Iqra Aziz opens up about finding friends in showbiz | The Express Tribune


Appearing as a guest on The Pick & Drop Show, Pakistani actor and model Iqra Aziz offered a candid introspection on her acting career, a recent apparel controversy and her upcoming projects. Engaging in a heartfelt conversation with host, actor and husband Yasir Hussain, the Mannat Murad actor fondly reflected on the last time Yasir had her as a guest on his chat show. 

“It’s so weird, we did this last before our marriage…on the After Moon Show with Yasir Hussain,” Iqra remarked on how her husband interviewed her twice before the couple tied the knot. “Now it’s the first time after our marriage, it’s so weird.”

Kicking off the conversation, Yasir questioned Iqra on her wide fanbase that regularly lauds her acting skills and whether any particular actor informed her learning journey. “Actually, no…I hadn’t even watched any dramas until I started acting,” Iqra revealed. The Jhooti star elaborated on her prior unfamiliarity with Pakistani television and how the 2011 drama series Humsafar was the first popular name she caught.

Iqra furthered on, “Then I went home and started watching Humsafar on YouTube. So, that was the first ever Pakistani drama that I watched.” Now a leading television star, Iqra contended that acting is a means of expression for her. 

“I like to express myself. Maybe during that journey, I made such good friends with the camera that the moment it comes in front of me, I become a different person,” she added. 

The interview also found the Suno Chanda actor candidly discussing a recent wardrobe controversy. For her latest television series, Mannat Murad, the actor was accused of wearing a bridal outfit copied from the real-life wedding of actor and model, Saboor Aly.

After the drama’s wedding episode was broadcast, Saboor took to her Instagram Story to call out Iqra and the show’s producers for reportedly making a “blatant copy” of her “special day”. Commenting on the hotly-debated incident, Iqra explained, “It was our director’s wish and it fit the context that Mannat was wearing her mother’s lehenga as per her brother’s request.” 

“We searched a lot but most designers these days are putting out very modern designs. And of course, actors take barter from designers and use them in their projects, that’s a well-known fact,” Iqra elaborated. “So, my director shared this reference with me that this is one style we can work with.”

The actor divulged how she approached Faiza Saqlain, the eye behind Saboor’s bridal dress. Iqra said, “Faiza is a very good friend of mine. So I asked her and she had this dress. I requested her for the dress to use in the project.” The celebrity further described the appeal of the dress and how it was a perfect fit for Mannat Murad, appreciating the “old school feel” of Faiza’s design.

Admitting that she did not want to recreate the same look, Iqra shared how she got the designer to change the shirt whereas the dupatta and gharara, being fundamental parts of the ensemble, had to remain the same. “I picked jewellery that fits that look. So I made the whole look myself. And if I tell you the truth, it’s not like I copied her.”

Setting the record straight, she went on to say, “I don’t mind saying this on the record that I was very inspired by her look. Because I found her looking very beautiful. I wanted to look like her. I personally felt, as an actor, that Mannat should look like this.”

The Raqeeb Se actor contended that she did not feel the need to seek any formal approval since the dress was acquired directly from the designer and did not belong to Saboor. “If I knew better, as I said, I’m a people pleaser, I would have explained to her that I’m doing this so I hope you won’t mind. But I didn’t get into that conversation, I just wore the dress,” she recounted how the whole thing blew up after.

On a related note, Iqra recalled how her own bridal outfit was heavily inspired by Priyanka Chopra’s dress at her wedding to Nick Jonas. Nomi Ansari, the designer behind Iqra’s wedding look, at the actor’s behest created a similar red-on-red design. However, the dress was given full sleeves to prevent it from being a replica.

“Before this, red on red wasn’t a thing. Priyanka wore red on red, so it became a thing and I followed in suit,” Iqra underlined the common practice of referring to celebrity outfits as inspiration. 

Talking about her upcoming projects, the star teased her first-time union with actor Hamza Sohail for a television series. Praising the show’s director, Fajar Raza, Iqra said, “It’s going really well. We haven’t decided on the name yet…it will come in January or February next year.” Since the interview, the much-anticipated drama is expected to hit the screens soon as Burns Road Kay Romeo Juliet.  

While celebrities typically find themselves socialising a lot in showbiz, Iqra maintained that contrary to her usual on-screen persona, she is a very private person. The actor disclosed that she has no friends in the industry. “Off-screen, it’s not very often that I am able to make friends with people, initiate a conversation, connect with someone or maintain a familiarity in the long term.”

“I can’t choose anyone as a friend. And I feel bad about it. I feel that neither people want to be my friend nor do I want to be their friend. So this goes both ways,” Iqra confessed with a laugh. “I don’t give people a friendly vibe and they don’t give me one either.”

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