The Many Faces of Filmstar Mehwish Hayat

There Are Many Reasons Why We Should Be Thankful To Mehwish Hayat! Written by Omair Alavi

The Many Faces of Filmstar Mehwish Hayat
Mehwish Hayat

Who has received nearly every prestigious award in Pakistan, won over fans and made her compatriots proud through her meaningful speeches abroad? That’s Mehwish Hayat for you who has been winning hearts and minds with her onscreen performances, and off-screen antics. Be it starring in the most successful films in Pakistan, or receiving the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz for her contribution to the entertainment industry, Mehwish Hayat has been everywhere. In the last six years, she has been instrumental in giving a new dimension to the film industry of Pakistan, and the more we celebrate her contribution, the better. Let’s take a look at the many faces of Mehwish Hayat the ‘filmstar’ and how she has made her country proud both on and off the screen.

When Mehwish Hayat Danced Her Way into Our Hearts

It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that before Billi danced her way into our hearts, Pakistani films were not watched by a lot of people. A couple of films like Main Hoon Shahid Afridi and Waar managed to pull back the audience but the ‘Meow’ of Billi both pulled them towards the cinema and kept them inside the theatres until the film completed its run. Here, Mehwish Hayat was not just as hot as hell, her dance steps were electrifying, and had her character been named Bijli, nobody wouldn’t have minded.

She then returned to set the stage on fire as ‘Gangster Guriya’ in Baaji where the real-life behind the scenes story of Na Maloom Afraad was dramatized. For those who don’t know, it was Meera Ji who was cast as Billi and replaced by Mehwish Hayat after a couple of days, something that was conveyed through the song in Baaji. The man character’s injury and the slap on Yasir Hussain’s face was 'creative liberty' the director took.

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When Mehwish Hayat Displayed Her Versatility

Mehwish Hayat’s claim to fame is not her dancing skills alone, she is a fabulous actress who has displayed her acting prowess on both TV and films. She was the main heroine of Jawani Phir Nahi Ani, one of the biggest hits produced in Pakistani. Here, the first half revolved around her character and the four boys namely Humayun Saeed, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Ahmed Ali Butt, and Vasay Chaudhry, and in the second she had to fight for her man. As Marina, she got to dance her heart out, donned western attire like a boss, and played the spoilt kid of a local gangster who is not used to no in her life.

Her versatility can be judged from the fact that in her next film Actor In Law, she played a character that was poles apart from Marina. As a Karachi-born Parsi journalist Meenu Screwala, her dialect was so perfect that her late co-star Bollywood legend Om Puri said that he had never heard a non-Parsi speak the Gujrati language so flawlessly. Surprisingly there was no song on her in the film but she got to slap, curse and appear in court, something that most actresses get to do in multiple films. Also, she was paired in the movie with Fahad Mustafa for the first time as main lead; the two went on to work in Load Wedding and 3 Bahadur: Rise of the Warriors and recently appeared in the Lux Commercial together as a couple.

When Mehwish Hayat Played Strong Characters

Her fans on TV had seen her in the role of a powerful woman in Dil Lagi but playing a strong woman on the biggest screen was something they least expected from her. In Pakistan, either the hero plays the title character or no one does, but Mehwish Hayat got to play the title character in Punjab Nahi Jaungi. As the foreign returned Amal who at first refuses to marry the grandson of her grandfather’s friend (played by Humayun Saeed) because of compatibility issues, she later agrees when he convinces her that he loves her more than anyone ever would. However, after she catches him in a compromising position, she threatens to leave him prompting him to slap her in anger. This is where the strong personality of Amal resurfaces and she leaves her husband to teach him a lesson and succeeds in making him realize his mistake. Not only does she look beautiful in every frame of the film we get to see the sporty side of Mehwish Hayat who jogs in the park, plays basketball in her home but also displays her romantic side when she nurses her husband back to fitness after an injury.

And then there was Meerab in Load Wedding, the good-looking social worker who became a widow on her wedding night, and then remarried the guy who loved her since they were young (played by Fahad Mustafa). Her real test began after her marriage when her husband’s elder sister (Faiza Hasan) made life hell for her, but she showed her bigger heart by donating everything she won from a quiz show, for that very sister’s dowry. Her character here was as different from Amal as chalk and cheese, since here she played a village girl who wasn’t as refined as the girl who refused to return to Punjab, and wasn’t as highly educated but had the same amount of strength, if not less. Her dialect transformed her character from a modern girl to a villager and earned her the Lux Style Award for Best Actress.

When Mehwish Hayat Proved That Beauty with Brain Exists

The year 2019 was special for Mehwish Hayat for two reasons – it was the year when the Government of Pakistan conferred Tamgha e Imtiaz upon her for her services to Arts and Culture, and the Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg awarded her the Pride of Performance award, within a span of six months. However, it was her bold speech in Oslo after receiving the award that got noticed across the globe for it was spoken from the heart and touched all the peace-loving people around the world who don’t consider war as the ultimate solution. She urged the filmmakers of both Hollywood and Bollywood to portray Pakistan as a peaceful country instead of their war-torn version that is closer to fiction than reality. She also became the voice of the innocent Kashmiris at the forum and highlighted the atrocities they have been facing for decades. Well done girl, we are all very proud of you!

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