Playing Zenith in the biopic film, Motorcycle Girl, Sohai gets candid with Kluchit about the role, her fears and what went down – and up while shooting for the film.
What’s the main connection between the real Sohai and Zenith?
I connect with Zenith on two major levels. One being that Zenith lost her father when she was very young and I did too. That’s where we connect emotionally. Also, she is an independent young woman fulfilling her dreams, living her life and so am i. I’ve been working since I was 16 and now I’m there, living my dream so I believe both of us are similar that way.
Has Motorcycle Girl had an impact on your life? Do you feel a change in your personality because of it?
Of course. When the film came to me I realized I’d have to learn to ride a bike. I was very scared as bikes are one of the most dangerous vehicles. I figured I’d have to ride the bike for a few shots only but that wasn’t the case. However, once I overcame my fear, I started enjoying riding and that changed me. Now as a person, as a woman and as a human being I feel empowered and in control of my life. I am in the driving seat of my life and if I can ride a bike, I can do anything!
If you were the casting director, who would you cast in the film. It can’t be you.
I would get somebody else to direct the film and act myself. I don’t think there is anybody else who can play it better than me. You see, this is a biopic based on a true story. Whoever was supposed to play Zenith needed to have a resemblance with her. Had to have the same kind of mindset so I think probably which is why Adnan went for me. If it wasn’t me, I don’t see anyone else in Pakistan who could’ve played this role. Sorry for being pompous but that is how I feel!
Do you think motorcycle girl will have a long term impact on Pakistani girls? Would it be able to mould the typical mindset of men regarding girls on bikes?
Hopefully. That is the idea behind the film. We have tried to give a message while entertaining the audience. Adnan Sarwar, has written the script himself, directed the film himself. His previous film also stayed with people and I think this one will too. We have touched some serious topics and taboos in the film. Things people WANT to talk about but don’t. So we hope we see more girls riding bikes after watching this film. The idea was to encourage women to take control of their lives. Do what they want to do. Have freedom of movement. So let’s see what happens.
What was the most challenging part while shooting the film?
We had to go to Kunjerab to shoot and there was lack of oxygen because of the high altitude. We didn’t realize it was going to be so difficult. A lot of people from the team had to be taken to the hospital. A lot had to be given oxygen masks to bring them back to consciousness. So that was probably the most difficult and challenging part out of it all
Was bike riding hard?
It wasn’t hard but I was really scared. I was scared of falling or being in an accident or getting an injury. I am an actor so I have to move from one project to another and can’t afford to go through anything like that. So yes, that was very challenging and something I was really scared of. But I kind of flew away when when I took the first step. It was magic after that.
What would be the first thing you’d do if you wake up one day as a Pakistani man.
I would ask my wife to bring me chai! “Begum! Chai lao!”
Who is an ideal actor for you
There’s this Hollywood actress Jodie Foster. I’ve always liked her work and I feel if I had the opportunity to create scripts and rolls I would create those kinds of roles for myself. I love her work
Motorcycle Girl will be hitting the screens on Friday, 20thApril 2018