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Spotlight: Maria Wasti
Today Maria Wasti stands where every other aspiring newcomer wants to be. But only few know how difficult it was for a girl like her who hails from a non-showbiz background, to make a significant niche for her in an over crowded place. But her struggle and sincerity both worked her way and now she sans any doubt is a force to reckon with. The most appreciating aspect of Maria's showbiz career is her choice of projects, as she has never been found doing a role lacking substance. Even at times when the 'name' Maria Wasti was selling like hot cakes, she kept her priorities right and successfully refrained from such projects, which couldn't promise to contribute significantly to satisfy her artistic urge. With, Maria talks at length about her career, the changing priorities of our artists and her experience in the industry.

What actually became the reason of your foray into showbiz?
I wasn't motivated as such. It was just by accident I entered this field. It was only later that I realized it was something I enjoyed and would pursue further.

Isn't it a mere good face the showbiz is all about?
How can you say that? A good face can launch you; it cannot help you sustain if you are not loaded with the necessary talent to go with it. Haven't you noticed that a bad performer never stays in the hearts and minds of the audience? A good face gets you recognition but after that you go on your own.

So what made you realised that you could be a good artiste?
I never did actually. It's the response of the people around me that was overwhelmingly positive. So, I thought there must be something to it.

What qualities make one a good actress?
I think an actor should be sensitive to the environment, to human psychology and the social context in which he or she is asked to perform. Being well read and intellectually inclined is an added asset. Mental flexibility, versatility, hard work and self-confidence make great actors. Together it creates an unforgettable performance.

How do you practically conceive a role when offered?
I try to visualise the character's past and try to link it with her present. A lot of examples of similar people come to mind and one creates gestures, moves, tone of voice, and movement according to the imagined person. If there is confusion, the writer is of course helpful.

And what basics you keep before signing a project?
The writer, storyline, script, my role, the director, and of course the people I will work with.

Is there any significant difference between Maria at home and Maria on the screen?
I have grown tremendously mature as an artist, considering where I started from; I had absolutely no experience of television or even acting as such. Because of that I have grown as a person as well, my acting has shown me so many facets of human life, so many angles of existence that Maria as a person has matured through Maria as an artist.

How does it feel to be a pin-up material?
I am recognised naturally in my own country and surprisingly enough, abroad as well. Such is the spread of mass media these days. Of course, I enjoy the attention. My fans are wonderful.

Have you reached to some level of satisfaction with reference to your performances?
I can't say really. My work by the grace of God has always brought me recognition and appreciation otherwise I would not have been able to continue. There's always room to do more, to improve and I constantly try to do that.

Have you ever find acting and modeling sharing the same wavelength?
Well I would say these are completely different fields. Both require different types of talents. Modeling is no doubt a promotional activity of one sort or the other while acting is far more demanding, so much so that a complete surrender of the self is required.

Then why does every model eventually jump into acting?
I don't know. Must be a slump in the industry I suppose. It may even be the fact that acting brings you close to the public, where you practically become part of people's everyday lives. There's far more room for self-expression, far more acclaim and so much to explore in the artistic domain that is really out of the scope of modeling and marketing.

Why every senior artist is turning towards direction or production?
I don't think starting productions is a bad trend at all and not all senior artists are involved either. It's just natural for a person to expand their scope of work in related fields. Or to be able to finance art ventures that they dream about. It's another form of creativity I guess.

But what made you switch over to production?
I haven't switched. It's an addition to my existing profession.

Have you noticed any significant improvement in the drama as compared to the past?
I think every era has its own merits and demerits. As for the past, people had more time on their hands and a lot less pressure. With the increase in volume of work and increased competition among satellite channels, there's a lot more pressure on the actors to perform well in a fraction of the time. Besides, we have to compete globally to retain our audience. We are producing a much greater quantity of work than before and it is, therefore, difficult to retain the same level of quality as well.

Your voyage to showbiz spans over so many years, how do you set your priorities in life now?
My motto in life is 'Live let live'. My aim in life is to live as fully as I can and to bring happiness to others if it's possible for me. An artist is always looking for that one memorable role that would make them immortal. I am looking for such a performance myself. Other than that I try to work hard at what I do.

You seem to be least interested in Lollywood. Why?
I don't watch Pakistani movies really. Haven't for ages. I don't think I would want to enter films; I just don't have an aptitude for it. One must have the right aptitude and I don't find it in myself.

Some people think that you have become very high handed after your success. Is it true?
I don't know who said that. I am very down to earth and affectionate. I think people misinterpret my personality when they take my reserve attitude as some kind of snobbery. I am very simple and I get on very well with genuine folk.

How does success affect you?
I think every production is an attempt at success. It involves my time and hard work. The results depend a lot on God's will I guess and it's only sensible to take life as it comes. Right!

Where would you like to see yourself after ten years?
On a personal front, I see myself settled with a family and as far as my career is concerned, I would be exploring new avenues in my own field and traveling.

What new projects have you signed?
There are 3 projects lined up but the names are not final as yet. I am doing a couple of projects abroad as well.

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