Oct 16 2009
Juggun Kazim also known as Jay Kazim, is a very talented and ambitious young woman. She has worked in numerous Pakistani telefilms and even embarked on the Canadian film scene. Not only is she an admirable actress, she is also a model and TV host for various shows airing on Pakistani channels. Read on to learn how she got into acting and what her future goals areâ€¦
How would you introduce yourself to our readers?
I would like to think that Iâ€™m a rather multifaceted personality. From modeling to hosting to acting and lately the random bit of journalism; I seem to want to do it all. I just love the arts, and more specifically the media. Iâ€™m one of those people that wake up in the middle of the night because of having a dream that could be converted into a scene. For me, this line of work is more than a passion, itâ€™s an obsession.
Tell us about where you grew up, your family and education?
I grew up in Cantonment, Lahore with an elder sister and a younger brother. My mother is still alive, but my father passed away 5 years ago. His murder was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. My own tiny family unit is comprised of my two year old son, Hamza Ahmed and myself. I am a single mother and adore my son to distraction; he is my motivation to do everything and truly makes me want to be a better person.
I went to Lahore Grammar School, and then to Kinnaird College for my FA. After completing that, I went to Canada to attend the University of Western Ontario where I did my BA Honors in Media Information Technology and Sociology with a minor in Psychology. One summer while in college, I also did my CCNA 2.0 just for fun. I guess I was bored and computers arenâ€™t exactly rocket science, so I decided to have fun and educate myself at the same time. After college, I took a variety of courses in acting and commercial modeling. I am also now planning to do my LLB privately. I have to admit, I miss college and I love to constantly educate myself; it makes me feel like I’m still a kid.
You are an actress, a TV host and a model; how did you get involved with working in the media?
When I was four, someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. My reply was â€œmein bara ho kay actor banu ga.â€ At that age, I obviously hadnâ€™t quite realized that I was a girl, which of course came along as a rude awakening at the age of thirteen.
My first commercial play was when I was fourteen years old and the director was my best friend Mashal Peerzada. I must say, it was one of the most fun theatre projects I have worked on till date. However, I started my professional acting and modeling career under the name â€˜Jay Kazimâ€™ in Toronto. I was approached by Sutherland Models in Canada to work as a â€˜petiteâ€™ and â€˜commercialâ€™ model; because obviously I am way too short for the ramp. I did two music videos with them and then was approached my current Canadian Agents, The Newton Landry Management. Sandie Newton and Yanick Landry took me under their wing and started sending me to auditions. I ended up doing a Diet Coke Ad which ran for 2 seasons because it was so popular. I also then did a few more commercials and theatre work, and in the process also auditioned for the movie Pink Ludoos. Never in my wildest imagination did I think I would be chosen as the lead in this movie; but Allah Mian was very kind to me and after only the 2nd stage of auditions, I was offered the part. (You can google me under â€˜Jay Kazimâ€™ and the rest of my stage and acting work in Canada will come up.)
Did your family support your decision to enter this industry? What obstacles have you faced by entering this profession?
My family didn’t really approve of this line of work initially, but now I think they have come to accept it and are secretly a little proud of me. I had no major obstacles because I have always been very independent in my behavior and thought process. Also, once I had finished my degree from college, my mother was pretty much okay with whatever profession I chose to pursue.
Out of modeling, acting and hosting, what do you enjoy most?
I have never really considered myself to be a model. I am essentially an actress and enjoy hosting. Hosting is something I just fell into while I was pregnant, and now I have to say I love acting and hosting just as much. Though, I do have the soul of an actor. I host predominantly to change people’s narrow-minded perception of the media industry and to promote positive social change.
What type of modeling have you done? Have you participated in fashion shows? If so, when and where?
I am mainly a print model, if you can call me a model that is. Modeling is something I do just for fun; I have never participated in fashion shows despite being trained by Sutherland Models to walk the ramp. I just think that at 5 feet 4 inches, Iâ€™d look rather stupid walking the ramp. One should learn to work within the limitations of one’s body rather than make of fool of themselves.
