PISA 2021: Laughter, political 'incorrectness' on the cards

The Pakistani stars performed together on stage after nearly two years

By Mahwash Ajaz

Published: Wed 3 Nov 2021, 8:31 PM

Last updated: Wed 3 Nov 2021, 8:32 PM

The star performers of Pakistan International Screen Awards (PISA) 2021 answered queries about performing on stage after the pandemic and showcasing Pakistani content to an international audience.

Mehwish Hayat, Faysal Quraishi, Amar Khan, Vasay Chaudhry, Ahmed Ali Butt, Sheheryar Munawar, Yasir Hussein and Faryal Mehmood spoke at a Press conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Mall of the Emirates.

Answering a question from Khaleej Times about how Pakistani actors aim to show off their talents on an international stage, actress and singer Mehwish Hayat referenced the popular Korean show Squid Game and said the world is changing rapidly.

"Even though it came from a very small country, it gained popularity across the world. Indian actors have played Pakistani roles, but soon, we hope that there would be Pakistanis who would be playing Pakistani characters," she said.

Regarding political correctness on stage and how difficult it is to keep audiences happy in today's world, Vasay Chaudhry, the host of PISA 2021, said he always has a standard for the jokes he will not crack.

“I will never crack jokes that you cannot tolerate in front of your mother or sister,” said Chaudhry, the writer and actor of Jawani Phir Nahi Ani. “I have not changed my benchmarks for what is appropriate in the last five years - which is when everyone has suddenly gotten too sensitive - I have had that compass since I left my house to work in this industry.”

Referring to Yasir Hussein, he said that it’s impossible not to have ‘controversy’ on social media with him onstage.

“You guys watch roasts and comedy from all over the world,” Vasay said. "How come you get suddenly offended when we do it? I always ask people - what do we need to do to make people laugh? Should I come into the audiences and tickle everyone?”

Speaking about her career, Faryal Mehmood said she is excited to perform on stage and wanted to choose roles that women could look up to.

Wrapping up the conference, the hosts thanked the members of the media, while Chaudhry said that being there together and performing on stage after two years was a great moment.

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