"Going back to university while acting kept me quite grounded."
Mawra Hocane is an outstanding television and film actress and one of Pakistan’s most eminent figures.
Having launched her acting career at the tender age of nineteen in Hum TV’s Mere Huzoor, (2012) she has been dominating the acting scene ever since.
We meet Mawra in Birmingham, where she lets us in on all the behind the scenes gossip as well as more about the leading lady herself in an exclusive gupshup with DESIblitz.
Life and Career
Like her personality, the starlet’s name is as unique.
Her surname, ‘Hocane,’ has raised plenty of eyebrows in the past.
“The first question in every interview is always about my surname,” she laughs.
“Mawra means outstanding. My first name was so unique but I shared my second name (Hussain) with so many of my class fellows.
“So, I wrote this fake application telling my teachers that this is not the spelling of my name and that’s how I changed it. I didn’t think it would become a national issue later on.”
A well-rounded woman, Mawra boasts a strong academic record, acting and modelling career.
She has been associated with haircare brand, Sunsilk, as well as being a Lux girl.
When asked about her many talents, she humbly responds:
“It’s only when you guys talk about this that I realise what’s going on.”
“I think it goes hand in hand, when you’re an actor you model for brands. I never think about it like ‘oh I’m modelling.’ You’re basically just acting, even on the ramp.”
Despite her international recognition as an actress and model, the 25-year-old is also a law graduate and has a diploma in fashion.
“Growing up I did theatre in my city then I moved to Karachi to pursue the career.
“Then I felt the need to be normal. All my other friends were doing degrees. I was working and they were having their convocations and I found that very attractive.”
“I have been an actor first. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to act.
“I loved the attention as a child. I was 8 when I told my mother I wanted to be Miss Universe. It was about the attention I got in the house or in school.”
She describes how balancing her demanding work schedule and her academic life was challenging, though came with its own benefits.
“I thought if I did the degree I could live a normal life. Going back to university while acting kept me quite grounded.
“I did my first year before my Indian movie, then I came back from India and did the other two years. That kind of brought me back to the real life most of the time.”
The University of London graduate also maintains a close relationship with her sister, Urwa Hocane, best known for romantic comedy Punjab Nahi Jaongi.
“I’m sure we’re both very supportive. But the support system I have in her I don’t think she has in me.
“If I had to pick the best sister of us two it’s definitely her because she’s always seen the best in me, always inspired me, I didn’t think I could do all of this until she told me that I can.
She warmly reveals:
“The support really comes from her. As sisters, you support each other and love each other but she’s a very special sister.
“I wish everyone had that one sister because whatever I am today is because of her. I’m sure she knows this but it’s the truth of my life.”
Much like the characters she portrays on film and television, she also sees herself as a “hopeless romantic.”
“I always listened to Bollywood songs and daydreamed about things or people I like.”
Despite her tender side, marriage is not on the cards for Mawra anytime soon.
“I don’t see myself settling in the next 5 years, but one day for sure.”
The Karachi born actress stresses how matters regarding love are “things you shouldn’t plan.”
“I see my sister and brother in law and they just fell in love, and they got married.”
Hocane made her Pakistani film debut with the release of the long-awaited Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2.
Playing the role of the spunky Xoe, Hocane is joined by veteran actor Humayun Saeed, Kubra Khan, Vasay Chaudhry, Ahmed Ali Butt, Fahad Mustafa and Kanwaljit Singh.
The Sammi actress is a fresh face in the Jawani Phir Nahi Ani franchise, with fans eager to see her addition to the film.
The starlet’s role in Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 was offered very spontaneously, with Hocane accepting the part without even reading the script.
“It was my birthday and my director Nadeem told me he had a present for me. I asked him what it was and he said it’s his next film. So, at that moment I thought, ‘I am doing this film.’
“Because it was Vasay’s script and Nadeem was directing it, I knew I’d be doing it.”
Committed to her career, she jokes: “I just want to do 8000 more movies and then settle down.”
Having starred not only in Bollywood and Lollywood, but also conquering the drama industry, she remarks:
“I like TV better. I prefer dramas over movies…In Pakistan, the drama industry is so much bigger…you have a lot of choices.
“Whereas the film industry is still budding so you don’t have those choices. I prefer dramas but I hope I can manage both.”
Her breakthrough in the film industry was made across the border in Sanam Teri Kasam, (2016) a Bollywood movie.
Hocane tells us how she landed the role.
“They watched one of my shows on Hum TV. As you know our dramas are bigger than our films. They called me up and the funny thing is when I was a child I used to cry a lot.
“When I got a call from my Indian debut they said we’ve auditioned so many girls we want someone who can cry and look pretty. So, I was like wow I get another role for just crying? So that’s how I landed it.”
Watch our special interview with Mawra Hocane:
In terms of future plans, she is overwhelmed with her upcoming film Jawani Phir Nahi Ani and series Aangan.
“I have this and Aangan coming out – which is a pre-partition project. It’s 30 episodes on Hum TV. I’m really looking forward to it.”
With the Pakistani superstar having already led the way in television, we have high hopes for Hocane’s future career in cinema.