'Acting in a film is far more difficult than doing a commercial.'
Wasim Akram makes his acting debut opposite wife Shaniera in the Pakistani film, Money Back Guarantee, which opened in theatres on April 21.
And one of the things he liked best about the job was, as he says, "I liked bossing Fawad Khan."
In the concluding part of an exclusive interview, Akram tells Rediff.com Senior Contributor, Roshmila Bhattacharya, "The World Cup is in India, so obviously India is one of the favourites going by the way they are playing."
Shaniera, you have worn many hats in real life, from owning a clothing boutique to organising product launches, fashion fests, store and restaurant openings as a public relations and events consultant. Now, you are involved with social work in Pakistan. What was it like playing a journalist on screen?
Shaniera: It was fun; I enjoyed every minute. I just hope I haven't let the team down.
Wasim, you have met many journalists in the course of your cricketing career. Does your wife pass muster?
Wasim: We did not have too many shots together but I was watching her when she was doing her part and I think she's done a great job.
(Smiles) And I'm not saying this because she's my wife. Shaniera is a natural actress.
Shaniera: There was this one time when they didn't brief me on a stunt because they wanted my natural reaction, and woah, did they get it!
Wasim (Laughing out loud): I remember that, it was very funny.
Shaniera (Looking at him fondly): He gave me some pointers too.
Wasim(Surprised): I did?
Shaniera: Yeah, you told me what to do at times. It helped to have you guide me a little bit, to go under your wing.
Wasim (Smiling at her): After every shot, she would go and watch herself on the monitor.
If she didn't like what she saw, she would say, 'Okay, let's do it again.'
Faisal (Qureshi, director) was very impressed with her dedication.
Shaniera: It was exciting, but I have also come to understand the downturn of the profession.
Actresses have to spend three-four hours in hair and make-up, sometimes in 40 degrees heat.
Then once I got locked in the bathroom and while trying to get out, scraped a hole in my finger.
I needed needles and three painful stitches.
Another time, I sprained my ankle.
Wasim: Even I have come to understand that acting in a film is far more difficult than doing a commercial.
Both of you are perfect for a Bollywood film.
Wasim (Pointing to his wife): She... She...
You seem to know some Bollywood dance moves...
Shaniera demonstrates a few moves.
Wasim: Awesome! I told you she was a natural.
I'm told she is as popular as you in Pakistan?
Shaniera: Well, people have seen me on television, in commercials, on social media and they call out to me, 'Hi Bhabhi!'
And I am like, 'Wow, they know me!'
Wasim (Laughing uproariously): That's because you must be the only blonde in Pakistan.
Wasim, we can't let you go without talking about cricket. Since you were a part of the IPL once and served as bowling coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders, what did you think of Rinku Singh's five sixes in the final over against the Gujarat Titans?
Wasim: It was unbelievable!
One of the best finishes I have seen in the T20 format.
Even the commentator said it was a losing cause after Rinku's second six, but he went on to hit three more -- five sixes in five balls! -- to win the match.
That match will give a lot of confidence to KKR.
I was excited sitting in Australia after seeing the scorecard and glimpses of the match on social media.
Go KKR go...
Shaniera: Oh, how much I miss Kolkata.
Who do you think will win the World Cup next?
Wasim: The World Cup is still far away.
It's in India, so obviously India is one of the favourites going by the way they are playing.
Pakistan is also up there.
And England are the champions!
I don't know about Australia, but New Zealand always comes in the top four.
Shaniera (Turning to him with a laugh): Did you say that about Australia just because I'm here?
Maybe we will get to see you play a cricketer on screen some day?
Wasim (Laughing): Yeah maybe.