Iqra Aziz’s star is shining. Recently famous for Suno Chanda, Iqra has been consistently delivering some very power packed performances for the past year. Whether it is in ‘Ghairat’ or ‘Qurbaan’ or ‘Tabeer’ or ‘Khamoshi’, Iqra’s immersive acting and earnest portrayals have turned her into a top favorite of the audiences. We caught up with her to talk about ‘Suno Chanda’, Pakistani films and her future as a star on the rise. How do you feel now post ‘Suno Chanda’? How do you feel about the response? The response has been extremely overwhelmingly and rightfully so. This was my first attempt in a rom-com and I loved it! There is immense amount of admiration coming from all-across the country and I can’t thank everyone enough for their love and support. Tell us about your character and whether it’s close to who you are? The girl is an urbane, outspoken girl a character which is often missing from the television screens. Ajiya is a head-strong girl, determined and passionate just like Iqra Aziz. I mean there is still a long way to go with exploring oneself, and turning into a better human being with time, but for most of the part I am a very passionate and confident in real life. The actor says Pakistan’s film and drama industry should have better stories to tell, stories of common people, of strong women and of an ambitious nation What are the kinds of scripts that you would prefer? You’ve taken very strong roles such as in ‘Ghairat’ and then in ‘Qurbaan’. Is this a conscious decision to choose empowered roles? How do you feel about your role in ‘Taabeer’? I have always tried to choose characters that require hard work and also the ones that push me out of my comfort zone. The reason being my passion to act and take on challenging roles. ‘Tabeer’ may seem like a soft role but I absolutely loved the character. The storyline and dialogues are impeccable, Imran’s writing and Ahsan Talish’s direction has been phenomenal. People often say that audiences love the ‘roti dhoti aurat’ but Suno Chanda’s success proves that a funny, intelligent, bright woman who has a lot of agency can also be just as appreciated. What’s your take on the idea that audiences just want to see a damsel in distress? I believe we should encourage our female writers and let them think out of the box. Suno Chanda is also written by a female and we must appreciate the great story. Also our audience is very intelligent, there is a millennial generation that watches dramas and I think they appreciate and love strong female characters, like I do too! What would be your dream role? All my roles so far have been like a dream come true for me. However, there is still a sea to explore. What are your future projects? Some great projects are in the pipeline so you guys stay tuned. What’s the funniest comment that you received about Ajiya? I think when people compare Farhan and I with Tom and Jerry, I find it very funny! What do you think needs to change about the Pakistani film and drama industry for it to improve? We should have better stories to tell, stories of common people, of strong women and of an ambitious nation. What has been your favorite role that you have played, to date? Ajiya Nazakat Ali, for sure! Have you thought of doing films? What is the kind of film you’d like to do Films are quite different but I would love to explore that area too. However, if I take up a film I’d definitely want a strong character and a great story-line. Published in Daily Times, June 29th 2018.