Pakistani actor Sanam Saeed, who played the role of Kashaf in the Pakistani drama, Zindagi Gulzar Hai, like her character in the show, is clear about what she wants in life. She wants to be a role model for young girls. In this interview, she talks about Indian serials, her love for adaptations of Shakespeare, and admiration for Tabu and Vidya Balan.
What was the response to your show like?
It was inspiring and humbling to know that it got the same amazing response in India as it did in Pakistan. I can’t wait for the Indian audience to see the other dramas. This was the beginning. The show worked as it was a realistic drama and focused on a girl’s struggle.
Have you seen any Indian serials?
I’ve seen a few while growing up. I don’t remember the names, but my grandmother and aunts used to watch them. They loved the saris, jewellery and make-up. I found them unrealistic. I guess housewives like to get away from reality and enjoy the fantasy world for a bit. For me, as a young viewer, unrealistic happenings in a drama didn’t make sense. I’m surprised that India didn’t have serials like ours or that people are shocked to see them, and are calling them a breath of fresh air. I’m glad we got a chance to showcase these dramas as India definitely shows us what Bollywood and films are made of. I’m happy to have been a part of something new for Indians.
What do you think of Indian films?
They are fantastic, although I’m not one for masala movies. I prefer the adaptations of Shakespeare and I am really looking forward to Haider, which is based on Hamlet. I enjoyed Omkara (2006), Maqbool (2004) and Gangs Of Wasseypur (2012). I draw inspiration from Tabu, Nandita Das and Vidya Balan. I like method actors who don’t focus on the glamorous side, but on realistic acting.
Have you been offered Indian films?
Earlier, certain kinds of roles were offered to actresses in Pakistan. I didn’t want to be part of them. But now, our talent is showcased in a more professional manner, so it would be amazing to be part of Indian films. I’d like to do roles that have a positive influence on young girls.
Why shy away from glamorous roles?
I don’t like to wear a lot of make-up or blow-dry my hair. If you get too caught up with the superficial part of beauty, you get too self-conscious. I am promoting a different kind of message to people, so I’d like to keep it realistic.