www.mag4you.netGia Ali has no qualms about letting you in into the mind-boggling world of showbiz. For somebody who started out very young Gia certainly has gained a lot of stature she's more confident about herself, more at ease with what life has to offer.
What's the one thing that makes you different from other entrants to the field of showbiz?
The fact that I began my career in showbiz with the best in the field, and that I began my career in a highly professional manner. It was in 1991 that I did a fashion show for Wrangler. At that time I was in Lahore. I enjoyed myself doing this project because it was so professionally executed.
How did you land in Lollywood?
Well...a long story. After turning down innumberable opportunities while working for Mussarat, after being manipulated by people on account of being naive, I landed in Islamabad and started working there. And it was during my sojourn in Islamabad that Nabila introduced me to Sajjad Gul and the movie landed in my lap. Sajjad had been looking for a girl like me and I fitted the description of the Mauritian girl perfectly with the height that I had and the flowing curly tresses that have become my distinct identity.
What prompted you to enter showbiz in the first place, the fact that it is creative or because it is lucrative, monetarily?After Deewane Tere Pyar Ke, You did a couple of other movies but yet failed to make it as big as your debut. Lately you are seen more in the modelling scene. Have films lost their significance for you?
I come from a middle class family. Families such as ours have deep entrenched notions about what is right and what is wrong. My dad was against it, made it quite evident that I would not have any support from the family, that it was a profession marred by jealousies, intrigue, and competition of another sort but I still plunged in. I made him realize that this was no ordinary project from Pakistani standards. A movie being produced by Sajjad Gul, penned by Anwar Maqsood, clothes being specially designed for the movie by Amir Adnan, dances being choreographed by an Indian choreographer, how many Pakistani movies at that time could boast of such professionalism. I pleaded my case with my father; stood my ground; guess the fiery Kashmiri blood in me won in the end.
When you begin a career with as big a banner as I did, you are prone to expect quality work for yourself. Apparently, had I continued with films alone I would have exposed myself to a lot of disappointments. As far as modelling is concerned I enjoy it a lot. There is satisfaction in this work.
But why the lull in your career overall?
Oh a number of reasons. I am choosy; once I take a project I give it my maximum, and I don't do a half-hearted job. I have made a name for myself and I don't take it lightly. True that when I started at tender age of 19 I didn't have to work hard, opportunities came my way. I guess God has been very kind to me that way. Now that I have achieved a status, that is not meant for everyone to enjoy in their professions, I want to maintain a standard that is enviable to others.
Are you comfortable taking risks professionally? Would you call yourself bohemian, unconventional?
I would definitely. Otherwise having experienced bitterness, backstabbing in the very initial stages of my career I would have given up. But I guess the spark for living life ambitiously never completely died and without the support of the family I still landed in the murky waters of showbiz.
Do you think it's been an easy ride for you in the world of glamour because you never had to climb the ladder gradually? Would it have been a different career graph had you not started out with the best in the business?
I have been amazingly lucky that way. I don't even remember the number of opportunities that came my way and I kept turning them down probably because I wasn't aiming for so much initially. Besides, my employer manipulated me so much to her advantage that I didn't give much thought to a lot of things the way I should have. But I have no regrets. The satisfying thing is that despite everything I made it big, and I have made it on my own, in a very professional manner. No short cuts there, mind you. Now that I am 31, I am more hardworking than ever before because if I don't, there are new models who would take my place. To prove that as a professional I am indispensable I have to give it an extra shot.
Has it helped your career, having a younger brother for a fashion photographer? ( Reference to Munna Mushtaq) Definitely. But he has his hard work and creativity to thank for his success in so little a time.
For a model that lives in Lahore but commutes frequently to Karachi you would surely be having a fair idea of the fashion scene in both cities, how would you compare the two?
I am from Lahore, it's a beautiful city, but for a creative person like me the environment in Lahore is a bit stifling. As for modelling opportunities, Lahoris rarely take any risks; they go for the tried and tested ways, there are fewer assignments available than Karachi, so the competition is not a healthy one. In Karachi, there are more assignments available; there is emphasis on experimenting and doing things in a professional way. But despite all this Lahore fashion scene has improved tremendously. In Karachi there are less rivalries on the personal front and a lot of competition professionally. When I started from Lahore there were just a few of us such as Vinnie and Aminah Haq, now we have so many fresh faces, it's definitely going in the right direction but it has a lot of catching up to do with Karachi.
How do you think fashion is evolving in Pakistan?
We have finally given up the gaudy look. There is an emphasis on being subtle where the clothes and make-up are concerned. Moreover, realization has dawned that beauty is not just about pretty make-up, it's about bringing out the best in you, by highlighting the best aspects of your face as well as your personality. There's now more room for fresh ideas. Gia's penchant for a fulfilling life has not diminished at all. She tasted the sweetness of success very early in her career only to fall into the pits, yet she has survived. What more can we say but this... Good Luck Gia. SP wishes you all the best in your ventures.