Mariyam Nafees’s passion for acting and theatre has led her to be quite active on the small screen. She is a budding artist who has mesmerised audiences with her skillful performances. Mariyam recently debuted in the critically acclaimed and fan-adored serial Diyar-e-Dil.
OK! Pakistan talks to the young thespian about her latest ventures, her burgeoning career and more…
Who is Mariyam Nafees?
MARIYAM NAFEES: A very sensitive, driven girl who lives her life as she pleases and wants to make a difference.
Let’s talk a little bit about your professional career. How, when, where and why did it begin?
MN: My first professional gig was at the age of 17. I was the assistant director to Shah Sharabeel for a theatre play in Islamabad. It was one of those summer vacations projects, which turned out great. I learnt a lot and loved every bit of it.
What was your first acting stint? How was the experience?
MN: It was a cameo in Ladoon Mein Palli, directed by Waseem Abbas Sir. It was a nice two-day experience.
What was your first theatre production? How would you describe the feeling of taking the stage?
MN: I never acted on stage after school. I started in theatre as an AD and later joined KopyKats where I was looking after the operations and marketing and sales.
“Some day I really want to do something out of my comfort zone. Portraying a handicapped
person and a prostitute are two roles I really want to do.“
How did your television debut come about? What was your role and how did you prepare for it?
MN: My television debut was Diyar-e-Dil. I was portraying the character of Zarminey, who is loved by all and a full of life kind of girl. When I met Haseeb (Hasan) Bhai, I was asked to be myself in front of the camera and that’s what I did. Zarmeenay is and will always remain super close to my heart.
What kind of roles do you actively look for?
MN: Characters from which people can take something. The ones that give social messages really intrigue me.
Is there a particular role you are hoping to get? What would be your dream role?
MN: Some day I really want to do something out of my comfort zone. Portraying a handicapped person and a prostitute are two roles I really want to do.
What did you want to be when you were younger? Is that different from where you are now?
MN: Way different! I wanted to be a general physician before my phobias developed.
What is it that keeps you going in this extremely competitive profession?
MN: Hard work, self-trust and faith in Allah.
What is your idea of a perfect life?
MN: Waking up in a house full of my loved ones, working, travelling often and contributing to the betterment of my country.
“We need more writers who write powerful women-oriented scripts and we desperately need them.”
What are the perks of being in this glamorous profession?
MN: Playing dress up, meeting people from all walks of life and playing different characters.
We hear Kamzarf is a project that is very dear to you. Why is that?
MN: My character’s name is Fariya who is very honest and speaks her heart. She’s very similar to what I’m like so I was able to relate to the character a lot. The response I got was also extremely over-whelming. Audiences loved Fariya.
The scripts on TV often portray women in depressing roles. What in your opinion can be done to change these circumstances?
MN: We need more writers who write powerful women-oriented scripts and we desperately need them. Our society is full of strong, content, wonderful women and somebody needs to pen about them.
Production for you is also on the cards we hear – how is that coming along?
MN: It’s in the process. Insh’Allah very soon.
What is on your bucket list?
MN: Travelling the world.
Who is your favourite super hero?
MN: Scarlet Witch and Wonder Woman.
Who do you admire the most?
MN: My Amma.
Last book you read?
MN: Funny Girl by Nick Hornby.
What is your dream job?
MN: I want to do a couple of things and I just want to be exceptionally good and original at whatever I do.
Are you a morning or a night person?
MN: A nocturnal.
What is one thing that annoys you?
MN: Wastage of time and littering.
Describe your self in three words.
MN: Empathetic, unconventional, honest.
MN: I’m a foodie through and through so this list is extensive.
INTERVIEW: Mehr Kassim
PHOTOGRAPHS: uzair khan & courtesy Mariyam Nafees