Celebrated actress Sarwat Gilani has been termed the number one Pakistan-based celebrity for the year 2020. The ‘Churails’ star is the highest-positioned Pakistani in a first of its kind Top 50 Asian Celebrities in the World list, published by UK based Eastern Eye newspaper. Ranked at number 21, she is ahead of global stars from Hollywood, the music industry, television, literature and social media, for her groundbreaking performance in ‘Churails’.
Eastern Eye entertainment editor Asjad Nazir, who put together the list, stated that Sarwat’s performance is a massive turning point in Pakistani popular culture and said: “The stunning turn from Sarwat Gilani smashed stereotypes, redefined the Pakistani leading lady and exuded the kind of girl power not seen before in the country. She along with other cast members have dragged Pakistani productions out of their comfort zone and into a new era, by bravely taking on their respective roles. Away from acting, she remained a positive role model throughout the year.”
The list celebrates celebrities who did outstanding work, made a positive impact, broke social boundaries and glass ceilings, stimulated hope, did philanthropy or were just inspiring in their own exceptional way. There was also big public input as millions of posts were generated by social media users nominating their favorite star of the year.
Other Pakistanis in the list include Bilal Abbas Khan (28), Ali Zafar (39) and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (49). There were also plenty of international stars of Pakistani background in the top 50, including Zayn Malik (12), Riz Ahmed (15), Guz Khan (41), Iman Vellani (44), Hussain Manawer (46) and Karachi born Kumail Nanjiani (10).
“Whether it was philanthropy, breaking boundaries, inspiring others, trending across social media, crossing new frontiers, creating really great work or inspiring a new generation, many South Asian stars shone brightly and became beacons of hope, during a crushing year when it was needed more than ever. They are celebrated in this list,” said Asjad Nazir.