The star couple opens up about their first film together, other work projects, family life, and more…


“Even strong women face troubles and catastrophes in life, they just deal with them differently. And that’s what we need to tell our audience.”


You simply can’t miss these two – from television and film screens to magazines and billboards, they’re everywhere. They have enthralled audiences across the country with their acting ability, their looks, their down-to-earth personalities and their undeniable star power.
And now, after a string of great performances, the nation’s sweethearts are finally giving us what we’ve been eagerly waiting for: a film together.
OK! Pakistan got the chance to sit down with this couple for a wonderfully frank conversation about their upcoming film, their family, individual work projects and independent views. The duo spoke from the heart and made this interview one to remember.

You two are finally doing a film together for the first time. Tell us more about it and the characters you play.
SHAHROZ: Well, it’s going to be a very romantic film with some elements of comedy. We want you to enjoy your popcorn and experience some moments where you just forget where you are. Our characters will help you do just that.
SYRA: My character is very shaded and that’s what I really like about her. She’s not just good or just bad and that, I feel, is real. I’m a big fan of love stories and when I heard this one, I knew I wanted to do it.

How was the experience of working together for the big screen? You have done a television play together before, but we’d love to know more about this particular experience.
SHAHROZ: Working with Syra feels like home. We both know where and when to give each other space. As for the chemistry, we’ll let the audiences decide.
SYRA: So far I’ve had a wonderful time shooting for this film with a great team in Bahrain. Just about twenty percent is still left to be shot. It may be my first film with Shahroz but I’ve worked with him before and I love being on set with him. He’s a lot of fun and I’m really excited about this project. That’s all I can share for now.

Shahroz, why did you feel that this is the right project for you after the release of Chain Aye Na?
SHAHROZ: The #sairozfilm, as we are calling it for now because the name has yet to be decided, is a project that is very close to my heart as an actor. Firstly, because I’m romancing the love of my life in it, and secondly, it has all the ingredients of being a good feature film for the audiences.
Allah has blessed me and my family with a lot of love from the people of Pakistan and giving them something like the #sairozfilm is more of a thank you from our side.
The producer of the film, who is the director as well, has taken this film to a level of storytelling that will rock all the boxes of new age cinema. And that’s exactly what Syra and I wanted for our next film.

The two of you have signed many other projects, including films, in a short span of time. Can you tell us more about them? Syra, you’ve hardly taken up any television projects – is this a conscious decision?
SYRA: Well, as I always say, I like to dedicate myself to a project at a time. Between doing films, looking after my child, and other work here and there, I have not been able to make time for television. But it’s on my list.
SHAHROZ: For me, there’s the #sairozfilm and another one called Agar Magar, which is in post-production now. So two feature films on the way. As for television, there’s Deewar-e-Shab on Hum TV in which I’m acting alongside my brother Shahzad Sheikh for the first time, and Hassad on ARY.

What is your dream role?
SYRA: Don’t know if it’s my dream role but I’d love to play Julia Robert’s character in My Best Friend’s Wedding.
SHAHROZ: Stanley from A Streetcar Named Desire, played by Marlon Brando in 1951. I feel that the great Brando delivered something very raw and relatable at a time when male acting was all about having slick hair styles and suave dialogue. Brando brought Stanley to life. It was the great Elia Kazan who gave him the space to do all he wanted to, so my dream would actually be to remake this film, but with a director like Kazan. It’s always good to dream!

When did you realise that you wanted to be an actor? Shahroz, how much of an impact did your father have on your career?
SHAHROZ: I’ve grown up on drama and film sets, so I knew at a very young age that I’d be a part of this industry. My dad has helped me immensely, and still guides me with all my decisions. I saw him shoot for a cult hit show called Kachwa aur Khargosh. Papa and Sajid Hassan uncle were so effortless with their comedic timing that it became a mission for me to try and be this effortless in comedy or any other genre. And I tried to achieve that with my show Ghar Jamai.

On another note, how do you balance work and home, especially with a young child? What keeps you going?
SYRA: Balancing becomes easy when you have an extremely supportive family and I’m definitely blessed with not just one but two sets of parents – my own and my in-laws. I’ve been working since I was 18, I don’t think I have it in me to not work.

Speaking of family, you come from a family of actors, Shahroz. What do you have to say about claims of nepotism?
SHAHROZ: I’ve been working for 18 years, nepotism must have had an expiry date! If you have a doctor at home, eventually the kids will be inspired and opt for medicine. And if their dad is one of the best doctors in the country, they would grow up in the company of some amazing doctors, giving them an edge over other children interested in the same profession – but only if they have a talent of their own. That’s not nepotism, and the same goes for kids of actors.

