Honestly Humayun

Beloved actor candidly spoke about projects old and new

News Desk June 20, 2024


Humayun Saeed, a stalwart in the Pakistani entertainment industry, recently sat down for an engaging interview with Ahmad Ali Butt on his YouTube channel. Known for his versatile acting skills and captivating screen presence, Saeed delved into his projects and his thoughts on the evolving landscape of Pakistani television drama.

Saeed’s career has been marked by a series of successful dramas and films, establishing him as one of Pakistan’s most beloved actors. His latest venture, Gentleman, scripted by the renowned Khalilur Rehman Qamar, has already created a buzz among audiences.

The cute gangster

In the interview, the Crown actor shared his initial hesitations about reading the script, fearing he might get too attached to it. However, once he did, he was immediately drawn to the unique character he was to portray—a “cute gangster,” a role he had never attempted before.

“I really liked the character, it’s one that I have never done before. It’s a very cute gangster and I enjoy playing cute characters. He’s a very romantic character with good vibes, the dialogues are also very nice. Especially the way Khalil sahab has told the story is remarkable,” he explained.

Discussing the collaboration between director Haissam Hussain and writer Qamar, Saeed highlighted the mutual trust and respect between them, which significantly contributed to the production’s success. Despite Qamar’s confidence in his old long-standing collaborator Nadeem Baig, the scriptwriter soon warmed up to Hussain’s talent.

Reuniting with Qamar

Saeed praised Hussain’s directorial skills and the efforts of producers Sana and Samina, his daughter and wife respectively, in bringing the project to life. “Of course, Khalil sahab had seen some of Haissam’s work and he’s very good at it. Nadeem is very good at handling Khalil’s script and they have a mutually trusting relationship.”

He added, “So Khalil sahab did have some concerns about Haissam’s direction but I shared a few scenes right at the outset and he really liked them. As for the production design, the credit goes to Haissam and the producers Sana and Samina.”

One of the standout decisions in the casting of Gentleman was the inclusion of Yumna Zaidi. Saeed revealed that it was his choice to cast Zaidi, citing her ability to portray both innocence and strength. “Yumna was my choice. Both Haissam and Khalil saab agreed promptly,” he recounted.

Saeed furthered on, “Yumna herself asked me why I think of her as this character so I told her that she’s exactly who I want in this role. From her face, Yumna looks like a very innocent girl but she can also look strong. And Yumna is a brilliant actor.”

‘Meray Paas Tum Ho’

The conversation also touched on the unpredictability of drama endings, a trait Qamar is known for. Saeed humourously mentioned that even he doesn’t know how Gentleman will end, referring to the multiple endings filmed for their previous collaboration, Meray Paas Tum Ho. “We filmed two endings for Meray Paas Tum Ho. We might film three for these,” he jokingly remarked.

Reflecting on the unexpected success of his latest venture, Saeed compared it to the phenomenal reception of Meray Paas Tum Ho, which tackled the themes of married life and extramarital affairs. He admitted that while he hoped for success, the overwhelming response to Gentleman surpassed his expectations. “You always hope that your project is the next hit. Then if you look back at Meray Paas Tum Ho, it was such an unparalleled success.”

He went on to say, “It can only be a dream that a drama becomes a hit like Meray Paas Tum Ho or breaks its record. But with that drama, a story on married life and extra-marital affair, if well-executed, can easily become a major hit. But Gentleman is a very different story.”

As per the actor, mafia-based drama “is certainly a romance but it doesn’t centre your typical family politics. I was not expecting the huge response that we received just in the first couple of episodes. Even Meray Paas Tum Ho didn’t have that.”

Saeed also discussed the casting of Adnan Siddiqui who plays the ruthless Rehmati. He revealed that Siddiqui was not the initial choice, as they had considered Faran Tahir. However, due to availability issues, they eventually cast Siddiqui, who impressed everyone with his transformation and performance.

“Very frankly speaking, we were considering Faran Tahir initially. We even discussed it with him but there was an issue with his availability. He was in America and we were in a hurry. Adnan was a consideration but mostly because he was with us in Meray Paas Tum Ho so we didn’t want to replicate that,” Saeed explained. “Then we decided that it has been four years since it came out so it’s not big of a problem. Adnan surprised everyone with his acting, he changed his whole look. His acting is brilliant.”



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