In a recent interview, actress Sarwat Gilani, one of Pakistan’s most well-known celebrities, spoke candidly about her career and personal life. With her undeniable talent and acumen for strong storylines, the Churails actress has cemented her place in the Pakistani film industry. She started her career in dramas and has since given us success not only on TV but also online and in movies.
Not just in Pakistan, but all over the world, Gilani’s most recent work has created waves. Her most recent role was in Joyland, an independent film produced by Saim Sadiq which also premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. The film won the Jury Prize and received a seven-minute standing ovation.
Speaking a bit more about Joyland, Sarwat mentioned that filming wrapped in October 2021 and the post-production process is expected to take some time. However, on director Saim Sadiq’s birthday, the cast and crew received a surprise and were told that they would be attending and participating in the Cannes Film Festival. When Sarwat first heard the news, she was standing in the Urdu bazaar and was overwhelmed with joy.
She was also seen in the hit web series Churails a few years back.
In an interview with a digital media site, Sarwat explained how she deliberately decided not to take part in mainstream Pakistani soap operas as they often contradict her beliefs. She claimed that now that she has had more opportunities to express herself, it would be hypocritical for her to return to the screens and take on the role of someone she considers restrictive and typical. She expressed her disappointment that the local television series did not properly highlight these important issues.
“Over time, I started talking about women’s rights, against child abuse, against so many serious real-life topics that I felt if I was talking about it, if I believe it’s a certain thing that should be practiced in our society i can’t go back to the mazloom sisakti hui aurat [damsel in distress] because I just don’t believe it.
Sarwat went on to say that Pakistani women are amazing and there are many examples worth recognizing. “We have to tell these stories, these success stories, and not have as a premise an entire season or a series of 26 episodes. If the girl is good enough to be married to this guy and if she is good enough to be accepted by the in-laws – life is way beyond all of these things, for women [especially]. And [they] break boundaries to get out of this stereotype,” she said.
“I did television for 20 years and I played mazloom sisakti hui aurat but I had had enough. I did Khasara (2018), that was my last television [role] and in [it] I played a really strong woman. That’s the kind of stuff I wanna represent, that women are strong [and that they] are excellent examples of leaders.
Additionally, Sarwat set an example for Pakistani women when she openly discussed her nose surgery and decided to be transparent about it. She told the online news source that she fell in the bathroom and injured her nose. When she was taken to hospital, staff informed her that she would need reconstructive surgery.
Sarwat’s grace, beauty and brilliance has always been something we have admired. Pakistanis love her because of interviews like this in which she makes a conscious decision to be candid and transparent about her experiences and the reasons for her choices. As a celebrity with the potential to have a big impact on today’s youth, she is a great role model for others to follow for her open-mindedness in everything, whether personal or professional.
Watch Sarwat Gilani’s interview below: