Actress, Aiysha Hart, and Writer/Director, Shan Khan, catch up with the Asian Express
After a failed attempt at an honour killing at the hands of her family, Mona (Aiysha Hart) is forced to go on the run.
Her family, desperate to save face, enlist the services of a bounty hunter (Paddy Considine) to search the streets of London to track her down and restore HONOUR to their family.
With the DVD set to be released on 28th April, Aiysha Hart and Shan Khan took time out of their busy schedules to let audiences know a bit more about the highly anticipated thriller.
Aiysha Hart plays Mona in the film
Q. What can audiences expect from Honour?
A. I think that, on one hand the viewer can expect an edge-of-their-seat, fast paced thriller with some shocking and unexpected moments; whilst on the other hand I hope they will be both moved and enlightened by the extremely weighty and harrowing subject matter.
It’s a film that will undoubtedly push audiences to think and discuss, and that’s what I believe makes it so powerful.
I also hope it will be refreshing for people to see a British Asian film that isn’t a comedy and isn’t about arranged marriage.
Q.What were your thoughts when you first read the script?
A. On the first audition I hadn’t been given the entire script yet but I knew it was a film about honour killing. It was incredibly exciting to me that someone (Shan Khan) had been brave enough to write about such a relevant and taboo subject.
When I finally got the script and read it, I thought it was brilliant; a real page-turner.
By that point I felt very attached to Mona and I really wanted the opportunity to tell her story. It’s rare to find empowering and interesting female roles, so I felt and still feel very fortunate to have got the part.
Q. Your role is one which must be hard to research mentally at times. How has it been for you getting in the correct mindset of your character?
A. I felt like I had quite a strong connection to Mona and that I understood her from fairly early on in the process, which made getting into character a lot easier.
Shan was quite focused on me just going on this journey with her and not worrying so much about doing extensive research into honour killing facts and statistics, which the character herself probably wouldn't have known.
So I kept a diary as Mona and built up her back-story, and then once we started filming, the isolation of living away from home combined with a very intense filming schedule meant that becoming Mona came quite organically.
Q. What's it been like working alongside names such as Harvey Virdi?
A. It was wonderful getting the opportunity to work with Harvey, she’s such a nurturer in real life, warm and funny and thankfully totally opposite to the character she plays on screen.
It was also terribly exciting to act alongside Paddy Considine. I learnt a lot from just watching both of them work.
Shan Khan – Writer/Director
Q. What can we expect from ‘Honour’?
A. It is a very interesting film and one which will make you think afterwards. It is like the thrillers of the 70’s.
Back in that time I feel that films were better at putting across messages whereas now they don’t really do that but rather focus on celebrity instead. Honour is more like a traditional thriller and will give you something more than the typical modern day film.
Of course it is also very entertaining and has some fantastic talent acting in it.
Q. How long did the film take to direct?
A. We began filming back in 2009 once we had established our cast and then it was probably completed in 2012. Since then we have just had to really wait for the right time to launch it, with budgets considered, and hopefully the wait will be worthwhile for everybody.
Q. Where does your passion for film come from?
A. I have always had a love for films since I was a young boy growing up in Scotland. My father owned a video shop and we would watch movies every day and he would tell me that movies are the ‘big thing’.
I was in charge of the video shop at points when I was just 12-year-old and just fell in love with it all there and then. We grew up in a small town as the only Asian family and it was an escape for me really.
Q. What was Aiysha like to work with?
A. Aiysha is a wonderful actress and a great person. A lot of people would just say that but she is extremely talented.
For the role of Mona we must have interviewed around 200 people and we only heard from Aiysha because she was a friend of someone else who had come to audition and she thought she may as well have a go at it.
Thankfully she did and from then she was our Mona. It is a very hard part to play, especially at her age, but she is a great actress and did the part justice.