Actor Zoya Nasir has opened up on her divorce in a chat with an online magazine.

Despite growing up as the daughter of Nasir Adeeb, the scriptwriter known mostly for creating the universe of Maula Jutt, Zoya wasn’t allowed to pursue acting as a career. She eventually repressed her passion and joined Sabs, the beauty salon, as a junior partner and became a full-time beautician.

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Zoya talked about the backlash she faced over her weight and the challenges of defeating the persistent nepotism and lobbying in the industry. The starlet also talked about her divorce and advocated for young girls to have a career and an independent outlook at life before marriage.


“While I don’t want to get into details, it’s important to share that I was 19 when I got married. He was 8 years older than me. I was so young, even for my age, that I didn’t know how to take a stand for myself or how to greet people as a bahu,” Zoya recalled, highlighting the struggles of teen marriages.

“I wasn’t a partner in my marriage, I was a kid, given responsibilities. My world was so small at the time that I’d succumbed to anything they’d ask of me. I never reflected on who I was as a person, I just became how people wanted me to. I’d accept mistakes even when I wasn’t at fault. When I got divorced, my family realised that it wasn’t the right move for anyone that young. I needed to broaden my horizon.” She went on to urge elders everywhere, “Do not marry teen girls. Let them see the real world and know themselves. Otherwise, they’ll spend their lives being inferior to people all the time.

Zoya was engaged to vlogger Christian Betzmann too but called it off earlier last year because of his problematic statements against Palestine and Pakistan.

boyfriend mocked Pakistan, then actress Zoya Nasir broke engagement

The 35-year-old also narrated how her salon was hired to do hair and makeup for a channel’s film festival, which eventually led to her venture into the realm of acting. “It was then that Sonya (Khan) jee and Salman Iqbal saw me mimicking and thought I was cut out for it. In that moment, all my repressed dreams of acting reappeared and suddenly I figured, I’m an adult now, I don’t need my family’s approval to do this, so I said yes. We had a few meetings, they offered me a lead role in Hania and now I’m here.”

While Zoya is grateful she was cast in a lead role alongside actor Junaid Khan in the 2019 drama, she wouldn’t advise the move for newcomers in the industry. “I wish I didn’t start like that. I made a mistake. I didn’t know anything at that time. Now that I’ve worked with Farhan Saeed, Hadiqa Kiani, Bilal Abbas, I’ve seen how they do their homework. They know everything from lights to production and of course, their character. I’ve learnt so much that I can see my mistakes in the serial,” she admitted.

“I wouldn’t recommend a lead role to anyone as a newcomer in this world. Even if you have contacts, don’t take them. Work as a side character with notable actors, that way the pressure eases and you learn enough to stand out when you get a lead role,” added Zoya.

Zoya Nasir mother has been abducted from the motorway 3 times.

Despite her convincing talent, Zoya has had her fair share of challenges too, including harsh criticism about her appearance. But the Deewangi actor isn’t bothered by people spreading negativity around her. “People have often said that I do not have the face of a heroine, that I don’t look the part. I ask you to define a lead actor. Define a heroine. Can a fat, [not fair] girl not have a story to tell or is it not worth listening to? I never take offence to the statement because the definition of a lead actor is flawed here.”

Sharing incidents from when she had to take a stand against the industry embedding stereotypes, she narrated, “I went to the US for some work and came back tanned while I was working on this serial. The show makers gave a horrific reaction. They told me they’d offer me whitening injections on the house but will not tolerate the “dark, ugly” colour. It was insane. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I refused straight away.”

Zoya also lost a project while standing up for her beliefs. “I had signed a web series where I had to play a girl who is under any illusion that she’s beautiful but in she isn’t. The producer asked me to put on a black foundation. I refused and said I’ll wash my face if you do this because dark skin doesn’t equal to ugly. He told me that it was either his way or the highway. I took the highway and walked out.”

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Another challenge that the actor faced was the prevailing system of lobbies. “My inspiration is Hiba Bukhari. She didn’t come from a lobby and yet took over the industry with her talent. I want to be able to defeat the lobby too. I wish to go beyond the tag of nepotism and prove my acting, because honestly if you know someone in the industry and ask them for a lead role, you get it easily. There are fewer (female) actors than male ones.”

But irrespective of the challenges, the Zebaish actor is grateful to be at a phase where she can choose projects according to her liking. Overwhelmed with the love she gets from fans, she shared that once a lady thought of her as Hania (from her debut drama) and gave her duas at a hospital. “I had a panic attack and was taken to the hospital. An old lady thought of me as Hania and gave me prayers for my recovery. That moment still stays with me.”

Earlier she appeared on Neo TV’s show G Sarkar, in which the Zebaish star reveled that her mother was abducted for thrice when she was a sitting MPA. She continued by adding that the kidnappers used to take her to a barren area and leave her there.

The Dobara diva confessed that she feels scared to travel on motorway because of her mothers frequent abductions.

Zoya also shared a disturbing encounter with criminals in Karachi, she said that when she was coming back from a shoot, gunpoint robbers stopped her car and she got so afraid that she ran out of the car screaming, and due to her screaming the muggers went away.

Earlier, Zoya Nasir clapped back to a troll on Instagram for criticising her choice of dressing. A netizen commented unpleasant remarks about her choice of dressing in her birthday picture.

On the work front, Zoya was last seen in ARY’s Meray Apnay.