Do you guys think that Pakistani cinema is headed in the right direction? Where do you see yourselves in the next five years?
SHAHROZ: Pakistani cinema is headed in a very healthy direction. People who want to tell stories their way are coming forward and are making some good films. No one is following a set formula, which is a very good thing in the long run. Overall, the direction we are headed in as an industry seems promising. As for the future, I start every day with immense faith in Allah and He will decide where I will be in the next five years.
SYRA: I’m hoping in the next five years we will have picked up the pace even more. Hopefully, we will be making even more films annually than we are now.syra shahroz

All right, since you two have had very distinct work trajectories, let’s get to some individual questions. We’ll start with Shahroz.
You’ve had a lot of success with television dramas, such as Teri Raza, in the past two years. Do you think it’s finally a good time in your career, as writers and makers were initially confused casting you since you looked younger than your age?
SHAHROZ: I feel that I am getting the right roles at the right age. You’ve been seeing me on television for 18 years now, so the transition from a boy to a man feels longer than it actually has been.

Speaking of Teri Raza, how was it working with Sanam Baloch?
SHAHROZ: This drama was a great experience for me as an actor. The script gave me the space to show a side of my acting ability which no one had witnessed. Sanam was like a school to me on set. Her energy and commitment to the job was everything I could’ve asked for.

How is Aabis Raza as a director? Pakistani dramas are more content driven and not very glamorous. Even young directors like Aabis tend to focus on the story. Do you think that’s what keeps our serials real?
SHAHROZ: Aabis Raza gives you the space you want on set which makes him a very confident director. He knows what he wants and knows how to take it out of you. He would shut himself up in a room with Sanam and I before every scene to rehearse it and try to find a little magic before the shoot. It was a drill but worth it.
Pakistani dramas have always been content driven, and that’s what a drama is supposed to be. Glamour and over-the-top heroism can only be swallowed in a dark theatre hall.

Syed Noor is a legend and has some great films to his name, but Chain Aye Na had some shortcomings. Tell us about those.
SHAHROZ: Simply put, Chain Aye Na couldn’t deliver. We’re now used to some good, and even great cinema, with lots of money invested in production quality. Hence, a poor quality product just cannot work anymore. That being said, I still believe the music of this film is amazing. I am also very proud of it being my first solo film

Your role in Bisaat-e-Dil had various shades. Was it difficult?
SHAHROZ: Bisaat-e-Dil is very close to me. When it was offered to me, a lot of people involved were against my casting, but my director Ali Masud took up the challenge, as did I. I had faith in the prayers of my elders and it became one of the best roles I have ever played.

Syra, your turn.
Project Ghazi finally saw the light of day and the audience loved your chemistry with Sheheryar Munawar. What are your thoughts on that?
SYRA: I was extremely happy when producer Ali Reza approached me for this film. It was huge cast and a different genre, one that’s never been tried in Pakistan before. I gave it my best, so I was relieved that it was released. As for the chemistry, I’m totally with the audience. You know, I knew Sheheryar and I would end up doing a full film together when I did a cameo with him in Ho Mann Jahaan.syra shahroz

Your first ever play Mera Naseeb made you a superstar overnight, but you’ve been extremely selective about work and endorsements since then. Why is that?
SYRA: I was very lucky to be a part of such a big project, with legendary actors, at an early stage. I decided at that point that if I’m going to pursue acting, I will only take work that people will enjoy and work that gives me satisfaction. I truly want to love everything I do, regardless of whether it does well later on or not. That’s why I’ve been picky.

How was the experience of working in Chalay Thay Saath with a Chinese leading man? Do you think they could have added more punch to the climax?
SYRA: This film was a beautiful experience and Kent S. Leung was amazing to work with. He’s such a great actor. As for the climax, I actually love the way it ends

You recently attended the Chinese Film Festival. Tell us more about that experience, including meeting Jackie Chan and reuniting with Kent.
SYRA: At the festival, every country brought five films to showcase. From our five films, Chalay Thay Saath was picked for an ‘in focus’ analysis. It was the only film that was screened and had a Q & A session with the press. Needless to say, it was a surreal experience.
Jackie Chan is a legend. I honestly couldn’t believe I was sitting an arm’s length away from him. Reuniting with Kent was as fun as always, of course.

