From Mannat to Kanwal: The Saba Qamar who keeps on slamming the society

Published: July 11, 2019


For the last two years, Saba Qamar was not seen at any local award show. Why did one of Pakistan’s finest actors repeatedly refuse to make an appearance?

“Although I am nominated for three different plays, I will not be attending the LSAs as a protest,” Saba told The Express Tribune in 2017. “They never bothered to honour me during the past 12 years and now that I have the Bollywood stamp, everyone is acknowledging me all of a sudden.”

Now, two years later, the Hindi Medium star returned to the red carpet as a Lux girl, clad in a cream coloured figure-hugging Zaheer Abbas number.

While the actor wasn’t nominated for any category this year, she was particularly excited about her performance for the night. She gathered alongside Meera and Maya Ali to pay homage to veteran actor Shabnam. Her stint was a part of a series of tributes.

“We are going to give a tribute to Shabnam Ji,” the Maat actor said while humming one of the veteran actor’s famous numbers, Mera Babu Chail Chabeela. “I’m very nervous and very excited. Sometimes, we mistake our excitement for our nervousness. So, I guess I’m excited as well.”

The actor garnered critical acclaim for her portrayal as slain internet sensation Qandeel Baloch last year in Baaghi, which also starred Osman Khalid Butt. Saba won the Best TV Actress award at LSA 2018 but wasn’t there to receive the accolade.

One year on and she is being praised for her strong character, Mannat, in the social issue drama, Cheekh, starring Bilal Abbas Khan, Aijaz Aslam, Emmad Irfani and Ushna Shah.

Talking about her role in the show, Saba shared, “I put my heart and soul in it. It was very tough for me.”

Speaking on the importance of bringing social issues to the screen, the starlet added, “We are facing so many issues, there are so many things and we need to talk about them. That’s why I do serials like Cheekh and Baaghi.”

Saba asserted that it is imperative to shed light on topics that aren’t  discussed much in society. “As I mentioned before, we need to talk about this issues. We are facing them, if we won’t speak then who will?” she questioned. “Now is the time to speak.”

Not that Saba needed the recognition Baaghi brought her but she admitted it was a learning curve for her.

Baaghi is no random play or something that I’ve done before, I feel it was a huge learning curve for me and I’ve put my heart and soul into the project,” she previously shared. “I’ve been able to live as Qandeel and closely understand her and I don’t think I can put that into words.”

Opening up about how she managed to get into the skin of the scandalous late model, Saba shared, “It was a demanding character, with its own set of shades. It’s something very new for me as well, Qandeel was not just one personality; she was multifaceted. The serial narrates from where she began, how she was with her own people in her village, how she moves to the city, grooms her own self and starts posting videos on Facebook. So there’s constant evolution throughout and I myself am excited to see the final product onscreen.”

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