Mumbai: Pakistani model-turned-actress Humaima Malik, who will be seen in Shoaib Mansoor`s "Bol", releasing next week, is not amused by being constantly linked with cricketer Wasim Akram.
"Wasim has kids, I`ve a family. We`re both answerable to people in our lives. It becomes very embarrassing for me to be known as Wasim Akram`s girlfriend. I hate to be known by that identity. I`m a celebrity in my own right," said Humaima while speaking from Lahore on phone.
"Just because I`m a girl, do I need to be identified by the presence of a man in my life?"
During the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches earlier this year, Humaima says she had to cancel her trip to India to support Shah Rukh Khan`s Kolkta Knight Riders (KKR) team because of the loud whispers about her and Wasim.
"I was coming here to support KKR, not because Wasim was the team`s coach. Unfortunately the Indian press went to town linking my visit to Wasim. I had to cancel my trip," she said.
"Over there (India) being linked with a cricketer is seen as a big deal. Every Indian journalist asks me about Wasim. As if that`s all there is to me! In fact an Indian journalist had flown down to Pakistan. It was she who returned to India with gossip about me and Wasim," said Humaima.
She quickly adds that even the media in Pakistani is equally inquisitive about her private life. "Even if we go out for just a cup of coffee, there`re loud whispers," she said.
She is not flattered by the link ups as "I was a super-model and the Pakistani brand ambassador for an international brand of shampoo (Sunsilk) before I was selected by Shoaib Mansoor for my first film `Bol`."
"Bol", about the position of the women in a patriarchal society, has captured immense attention. Humaima was stunned when Mansoor offered her the role of a deglamorised daughter of a patriarchal family.
"I had to go completely against my image. I had to cut my nails really short, sport non-threaded eyebrows and not use an iota of makeup. It was tough on me, and I protested. But the results have been so rewarding. I feel I`ve changed as a human being after doing this film. It`s been a truly life-changing experience," she said.
Humaima says she is all set to come to India for the release of "Bol" and make a career in Bollywood, if needed.
"And why only Bollywood? I`m ready to do a Hollywood film, if offered. So far `Bol` has fetched me recognition from all over the world. I`ve been invited to India for the film`s release. And I look forward to doing films there. But Pakistan will always be home."