Saqib Saleem: I am still trying to figure out my image
Ever since he started working in films, Saqib Saleem was told that he looks young and he should do boy-next-door kind of sweet roles. “Pehle young lagta tha, phir ek dum se daadhi safed ho gayi. Buddha ho raha hoon (laughs). Jokes apart, I am 32 and finally, I have grown up and look like a man, not a boy and I am happy with the transformation,” says the actor.
Though he has been working for ten years now, he has had a better run on the digital platform than films. But he doesn’t think so. He admits, “I don’t have regrets about my film choices nor do I think that I could have got that role or this film. Whatever I chose was a conscious decision from what was offered to me at that time. I enjoy acting and I don’t judge the medium. My primary job is to act and I love doing that. I have a film 83 coming out in theatres soon, so films and web aren’t different for me.” He was appreciated for the web show Rangbaaz, and for his other show Crackdown, which released last month.
The actor feels one needs to keep mixing things up and reinventing yourself. “People like to see you in a certain light and once you establish yourself then, you have to reinvent yourself to show others and yourself what more can you do. I am still trying to figure out my image. I just want to act and if I get a script that makes me wonder how would I do this, then that pushes me to do it,” he explains.
When the digital platform was growing, people were sceptical about it and they didn’t know how the projects would be received. But soon things changed and these days, every actor is doing a film or show on the digital platform. Saleem says, “People thought the budgets would be low and there was hesitation about doing an OTT project. But once a few projects came out they realised the budgets are as good as films. Today, the medium has grown and how. OTT is great for artists and it gives you space to try out different things. In the longer format, one performs a character for four-five hours and that is quite enjoyable. Now, in a year, I do one or two films but on OTT, I have done two series, one film and with another one coming up in a few months. It gives me chance to work with many people and perform a range of roles.”