What age did you start working at and what was your first job?
At the vulnerable age of sixteen and a half, I started with a summer job of a lifeguard cum lavatory cleaner at the Lahore Hilton hotel. Soon after which I did my hotel management and I started working as a front officer, I used to work at night and go to college in the morning with a salary amounting to PKR 383 only, this was back in 1979.
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement?
I don’t know, every day is a new achievement. To be successful in this country is an achievement, and I think the greatest achievement of mine is by default that I was born in a great family and received good education and everything else is a feather in the cap.
What is your passion?
I am a very passionate person by nature, and I am very passionate about everything in life from my lifestyle to my boat to my taste to my clothes and office, everything that I do in life I do it passionately. So passion for me is living a good quality life.
Who do you consider to be your inspiration?
Well not just one person, there are many. But most of the people who inspired me in my life have been women, starting with my mother, I am very impressed by the women in my life be it my mother or daughter or any other friend or relative because I think women are very strong. When I made a movie the real inspiration it came from women at that time.
How do you describe your personal style?
It’s not my style, I acquired it over a period of time, you learn from people, travelling and different experiences. As I said women are my inspiration, so I have been advised by them as to what I should wear and what trends to follow. So I think over a period of time mine is a culmination of many things.
Describe how you were as a child?
I was very social and at the age of five I had friends and they are still with me. I was very never an indoor person, I was really fond of sports since my childhood. I was really adventurous, I have done trekking, I fly my plane and I also have a power boat license. Not many people can do all three but I have done it. These are the things that I have done.
Who do you follow in terms of style?
I usually don’t follow anybody’s style. Because for me style is not just about the clothes, for me style is a possession that a man has, whether it is a bike or car or any other thing. Back then the most important character was James bond, and our television was very strong in terms of style, so without you realizing these people have left an impact. So style is something that you acquire from a lot of people without even knowing them. And I take style as a whole image not just clothes but shoes, socks and whatever you possess should be stylish and have a reason behind it.
How was the experience of walking the ramp?
I was terrified over there, it was the first time and it was a different exposure. I wasn’t sure that how will people would receive it or respond but I am thankful to all the professionals, they really helped me a lot and made me feel good about it and when I started walking the audience gave me a standing ovation and it was a great feeling. Then I got offers from India as well but ramp I can do, if it is closer to my work schedule. But the kind of work I do, I can’t manage to leave it. As it is not my first priority, it is not my bread and butter so I can’t leave my job for it.
Have you hired any stylist or thinking to hire someone in future?
Not really, off and on Nabila has been working on me and she has been experimenting on me. Nabila has been a great friend, she is a perfectionist. And I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for her as she is the only one who knows what will suit best on me. I work with her off and on, and whenever I need a style guide in my projects I always call for help. Despite being really busy she always responds.
How do you take care of your fitness?
At my age the biggest thing you can do is to control your diet. You can walk and do light exercise, and be careful about your weight.
How do you deal with criticism?
If you look there’s a lot of polarization is our society. You will find a lot of people who love you and there are many people who hate you. I am a string person, either you hate me or love me but you can’t ignore me. The best way to deal with criticism is to understand what kind of criticism it is, if it is personal or it is sick then I don’t give it a thought but if it is a productive then it is a serious thing and you should brainstorm with you colleagues and then you work around it. Criticism can be really helpful in a way to improve yourself.
Have you ever taken any legal action against someone who has crossed the limits of criticism?
Never on an individual person but I have won a deformation case against Jung group. The reason I never took any legal action against any individual is that you miss your quote somehow. Once I had an argument with ArnabGoswami but that will on social media, he invited me on his show and he himself ran away. Sometimes you have to stand up to make people hear you loudly.
What is your take in the wave of feminism that has overtook the nation?
I am not a feminist because it is now totally misguided and people have changed the meaning of it. Feminism is wonderful, if you deal with women’s issues properly and you take it as a duty. But now people have crossed the limits in the name of feminism, the definition that we have created, I don’t agree with it but I admire women and I respect them and I believe that women are equal if not better, everybody has their own role but nobody is superior to other. Just like a recent incident when SharmeenObaid played with her women card and misused it, that is not feminism that is throwing your weight on somebody, but at the same time Mukhtaraan Mai who put fake allegation and it was proved even but what QandeelBaloch did was much better than these women, she stood for her rights.
What is your favorite quotation?
Perseverance commands success.
What color suits you best?
Black is my all-time favourite and if not black then white.
Message for our readers?
I see people don’t read a lot anymore, which is sad. One thing that I want people to know is that, when we are fighting on a TV show, we are not fighting for ourselves we are fighting for your rights. If we compromise today, then tomorrow you won’t have jobs or proper education. Kindly don’t indulge yourself into polarization, everybody is equal be it Muslim or Non-Muslim, we are standing up to defend you. Secondly, differ from other people but with logic and without abusing eachother.