“I’ve grown up on drama and film sets, so I knew at a very young age that I’d be a part of this industry.”
– Shahroz

We hear you’re launching a website soon. What will it be about?
SYRA: An insight into my life perhaps. I’m a very private person. When I’m on set, my work mode is on. When I’m with friends and family, or taking some ‘me’ time, I fully enjoy that space. That’s why I’m not seen at every party or event. It’s not a conscious decision or choice. I’m just like that. Also, I’m not on television right now, so I thought this website would be a good way to connect with my fans and they can get to know me in my element. It’s the age of digital media and it will be my creative space. There will be lots of collaborations happening there with people I like. The work is on and it should be launched soon.

You were very witty and vocal about other actors on a television talk show. How much damage control did you have to do afterwards?
SYRA: Not much. The people who know me know that it was all in good humour…[Laughs]

You recently said during an interview that it’s “time we stop portraying women as weak beings just so the audience sympathises with them”. Are you making a conscious effort to choose stronger roles?
SYRA: Yes I am. Even strong women face troubles and catastrophes in life, they just deal with them differently. And that’s what we need to tell our audience. We need to educate them. It’s our responsibility to project these characters well.

What’s next for Syra?
SYRA: Well, let’s see. But I’ll tell you this: I’m feeling very creative these days.

“I’ve grown up on drama and film sets, so I knew at a very young age that I’d be a part of this industry.”
– Shahroz




The last text you sent?
SHAHROZ: ‘On my way’, sent to my assistant director.

Hashtag that describes your life
SHAHROZ: #Blessed.

One social media account that we have to follow?

One app we should download?

Favourite website?

TV show you love right now?
SHAHROZ: Narcos: Mexico.

Last book you read?
SHAHROZ: The Stranger by Albert Camus.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
SHAHROZ: Myself.

Favourite fictional character?
SHAHROZ: Count Alexander from A Gentleman in Moscow.

What’s your karaoke song?
SHAHROZ: O Mere Dil Kay Chain by Kishore Kumar

Last movie you saw?
SHAHROZ: Hell or High Water.

Last holiday destination?
SHAHROZ: London.

Last thing you bought?
SHAHROZ: A watch.

Best thing you can cook?
SHAHROZ: Nothing! [Laughs]

Dream dinner party guest?
SHAHROZ: Ernest Hemingway or Leo Tolstoy.

Favourite hotel in the world?
SHAHROZ: Kempinski Hotels.

Favourite designer?
SHAHROZ: Tom Ford.

Favourite fashion capital?
SHAHROZ: Milan and Tokyo.

Star style icon?
SHAHROZ: Tom Hardy.

Your biggest fear?
SHAHROZ: Upsetting my elders.

Celebrity dream date?
SHAHROZ: Rosie Huntington-Whitely.

Best gift you ever received?
SHAHROZ: Rolex Milgauss from my dear wife.

Personal motto?
SHAHROZ: Work hard and respect your elders.

Word or phrase you say the most?
SHAHROZ: O em gee! [Laughs]syra shahroz



The last text you sent?
SYRA: ‘Cold pressed coconut oil’, sent to my driver.

Hashtag that describes your life?
SYRA: “We’re tiny we’re toony, we’re all a little loony!”

One social media account that we have to follow?
SYRA: I don’t follow many myself so maybe you can tell me.

One app we should download?
SYRA: Canva.

TV shows you love right now?
SYRA: I’m waiting for The Crown, The Young Pope and Big Little Lies.

Last book you read?
SYRA: I’m reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Favourite fictional character?
SYRA: Sirius Black from Harry Potter.

Last movie you saw?
SYRA: Pokemon Detective Pikachu.

Last holiday destination?
SYRA: London.

Last thing you bought?
SYRA: A tiny fan for Shahroz.

Best thing you can cook?
SYRA: Thai green curry.

Dream dinner party guest?
SYRA: Victoria Beckham.

Favourite hotel in the world?
SYRA: Kempinski Hotels.

Favourite designer?
SYRA: So many!

Favourite fashion capital?
SYRA: Paris and Milan.

Star style icon?
SYRA: Blake Lively and Victoria Beckham

Celebrity dream date?
SYRA: Jude Law.

Best gift you ever received?
SYRA: Cartier Ballon Bleu from Shahroz.

Personal motto?
SYRA: Be kind and love yourself.

Word or phrase you say the most?
SYRA: No shit.

Interview and styling: Rao Ali khan
Photography: Shahbaz Shazi
Syra’s make-up: Shazia Rashid
Shahroz’s make-up: Nadeem William- Alist SalonPost Bottom Logo