When the opportunity knocked on Saba’s door, the actor instinctively knew that she could simply not let it go. After all, it is not every day that one receives a call from Bollywood and that too for a role opposite seasoned actor Irrfan Khan. The offer came back in February, fast forward a month and a half and the news of Saba’s Bollywood debut is already making waves on both sides of the border.
“It’s a situational comedy based on social issues,” Saba elaborates on her Bollywood debut, while speaking to The Express Tribune. “I play the character of a wife who is a wee bit dominating and is looked after very tenderly by her husband. The role of the latter will be essayed by Irrfan Khan,” she adds, when asked to elaborate upon the project. Without revealing the name of the upcoming film, Saba goes on to share that she will be visiting Mumbai this July for a workshop followed by the shoot, which is scheduled to take place in New Delhi between August and September. The release date is yet to be finalised but Saba hopes the film will hit the cinemas towards the end of this year.
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This is not the first Bollywood offer that has come Saba’s way. The Pakistani beauty has been on B-town’s radar for a while now, thanks to her impeccable work in local productions like Digest Writer and 2015’s Manto. But what made her decide to finally jump the bandwagon and head to India? Saba cites two major reasons. “After I read the script, I realised it was a very interesting film,” she claims. “But most importantly, considering the fact that I will get to work with Irrfan, who I think is a great actor to the core — I could not possibly say no to it.”
Saba is impressively true to her roots and seems to know precisely what she wants to achieve within the Indian showbiz industry. “Any bold scenes are an absolute no for me,” says the actor, when asked if she would be willing to go the extra mile. should a role require it. “This has been decided long ago: I won’t be doing any bold scenes in the film, nor will I be told to do an item number. I have been doing bold scenes in Pakistani films but will not do any in Bollywood, whatsoever.” She is focused on cementing her position as an actor wholeheartedly. “I just need to show my acting skills through the film. I won’t allow people to talk behind me and say, ‘Yeh iss ne kia kiya?’ [What has she done?]. Besides, I will not be Saba Qamar there but an individual Pakistani, representing my country on Indian soil,” she adds.
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With the upcoming film, Saba will be joining a number of local celebrities travelling to India for greater work opportunities. Fortunately, Saba can take heed from the experiences of Ali Zafar, Mahira Khan, Mawra Hocane and Fawad Khan, all of whom have made it big in Bollywood. “I have actually heard that there is a big fan following there and am looking forward to seeing the fans,” she says of her Indian fan base. “The production house is also looking forward to the film. It all sounds very exciting,” adds Saba, who hopes this will prove to be a great learning experience. “Indians are technically sound and Pakistanis are in learning mode right now. For now, as far as film-making is concerned, I think I will learn a lot more and come out an even better actor.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2016.
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