When your day starts with the following phone-call/FB message/face-to-face conv.: 'Do you know what they're saying about you?' Doom.
What misconceptions do people have about you?
Most consistent first impression: that I'm a modern day Mr. Darcy. Unapproachable; conceited. Thing is, I'm generally quite awkward and my social skills cue laugh-tracks. In pop-culture terms, I'm actually Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker. You know, before he became Spider-Man.
What is the worst rumor you have heard about yourself?
Well, the most outrageous one was that I used to get drunk backstage during one of my plays and attempt to conduct orgies with my cast. Yes, 'attempt'. I suppose the idea that I was Islamabad's very own failed Caligula was quite creative, but it did nothing to up my notoriety factor. The funniest rumor was how apparently at a good friend's mehndi, I threw a tantrum and refused to dance until there was a camera trained on me. Us theatrewallahs you know, always gagging for attention.
Any lessons learnt the hard way?
You cannot possibly be universally loved, unless you're Sally Field. Hypocrisy is to be borne with a pinch of salt and a smile. Don't take out your anger out on your iPhone. Two weeks of gym does not turn you into an Adonis.
What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever said to you?
Not a fan, a colleague - when he saw me perform Jerry/Daphne in an adaptation of Some Like It Hot, he claimed I'd the hottest pair of legs he'd ever seen. Was flattered/ embarrassed/ WTF'ed. Weirdest thing a fan's ever done: my boxers were once stolen backstage during a play.
Tell us something no one knows about you?
When I was 6 or 7, I invented a word - 'Haskermash' - that I used to repeat ad nauseam. I made an entire nonsensical verse out of it, actually. Ever since I've been reminded of it by my brother, I spend a little time every day trying to come up with a befitting meaning.
What drives you: money, fame or success?
Neither. What drives me is all the orgies I get to have backstage! Okay, seriously though, out of the three: success.
What do you fail to understand about the opposite sex?
How their long hair and come-hither-but-not-really smiles make me go all funny inside. Or, wait. Their passive-aggressive nature at times. You know how the joke goes: when they say 'It's okay' or 'I'm fine', they really mean… no, I still don't know the punch line.
What is the most important relationship advice you can give?
When she casually tosses words/phrases like 'Taser', 'restraining order', 'mera barra bhai', '…will break your face', take it as a sign that things might just be over. (Laughs) I wouldn't know the first thing about giving relationship advice!
When was the last time you kicked ass?
At an Insolent Knights performance at Kuch Khaas. Apparently my Hina Rabbani Khar brought all the boys to the yard. Though I'm still hung-over from our performance of Taming of the Shrew at the Globe, London. Got great individual feedback and press, so I couldn't be happier. I still gloat over our four-star review in the Guardian to whoever will listen.
What do you consider your best physical asset?
My…jaw-line? If Twitter is to be believed, I should be frothing in the mouth because I resemble this actor called Shiloh Fernandez.
[Hah. Some of you totally Googled that name, didn't you.]
How do you unwind?
Tea and the crossword [mornings]. If I'm having a late night, take a mini-break by locking my room, turning the music on loud, and dancing. Generally follow the mantra 'when in doubt: read a book.'
Have you ever done anything you shouldn't have?
Yes. In fact, I did something I shouldn't have approximately three seconds ago. Now if only you'd asked what said thing was.
Have you ever envied another person?
Of course - I think part of it makes me want to achieve more in my life.
Define your sense of style.
Well, I have all these funky tee-shirts I wear trying to go for the 'casual chic' look but what in reality is what a friend describes as a cross between Shaggy from the Scooby Doo series and a glorified naan-bechnay-wallah. You know that envy question above? I envy any guy who has decent hair. Allow me to quote from Bridget Jones' Diary to describe mine: 'It is as if the hairs on my head have a life of their own, behaving perfectly sensibly all day, then waiting till I drop off to sleep and starting to run and jump about childishly, saying, 'Now what shall we do?''
What is the price of success?