Exclusive: In conversation with Sanam Saeed
KARACHI: Only a few days before Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam went on the air, To cut had the opportunity to interview Sanam Saeed who plays the role of Zuvi in ââthe Zee5 web series. Being an audience favorite in Pakistan, Saeed’s character is sure to be of great interest. “Zuvi is a woman of social climbing, gold digger, manipulator, materialist, very determined who will go to all extremes to get what she wants because she is so busy having this perfect life and everyone. who come in her way or try to derail her, she will not hesitate to cut them, âdescribes Saeed his character.
“I’m not a femme fatale, I don’t kill people, I’m not manipulative,” Saeed jokes when asked about the similarities the actor shares with the character. “There’s no comparison between Zuvi and myself, he’s just a very interesting character that I’ve never played before.” Zuvi stands out not only by his nature, but also by his accent. Asked about the process that led to the development of Zuvi’s accent, Saeed commented, âIt wasn’t so much the accent I worked on, but the tone because I tend to have a desi, slightly nasal voice but with Zuvi I wanted it to be a little delicate, soft, very disturbingâ¦ As an actor, I have the impression that we do not cut and do not color your hair enough. You know if we were blondes we could play with our hair more and that would really make you look good. Sometimes we don’t have the tools to change completely, ziada se ziada ham contacts pehen letay hain but it really doesn’t do much. So I thought maybe changing my voice would bring some kind of a change.
An anthology of seven stories of seven women, Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam dives into the genre of desi black and tells stories of femme fatale. Commenting on how many people expect the series to look like the web series Churails, Saeed explained the differences between the two. “Churails was a feminist show, it’s not about breaking patriarchy, denigrating men or roaring for your voice. It’s just women in different scenarios who take control of their situation and do whatever it takes to get what they want. So the femme fatale genre, the murder mystery thriller, doesn’t really have a strong moral, it’s the flip side and the flip side of the storytelling that a thriller usually tells. What’s exciting about this is that usually you see the stories of a murderer from a male perspective. Even shows the women surprisingly watching on other OTT platforms are psychological thrillers and get into the mindset of a killer, serial killers in particular and they are all men. Women generally don’t have that tendency, based on the shows I’ve seen. Women tend to be just victims and to allow themselves to be abused.
âWe haven’t delved too deeply into each character’s psyche, which would be interesting for another time. But this is just a short, easy-to-watch, captivating and mysterious thriller. Churails was more contemporary, it’s older, ârevealed Saeed, who promises audiences will see the actor in an avatar like never before. The series and its characters will shock audiences not only in Pakistan but around the world. âIt’s very important to put ourselves on the map. I mean when Zee Zindagi was launched in India it put Pakistan on the map. India had no idea what Pakistan was, how we spoke, how we walked, how we dressed, what our talent was, what our stories were, inka toh dimagh hi khul gaya, they had no idea, âSaeed said.
âThere may be a ban (between the two countries) but there are no borders in terms of culture, art bridges the gaps, art is what positively illuminates cultures, countries. As artists, we couldn’t be more thrilled. Yes, we wish Pakistan had OTT platforms like this, but it’s all about the budget. We don’t have the budget for it. Their OTT platforms’ budget for shows is what our movie budgets are, there is no comparison.
When asked if women-centric shows aren’t produced for local platforms or television, it’s because of the lack of acceptability in our society for progressive narratives, Saeed said: ” No, I think the public is up to anything, you have to give it to them to taste it and they can decide “I didn’t like it”, but if you don’t give them anything at all and you keep giving them something else, so it’s about developing your palette for that. But I also understand that you can’t have content like this on TV.
âTV is free media that the whole family watches, so you may not be comfortable watching it with your kids or parents. OTT platforms and movies give you the privacy, space, time, and convenience to watch them at your leisure and watch what you want. With television, I understand that it has to be family, but there are a million ways to tell family stories. I don’t think two women and one man is a family story to be told over and over again. You can show it but baar baar yehi dikhana, keh mard toh yehi karega, ya aurton keh beech rivalry toh zarur hogi, ya aurat ko toh maar zaroor pitegi, it is not family either, I do not know what we teach. I don’t know what our sons learn watching this, I don’t know what our daughters think, thinking life is over for us and that’s how life is after chaadi, and that’s what the saas is like.”
Fans of Sanam Saeed on the small screen must have noticed how the actor seems to have taken a break from television. For the actor, the decision to take a step back from television was a conscious choice. “I am very grateful to have had the opportunities that I had at the start of my television career, I am very grateful that I got the job that I did, and today that I can say yes or no and choose what I want to do. At this point in my life, I will move towards a job that satisfies me, that challenges me, that makes me feel good, makes me feel like I’m doing something different and interesting. I’m all for working on TV but it has to be as good as the work I did before or better. It can’t be the same and it can’t be regressive, “explained the artist .
While audiences may not have seen Saeed on the small screen in some time, characters like Kashf from Zindagi Gulzar Hai live in the memory of his fans. One wonders if Saeed feels extra pressure to have his other characters live up to the benchmark set by Kashf. âI think initially 9 years ago when the series took place. I think at first I put the pressure on myself to do a job that was just as impactful and just as successful, but that was only at the beginning. After that I got lucky again with Diyar-e-Dil a few other projects that were good. Saeed further explained how “I had to remind myself that I am an actor and, however, I found myself locked into these roles and I did not understand how you would expect an actor to play the same kind of roles. again and again. You will never get this magic, it was a unique thing, everything else will just be repetitive, so you have to get out.
While we are talking about Zindagi Gulzar Hai, It’s a pleasure to hear that Saeed and Fawad Khan are returning to the screen together in the next series of Zee5 by Asim Abbasi.