Aymen Saleem who plays the role of Mishi in the superhit TV series ‘Chupke Chupke’ recently featured in an exclusive interview with Something Haute, where she talked at length about her life journey up until now. From breaking a Guinness world Record in 2010, to receiving the Lady Diana Award for Community Service from UK, being a UPenn graduate and later working at McKinsie & Company, to finally making her acting debut in ‘Chupke Chupke’, Aymen revealed it all.
Starting off from her early life, Aymen shared that she very nerdy while growing up , and was also into sports and extra-curricular activities, always being the sort who would give her 100 percent to anything she did. She had always wanted to study business and as a result of studying really hard got into Wharton Business school where she studied Strategic Management and Finance, and afterwards interned at JP Morgan for two summers. After four years of her studies, her parents wanted her to move somewhere closer to Pakistan for work and in order to find a middle ground, she moved to Dubai and started working at McKinsie.
While growing up her father was a renowned international cricketer Saleem Yousuf, her khala Afreen Baig a producer and actor , while Nazia Hassan was her ‘maami’, so she is not a complete outsider to the Pakistani media industry. She shared that “I like being in front of the camera, I feel confident in front of it also because it was never a very foreign concept for me.”
Leading from there, while spending a weekend in Karachi , Aymen Saleem incidentally ran into Sultana Siddiqui the founder of HUM Network, who according to Aymen is very good at spotting ‘talent’. Siddiqui recommended acting to Aymen and told her that she should go for it! Coming back she says “I was very tired with the corporate sector” since she had been working non-stop after her graduation and so she came into the drama industry as an ‘experiment’, thinking of it as something she might enjoy. From there onwards ‘Chupke Chupke’ has been her first project, whose production she said was delayed for an entire year, as it was supposed to air last Ramzan.
She said that while she started shooting for the drama she had taken a break from McKinsie. So, for her the important question was whether she enjoyed the process of acting and so she did, but would be too early to say that acting is her calling.
The actor said that the entire cast of ‘Chupke Chupke’ has been very supportive, and that she got to learn a lot from senior actors such as Ayeza Khan who would come ‘prepared’ for everything, Osman Khalid Butt she said was very friendly too. Being a newcomer amongst so many professionals she said she would make sure she went prepared, making it a point to take home all her dialogues from a day before, so she could memorize all her lines before appearing on set. This, helped her focus on other aspects of acting such as movement. Currently, she said she is getting many offers for work, some together with Arsalan Naseer, but she is being careful with the script because she doesn’t want to work on anything that would let down her fans.
About transitioning from one field to another, Aymen Saleem gave out the message that if you have the ‘luxury’ to chose what you want to do, then always chose what makes you happy and carve your own path. But, one must be intelligent about it, because not everyone enjoys this luxury. So one must be careful about their assessment of the time and situation when they chose to do so!