LAIBA KHURRAM THE EVOLUTION OF A MULTIFACETED TALENT
With the rise of social media, it is evident that the future is digital and the way forward. It is a great way to create opportunities and build a brand. All it takes is putting yourself out there, creating content, and grinding until an opportunity knocks. We have to admit, Gen Z’s really do have it easy. What started as a career in content creation, has now led the bubbly Laiba Khurram to explore her acting prowess. Bagging her debut drama alongside Bilal Ashraf and Maya Ali in ‘Yunhi’ this year, the young starlet talks about her new-found acting interest, how being a digital content creator opened doors for her and valuable lessons she has learnt along the way…
Hello Laiba, you were a digital content creator first and then actor. Can you share your journey from being a digital content creator to pursuing a career as an actress with us? Initially, what inspired you to become a digital content creator? And what made you want to explore the world of acting?
Being a content creator gives you a lot of liberty and freedom. You make content on your own and your working style depends on you only. But the field of acting is entirely different and my journey has just started. There’s a lot to come and a lot to do in the acting realm. I recently signed another drama, so yeah, the journey is on the way. My personal experience in the drama industry has made me aware of the actual struggle and efforts required to be in this field; and I have started respecting and acknowledging all our actresses working either in the drama or film industry.
‘I was nervous about my role, I was also a bit anxious about others behavior towards me, but working with lead actors like Maya Ali and Bilal Ashraf was a complete package for me. They both were way too supportive and encouraging’
No one can go wrong with an all-white look! The 'Summer Casual' pants and 'Aqua Crest' top, both by Wear Macaw, is the perfect summer brunch look! Laiba pulls it off so well
Tell us about your debut experience in TV drama ‘Yunhi’. How was it like working alongside Maya Ali and Bilal Ashraf?
Coming from a content creator background and stepping into the drama industry was a bit of challenge for me. I was nervous about my role, I was also a bit anxious about others behavior towards me, but working with lead actors like Maya Ali and Bilal Ashraf was a complete package for me. They both were way too supportive and encouraging. It was a complete fun experience. I have made a vlog as well; you guys will watch that soon.
Can you share an unforgettable behind-the-scenes or interesting moment from your experiences on the set of ‘Yunhi’?
There are so many unforgettable BTS from ‘Yunhi’s shooting. They all got to know about my personality and the type of fun content I make. There were a lot of scenes in which I couldn’t control my laughter, and they used to send me in the next room so they can shoot without laughing.
As a newcomer in the industry, what are some of the challenges you’ve encountered so far, and how have you been tackling them?
As I said before it’s a completely different journey. For me the main challenge was the shift from my phone camera to the bigger screen. All the time I had kept my energy positive and motivated myself to keep going and aim for the best. Definitely my content creator background has helped me a lot in boosting my self-confidence. Working with senior actors and team members is also a challenge for a new comer, but my experience is good so far.
‘My priority though is to go for such a character that portrays a lesson, a message for our society. I am really inspired by the role played by Saba Qamar in drama ‘Baaghi’
Looking ahead, what kind of roles or genres are you most excited to explore as your acting career progresses?
More positive characters, but if I ever have the chance to do any negative role, why not? My priority though is to go for such a character that portrays a lesson, a message for our society. I am really inspired by the role played by Saba Qamar in drama ‘Baaghi’. I would love to do such roles which may inspire someone.
A powerful presence takes you far—and this young star is sure to get things done, dressed in a Munib Nawaz suit
As a Gen Z digital content creator and now actor, do you feel that having a strong presence on social media has given you an advantage in terms of landing acting opportunities? How do you think the rise of social media has impacted the entertainment industry for your generation?
You have to create opportunities, they will never come to you so easily. I belong to a family in which being a content creator was a new thing. No one was doing such things before. But yes, my content creator experience helped me a lot to get into the drama industry and social media has helped me reach my audience and in getting me the right attention.
Considering the opportunities and challenges that come with being a Gen Z digital content creator and actor in the digital age, can you share some insights into how this unique combination has shaped your career and what lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
Considering the digital content creation era, there is no doubt in saying that this is a good source of income and an opportunity to explore yourself. And now when I have entered into the acting industry as well, this combination is helping me a lot. This is a complete career in itself; you get paid, you get people’s attention, you evolve and grow with each step.
A shot that could kill. A chic suit and adorned in jewellery by Naqsh is a combo not to be messed with
With the rise of streaming platforms and the changing landscape of media consumption, how do you see the future of traditional film and television evolving, especially for Gen Z audiences?
I think entertainment is the main element regardless of the medium. But yes, for our Gen Z audience social media has worked a lot and provided unlimited platforms. But at the same time traditional films and television is also evolving in Pakistan. There are a lot of Gen Z’s who are already working and building a good career. In my point of view, the future of traditional film and television will provide more opportunities of learning and exploring.
‘I started making funny content and captions and that became the trend. I never liked to be part of a bandwagon but instead I want to be a trendsetter'
You’re always pretty in pink! Laiba’s not only proving, but having fun while she’s at it in a cute outfit by Wear Macaw
Social media can be a double-edged sword, with both positive and negative aspects. How do you handle the pressure and scrutiny that can come with having a large online following?
Everything has two sides - positive or negative. And coming from a brown family and Pakistani society you have to face the negativity. I just consider all the negative people and negative energy as a critic. I always try to find the good in the negative and learn from it. You just have to learn how to ignore the negativity. This attitude has helped me a lot.
What are your future career goals? What message or impact do you hope to make through your acting career?
I have never set any specific goals, I consider this life a journey. For now, my career goal is to set new trends just like I did in my content creator career. I started making funny content and captions and that became the trend. I never liked to be part of a bandwagon but instead I want to be a trendsetter.
How do you navigate the fine line between maintaining authenticity on social media while also managing the carefully curated image that often comes with being a digital content creator?
I am like this. My social media image is not a created one. I have been the most fun child and cousin in all our family gatherings. And that’s the same persona I show while making content. I like to stay happy, be fun and make others enjoy as well. I can’t be lazy, I can’t sit idle.
it’s happy hour, and Laiba’s bringing all the colours to the stage— really letting out her fun side
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned about yourself through your acting journey?
There are so many small details. Like I learnt how to make a shift from the phone screen to the bigger TV screen. Being a content creator is like doing a one-man show, but working in drama is more of a team work , coordination, time management and patience, above all. I will say I have learnt a lot about myself.
INTERVIEW: SAFA ADNAN
CONCEPT, CREATIVE DIRECTION & STYLING: HUSSAIN IJAZ
OUTFITS: WEAR MACAW & MUNIB NAWAZ
JEWELLERY: NAQSH JEWELLERY
HAIR & MAKEUP: UMAR AZIZ
PHOTOGRAPHY & STUDIO: NAJAM MAHMOOD