds for our kids and the marathon to get the city up and started on a Sunday morning to again raise funds.