From changing his name in the industry to his instant success on the television screen, Nadeem Zafar, popularly known as Nabeel, has an exciting story to share about almost every aspect of his life.
Talking about his start, the television actor recalls the person who insisted on changing his name when he initially entered the entertainment industry. “It was PTV’s Yawar Hayat who suggested a change in my name as there was another Nadeem (Baig) in the industry already,” says Nabeel. The name, however, turned out to be quite lucky for the young actor who rose to great heights of fame when he entered the world of showbiz.
Most recently seen in the popular slapstick comedy “Bulbulay”, on ARY channel, Nabeel started his career with more serious roles. “Even a three-year-old child, standing at the corner of the street, thinks of me as a mere comedian. But, it is not so”.
When he entered the industry, it was the heroic-cum-tragic roles that captured the audiences’ imagination and the actor’s initial projects, which brought him to the limelight, were ‘serious roles’.
Recalling his rise to fame, Nabeel states, “Three D’s in my life — ‘Din’, ‘Daldal’ and ‘Dhuwaan’ — did wonders on PTV.” While “Din” and “Daldal” were both shot in Lahore, ‘Dhuwaan’ was shot in Quetta.
However, it was in “Dhuwaan” (1995) that won him overnight fame and recognition. Speaking about the success of the drama, the actor says, “I was not expecting overnight fame from this play. But the drama really clicked with the audience.”
In an attempt to explore and show his versatility in acting, he decided to venture into comedy roles as well. “An actor’s versatility should shine; there should be some variation in their acting,” says Nabeel while adding that “an actor should be able to perform any assigned role with ease”.
Nabeel is currently involved with two projects with the Express Entertainment channel; a sitcom “Honeymoon” starring Javeria Abbasi and Durdana Butt and a lighter comedy series “Shaadi Ka Luddo” with guest appearances by various celebrities.
When asked why he’s opting for mostly comedic roles these days, Nabeel replies, “Our society is crippled with violence and depression, making people laugh is absolutely essential. It’s a hardcore, nerve-wrecking experience to play a tragic role, so doing a comedy role after that comes as a relief.”
As a strong proponent of having realistic characters in dramas, Nabeel believes, “Characters should not be so far from reality that viewers cannot relate to them.”
These days, besides acting, Nabeel is also running his own production house, MIF Productions, with permanent team members being Ali Imran and Rana Rizwan.
When asked what the secret recipe behind his success is, Nabeel replies, “If my work in showbiz is being considered a success then it is surely because of a combination of my mother’s prayers, talent, hard work and luck.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd, 2012.