Meesha Shafi

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Meesha Shafi
Actress-singer Meesha Shafi and filmmaker Mira Nair at the opening night screening of The Reluctant Fundamentalist 2012 Doha Tribeca Film Festival, November 17, 2012 in Doha, Qatar.jpg
Background information
Birth name Meera Pervez Shafi
Born 1 December 1981 (1981-12) (age 33)
Lahore, Pakistan
Origin Karachi, Pakistan
Occupation(s) Singer, actress, model
Instruments Vocals, lyrics
Associated acts Coke Studio Pakistan, Overload, Arif Lohar, Mahmood Rahman, Strings, Ali Azmat, Shahzad Hasan, Alamgir, Atif Aslam

Meesha Shafi (Urdu: میشا شافی‎) (born 1 December 1981 Lahore), is a Pakistani actress, model and a singer who has appeared in Pakistani, Hollywood and Bollywood films.[1]

Shafi made her film debut with a supporting role in the 2013 Mira Nair's Hollywood film The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which was moderately successful at the box office. Her portrayal of a confident, modern-day Pakistani singer, drew critical appreciation. The following year she appeared in Bollywood film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, which rank among the third highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2013 in India. She achieved further critical and commercial success for her role of Laxmi, an Indian spy agency Research in the 2013 Bilal Lashari's action thriller Pakistani film Waar, which rank among the first highest-grossing Pakistani film of all time in Pakistan.

Early life[edit]

Shafi was born on 1 December 1981 into a Muslim family in Lahore, Pakistan to actress Saba Hameed and Syed Pervaiz Shafi. She is the step-daughter of actor Waseem Abbas, sister of Faris Shafi, an actor and a rapper. Her maternal grandfather Hameed Akhtar was a Urdu writer, paternal grandfather Inayat Hussain Bhatti was a singer and director and her cousins Agha Ali and Ali Sikandar are also actors. She did her A Levels from Lahore Grammar School and holds a degree of Art from National College of Arts.[2]



Shafi entered the modelling industry at the age of 17, when she starred opposite Jawad Ahmed in the music video for the song "Bin Teray Kya Hai Jeena".[3] In 2011, Shafi became the brand ambassador for L'Oreal Paris Pakistan.[2][4] She has featured in many Pakistani magazines and in international publications such as L'Officiel and Vogue India.[3] She has also appeared in commercials for Coca-Cola, Fanta, LG mobile phones, Mobilink, Allied Bank, Lipton Tea, among others. In 2013, Shafi won the "Best Show Stopper" Award at the "Paper Awards 2013" by Paper Magazine.[citation needed]


Shafi made her screen debut with the 2010 serial Muhabbat Khawab Ki Soorat on Hum TV. She then appeared in Geo TV serial Ye Zindagi To Woh Nahi in 2010.

She made her film debut with Mira Nair's 2013 Hollywood film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist (based on Mohsin Hamid's novel of the same name), alongside Kate Hudson and Riz Ahmed. The film describes the bad impact of Americans toward Muslims after 9/11. Shafi played the confident, modern-day Pakistani singer. The film received mixed reviews from critics, and was moderately successful at the box office; however, Shafi's performance was praised by film critics.[5]

While talking about her selection in The Reluctant Fundamentalist she said,

"I was selected for the film without audition. Mira Nair invited me to meet her when she was in Lahore scouting for actors. At that time I didn't even know what I was going to meet her for. But once the role was offered to me, I did not hesitate in taking it up. Opportunity comes, and I've been very lucky with that."

The following year, she starred in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Bollywood film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, alongside Farhan Akhtar and Sonam Kapoor. The film revolves based on the life of Milkha Singh, an Indian athlete who was a national champion runner and an Olympian. Shafi played the rebellious Perizaad, Milkha Singh's best friend. The film opened to tremendous critical acclaim and was termed as a huge box office success ranking third highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2013 in India and Shafi earned critical acclaim for her performance.

She achieved further critical and commercial success in Bilal Lashari's Pakistani film Waar, alongside Shaan Shahid. The film rank among the first highest-grossing Pakistani film of all time in Pakistan. Her portrayal of Laxmi, an Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing's operative was critically praised.

As of October 2013, Shafi has several projects in various stages of production, and is filming Hollywood film The Tournament of Shadows (based on the Karl Meyer's novel of the same name), a biopic set in the 1800s.

Music career[edit]

Shafi started her singing career with the band Overload with her husband, but left the band in 2011. Shafi became an overnight success with the runaway success of her collaboration with Arif Lohar on Coke Studio Pakistan Season 3, with the song "Alif Allah (Jugni)". The single with Lohar gathered over 13+ million views on YouTube, and is the most-viewed Coke Studio song ever, and was used in several films like Cocktail, Diary of a Butterfly and Jugni. She also sang a unique rendition of the classic folk song "Chori Chori", which also was viewed extensively on YouTube and received more critical acclaim than "Jugni". She returned to Coke Studio (Season 5) in 2012 in where she sang "Ishq Aap Bhi Awalla" with the Chakwalees, and sang a ghazal by Faiz Ahmad Faiz, "Dasht-e-Tanhai". She has also contributed to the soundtrack of The Reluctant Fundamentalist in a track produced by Mahmood Rahman.

TV appearance[edit]

In April 2013, Shafi joined Strings, Ali Azmat, Shahzad Hasan and Alamgir as a judge on the singing talent show Cornetto Music Icons, aired on ARY Digital.

Personal life[edit]

Shafi is married twice to guitarist and fellow Overload band member, Mahmood Rahman, and has one daughter named Janevi, and a son named Kazimir.Her children are Janevi and Kazimir[6]


Year Film Role Language Note
2013 The Reluctant Fundamentalist Bina Khan English
2013 Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Perizaad Hindi
2013 Waar Zoya Urdu,English ARY Film Award for Best Supporting Actress[7]
2014 The Tournament of Shadows English Filming


Year Title
2009 Pichal Pairee
2012 The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Coke Studio songs[edit]

Year Song Notes
2010 Chori Chori Originally sung by Reshma.
2010 Alif Allah Performed with Arif Lohar.
2012 Dasht-e-Tanhai Originally sung by Iqbal Bano.
2012 Ishq Aap Bhe Awalla Performed with Chakwal Group.
2014 Sunn Ve Balori Originally sung by Noor Jehan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About: Meesha Shafi". Web PK. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Meesha interview with Fashion Central". Fashion Central. 6 April 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Mansuri, Anam. "It's getting hot in here". Tribune Pakistan. 
  4. ^ Hirani, Shireen. "Meesha Shafi Biography & Pictures". Fashion in Step. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Yummy mummies". 
  7. ^

External links[edit]