I was never desperate to work in Bollywood: Saba Qamar

Published: May 9, 2017
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LAHORE  : It’s a man’s world and show business is a man’s meal, Carrie Fisher once wrote. While this may hold true for a bevy of Pakistani artists as well, it’s certainly not the case with actor Saba Qamar. The entertainment industry is the actor’s galaxy and she is on her way to gaining stardom across the border.

Thrilled about the upcoming release of her first Bollywood venture Hindi medium – where she plays the female lead opposite Irrfan Khan – Saba told The Express Tribune, “I was never desperate to work in Bollywood though I aspired to do a movie across the border but only if I was offered a strong character and a main lead. My plays are widely watched in India and are equally popular. Irrfan had also watched my serial on YouTube and he recommended me to the director.”

Hindi Medium trailer: Saba Qamar gives Irrfan Khan a run for his money

She added, “At first when I received a call from Irrfan’s manager, I thought it was a prank call but later the casting director called and offered me the role. The director wanted someone to portray a role like Kareena Kapoor Khan did in Jab We Met.” The Lahore Se Aagay star revealed she was more excited to sign the project because it is being directed by Saqib Chaudhary – who has belted out popular films including as Pyaar Kay Side Affects and Shaadi Ke Side Effects. Also, the film is being produced by the makers of Cocktail and Love Aaj Kal. “So, I had faith in the entire team that they will make something good.”

Saba shot Hindi Medium in New Delhi and Georgia. Speaking about the experience, she added, “I had the best time shooting for the movie. It was an amazing experience. Everybody from the hero to the director to spot boy was so humble and gave me the utmost respect. Even the designers would address me as ‘Ma’am’.”

Bold and daring: Saba Qamar to star as Qandeel Baloch in biopic

Many people would think working in India is not easy for Pakistani artists anymore, especially during a time of strained political relations between the two countries. However, Saba feels otherwise. “I was given royal treatment. I was protected and pampered so much that I was put in the best five stars hotels. My mini bar would never end. They would ask me my favourite dishes and drinks, and anything I needed was arranged for me,” she stated.

“I never felt strange or alien in India. I am not scared of death. If my fate is to die in India, I will die there.  In fact Irrfan would always say ‘Saba tou cheeti hay, kissi say nahi darti’. I really hope the issues between the two countries are resolved because I would love to work in Bollywood for all the respect and honour that I have received there. Mein do do hath jaon gee phir say Bollywood, jo nakhray meray wahan uthaye gaye aur mujhey saatwein aasman pay bethaya,” she said.

Talking about her chemistry with Irrfan, Saba shared, “He is a superstar. I was so nervous on my first day of shoot but after one hour all my nervousness went away because Irrfan made me so comfortable. He and I shared a very strong on screen chemistry and we would hardly do more than two takes.  I am by nature very rebellious and I said to myself I will either do or die here. I had to prove myself. I often would ask Irrfan about my shots and he would say, ‘Why are you asking me, you know better, tum tou mujh say bhi aagay nikal rahi ho’ and I would say, ‘App meri kit laga rahein hain’.”

Here’s how Saba Qamar bagged her first Bollywood film

Saba recently boycotted Lux Style Awards because she felt the event did not deserve her attendance. “Ever since I have had a Bollywood stamp, all the top brands are chasing me for endorsements. Where were all the brands before I went to India. No one has ever approached me for the last thirteen years that I have been working.  But I have gotten immense support from my colleagues such as Ahsan Khan, Mahira Khan, Ayesha Omar, Jami and Sarmad Khoosat. They even gave me a shout out on Twitter for my film. Even Hindustan Times and Pinkvilla have compared me to Mahira Khan and given a verdict that my performance is far better than hers in Raees.”

Talking about marriage plans, Saba added, “I have not found anyone yet and I cannot get married just for the sake of marriage, it’s boring. I have told my mother, I rather be married for one year happily than be married unhappily for thirty years.” Saba is currently shooting a biopic in which she will be seen playing a role of late social media sensation Qandeel Baloch.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • vaibhav
    May 9, 2017 - 3:06PM

    humility is a term unknown to paki actorsRecommend

  • rajesh
    May 9, 2017 - 4:49PM

    Her movie has not even released and she says they have given a verdict that my performance is far better than mahira’s in Raees. Very humble, eh?Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    May 9, 2017 - 5:38PM

    superlative talk often results in a crash dear .. take it easy … I am sure you have acted well. let the audience decide. Recommend

  • akhan
    May 9, 2017 - 9:00PM

    Oh Boy…………….the lady has become obsessively overwhelmed with Bollywood even before her debut release. You need to come down to earth lady and show some respect for your country that has given you this opportunity to be spotted across the border. I really would like to wish you all the best for you career ahead but with this kind of attitude i sadly don’t think you will go far. Think about it……….Recommend

  • goggi (Lahore)
    May 9, 2017 - 9:08PM

    Saba you are blessed with a natural talent of acting and facial expressions. Within your immense energy aura even Irrfan looks like a raw beginner. Best wishes!Recommend

  • vinsin
    May 9, 2017 - 9:59PM

    In one her interview she said she took the movie because actor was a Muslim. Lead Actress – what about TNT – cultures are different? Her serials are not widely watch in India, sorry Ma’am. Apply for Indian citizenship ma’am.Recommend

  • Parvez
    May 9, 2017 - 11:24PM

    Saba,,,Saba…Saba….remember in Pakistan you’re a big fish in a small pond. In India you’re a small…very small fish in very big pond. Which would you rather be ?Recommend

  • Abc
    May 10, 2017 - 2:21AM

    Lol. Indians cannot watch their ugly actresses anymore thats why they have to beg Pakistani actresses Recommend

  • Ahmad
    May 10, 2017 - 11:24AM

    @vaibhav:
    Mahira was not Bragging about her Acting skills like Saba. So there are Few other humble ppl in Our Industry :). Recommend

  • रुचि
    May 10, 2017 - 1:37PM

    Her serials are indeed watched a lot in India.i am an Indian and have watched so many serials of hers I can’t count. Her serials have run on zindagi TV and been liked coz she is a versatile actress better than the dumb lot here in India. Watch and then comment.Recommend

  • Marl Brando
    May 10, 2017 - 2:42PM

    She sounds ridiculous, delusional, over-excited, and frankly unbearable.Recommend

  • k
    May 10, 2017 - 4:20PM

    @vaibhav:
    Mahira seems to be good. But this actress must know she is in Ocean not in a village pound anymore thus if you are not big dont pretend as big.Recommend

  • Shiva
    May 10, 2017 - 5:01PM

    “I never felt strange or alien in India. I am not scared of death. If my fate is to die in India, I will die there.” – Did she think the interview was a drama audition or something. Why such huge drama for describing simple things. Drama queen like our beloved Arvind Kejriwal!Recommend

  • Faraz
    May 10, 2017 - 10:32PM

    The beauty, intelligence, and charm of a Pakistani woman is enviable. This is the real reason Indians are obsessed with us…envy.Recommend

  • gp65
    May 10, 2017 - 10:53PM

    @Abc: “Indians cannot watch their ugly actresses anymore thats why they have to beg Pakistani actresses ”
    Look at how excited Saba is. Does it look like someone had to beg her? How many Pakistani actresses have had more than one hit in India?Recommend

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