I do different roles for my own gratification, says Angeline Malik to Sehar Zaman
Islamabad has often been described as a â€œdeadâ€ city, not because of the recent spate of political turmoil, but because people think itâ€™s a city devoid of social/cultural activities. For a culturally â€˜deadâ€™ city, Islamabad seems to be doing pretty well; it has produced two of the countries finest directors, Saqib Malik and Angeline Malik (no relation). Both are Islamabadâ€™s best exports to Karachi and have made many memorable masterpieces that have been etched into the memories of viewers. Whereas Saqib is well-known for his music videos, Angeline is not only an ace director, but also a producer and a gifted actor.
A graduate of Hunerkada, Angeline Malik stepped into the limelight with Jamal Shahâ€™s â€˜Musafir Din Musafir Raateinâ€™. She was his assistant for the play, but during the course of the shooting, he convinced her to act, and the rest as they say, is history. After the play was completed, Angeline came to Karachi to find a buyer for it, and met Ghazanfer Ali, who convinced her to do a talk show called â€˜Black and Whiteâ€™.
Since then, there has been no looking back. â€œI was always interested in
painting, sculpture and the performing arts, but I never thought Iâ€™d actually be acting in a play. I was in fact, more interest in being behind the lens. When Jamal Shah convinced me to act, I thought Iâ€™d do one play and that would be it, but it never really stops at oneâ€ says Malik about her foray into acting. After Hunerkada, she went for her masters in computer animation, to London. For a person who likes to interact and be around people, working as an animator which requires one to sit in a closed room and create characters, didnâ€™t appeal to her, so she decided to venture into direction. The result has been there for all to appreciate in the form of many unforgettable gems like, â€˜Lahasilâ€™, â€˜Ambulanceâ€™ and â€˜Lali Ki Filmâ€™.
However, she kept on taking acting assignments too, that have undoubtedly polished her skills. Malik has been known to take on very diverse roles; she refuses to play run-of-the-mill characters that offer her no margin to perform. But, that does not mean she is averse to
glamorous characters; she is currently playing the part of a very modern girl in HUM TVâ€™s â€˜Aashtiâ€™. Her character is very lively, fickle and energetic – quite the opposite of what she is in real life, for she is of a serious disposition. Hence, she says she found the role challenging, as it gave her room to perform.
Courtesy: Humsay magazine Oct 2009
Meet Angeline Malik, a creative individual who produces, directs, hosts and acts in the Pakistani media industry. She has created a name for herself in an industry that is mostly male dominated through the roles sheâ€™s played in dramas or the series she has produced. Read on to learn more about her experiences and what she thinks of the Pakistani media industry, and how it compares to the Indian industry.
How would you introduce yourself to our readers?
Iâ€™d say Angeline Malik is an artist, she likes to create, she likes to tell stories through visuals and she likes people to experience the world through her eyes.
Tell us about your background (where you grew up, your education and family)?
Iâ€™m basically from Islamabad; I spent my initial growing up days in England, and then moved to Islamabad. I did my masters in fine arts, more specifically sculpture, and then went on to do my masters in computer imaging and animation from London.
How and why did you decide to enter media as a profession? Did your family support your decision?
It was never on the cards, I was simply an artist. A project came along which I was part of and since the leading lady backed out last minute, I ended up doing that role. Once youâ€™re in it thereâ€™s no looking back. My parents were not very pleased initially, but when they saw my work they were more than pleased.
You are an actor, host, producer and a director, which do you enjoy the most and why?
When youâ€™re acting, youâ€™re sharing someoneâ€™s experience, when youâ€™re directing youâ€™re sharing your experience, as a producer youâ€™re creating a platform where various talent come together; thus, they are totally different experiences and have no comparison. As long as Iâ€™m not making any compromise, I enjoy doing all three. Being a host has its own charm, you have no lines, and you can just say what you feel like saying.
What plays have you acted in and what would you say was the most memorable role?
Thereâ€™s a long list, but I normally enjoy characters where I have a margin to be different or create a person unlike myself. I’ve recently produced and directed a serial by the name of RANI, which is to be on air from the 8th of Dec on PTV, it was a character of a female politician, and Iâ€™d say I enjoyed it the most; the character had a certain get up, dialect and behavior. I played young to old and after playing that character I literally felt as if I’ve experienced a different life, as if I’ve lived her whole life, which is very rare.
Are you hosting, directing or producing any shows? If so, give us some details.
I am hosting two talk shows; one is on directors and the other on politicians and celebrities. Besides that, Iâ€™m shooting for a few serials which Iâ€™m enjoying as they are totally diverse characters.
What projects are you currently working on or have planned for the future?
Iâ€™m very selective about my projects as a director. I am working on a few concepts but they will take time to develop. I also plan to take up sculpture in my spare time.
Pakistan has seen a lot of change and progress in the media in the last ten years; do you feel we still need room for improvement, or have we achieved a level that is comparable to international standards?
There is always room for improvement and we have a long way to go. We have only progressed in terms of numbers but not standards. We have more channels, more shows and more plays; however, the quality has become worse than before. One positive thing which has come out of it is that more people are being given a chance to become part of this media.
What needs to be done to improve the standards of Pakistani media and why?
We need to improve quality which can only be achieved if more money can be spent on productions, by doing so, proper time will be spent on the scripts.
Despite the media thriving and actors having the choice of what and where they want to work, there are rumors about the lack of professionalism when it comes to the actual payment of their work. To what extent is this true?
True, Payment schedules are really bad. Actors might have more choices and work or better payments, but they still have to run around to get their cheques.
Do you feel that we as a nation have stopped watching our own TV and would prefer to watch Indian or International shows?
There was a time I agree, but lately even our viewers are getting bored with Indian plays. This is the right time to get our viewers back which can only be achieved by improving the quality of our plays.
What makes Indian actors come across the border to work in our plays? Do you think that some of the dramas now playing are too heavily influenced by Indian culture?
For Indians, Pakistan is a new market which offers them more opportunity. Especially because we mimic their plays, they feel that they are able to conquer this market.
As a woman working in Pakistan, do you feel you are treated any differently from your male counterparts?
Yes, I am treated differently and I get more respect as most people know itâ€™s not easy being a working woman in Pakistan, especially in the media.
What words of advice would you give to the young generation who would like to follow in your footsteps and enter the media industry?
Everything you do whether big or small should be a labor of love. If you give all that youâ€™ve got, rewards always follow.
Lastly, what is your message to the readers of The Saturday Post?
Enjoy reading The Saturday Post.
Courtesy: The Saturday Post