Tell us about the shows you host on TV.
A.My career in hosting started with the program Beanbag, which I wrote and conceptualized for Business Plus. After that, I hosted: CEO for Business Plus, Aaj Entertainment Tonight for Aaj TV, Fashion Stop for Ary Digital, Sunday Brunch for Aaj TV
My current programs on air are: Morning with Hum Weekend Edition for Hum TV, Aik Din Juggun Kay Saath for Vibe TV (Celebrity and Media Personalities kay interview.), Honestly Speaking with Juggun Kazim on PTV (Program deals with social issues within Pakistan)
You have acted as well; what shows you have acted in and what is your most memorable role in acting?
As of late, I have acted in various projects in Pakistan. The ones I was most noted in 2007 were: Manosalva in the character of Sheena for Hum TV, Sitam in the character of Kiran for PTV and Piyasi in the character of Dolly for Hum TV. I have also acted in a variety of series and telefilms. Just recently my new serial aired on ARY Digital by the name of Sher Dil, on which I play the character of Neelum. I am now working on 3 serials, Momal Productions â€˜Saiqa,â€™ Shahid Zahoor’s ‘Chaat,â€™ Talking Filmein’s serial and a television soap that has yet to be titled. The most favorite character Iâ€™ve played was Maya in ‘Aik Pal,â€™ a telefilm which I producted and which was directed by Mashal Peerzada. The film has been selected by Hum TV for their telefilm competition.
They say there is a lot of competition in modeling, what has your experience been? Would you recommend this profession to the youngsters who want to enter this field?
Thank god I’m not a professional model! I just model for fun. If you are tall and skinny, itâ€™s easy to become a model in Pakistan. However, itâ€™s a lot tougher to be as good of an actor as Nadia Jamil or Faisal Qureshi. Twenty years ago I wouldnâ€™t recommend this profession to anyone, but now things have changed for the better and thatâ€™s allowed a lot of people to enter this industry on a more positive note.
You recently appeared in the latest Jal video, tell us where that video was shot and how was the experience?
The video was shot in Lahore at Bari Studios. It was amazing to work with a team of such talented professionals like DOP Neil Lisk and director Bilal Lashari. Within the limited amount of technical facilities, they did a fabulous job. The hair and makeup was done by Maram and Abaru, and the wardrobe was provided by Rabya Butt and Munib Nawaz. Basically, there was no way that things couldâ€™ve gone wrong. Itâ€™s the team that makes the production, not just the talent!
To a lot of people, being a model means having a glamorous lifestyle, hundreds of fans and traveling; how true is this and what are the drawbacks?
People say that success goes to your head, but I wouldnâ€™t know since I am not even one hundredth as successful as I aim to be eventually. Of course the fans, traveling and glamour are all part of the package that comes with acting, hosting and modeling. But it’s not quite as glamorous at it may seem. It’s a lot of hard work and effort at the end of the day. The drawbacks included constant exhaustion, constant criticism and the fans that sometimes decide to start stalking and harassing you. All in all, I love it because I donâ€™t get caught up in the issues.
What are your goals for the future? Where do you see yourself professionally in the next 10 years?
I will hopefully have my book published and be working on the next few. In terms of acting, I hope to be recognized as the Shabana Azmi or Meryl Streep of Pakistan. As far as hosting is concerned, Oprah is my idol! And of course, I do plan to start producing feature films. Those are the goalsâ€¦ I hope I can supersede them.
Lastly, what is your message to the readers of The Saturday Post?
Learn to love yourself. When you can honestly love yourself, only then can you love others unconditionally. Learn to respect yourself and the opinions of others. Be a good person; a clean and pure soul goes a long way. And ALWAYS follow your dreams. One always gets those things that they want the most in lifeâ€¦ but you have to really have to want it.
Courtesy: The Saturday Post