Veteran Talent Knows No Limits ! In conversation with SABA FAISAL

Those who know talent, know how this gem of a person who is as talented as she is down to earth, has carved a place for herself in the drama industry. She has already showcased a plethora of characters and her immense talent is indefinite for she continues to surprise as she takes on new roles and avatars. And there is just no stopping her.

Social Diary had a wonderful time speaking to the ever-majestic Saba Faisal as she lets us in on how her work is not work when she is pursuing it with passion, balancing all the blessings she has along the way.

SD: When did your interest arise to join the entertainment industry?
Saba: I was actually an announcer and came on television in the year 1981. But honestly dramas were something I felt I didn’t want to do at all. When I came into this field, the stigma relating to it was really strong. I was actually coming to it from being a newscaster,and felt it would definitely become a very bold move from my end.It was definitely a risk. But it was a risk that worked.
SD: Were there any objections you faced?
Saba: While I’ve gotten complete support from my husband and my father since day one, however after the first play I did ‘Chamak’, my elder brother did express his reservations about the same. I received many offers after that one play but I didn’t pursue anything as in no way did I wish to go against how my brother felt. However after a year, I mustered the courage to ask for his consent and he was surprised that I wasn’t head on pursuing this field already. I actually have three brothers and I always have wanted to take them in complete stride to my decisions. We are a close knit family and I wish to keep it like that.
SD: Did someone approach you personally?
Saba: I remember how Ehsan Danish was actually creating a drama at the time which also had Uzma Gillani in it along with other star cast. It was Ehsan you said that there is a character which I wish for you to portray. It was definitely a risk I took and it was successful.
SD: When choosing your projects, what matters to you the most?
Saba: The script matters the most. After which the director, the production house is looked into. But nowadays, for me the cast also holds significance. I want to work with artists who are as punctual and committed to their role and project as I, otherwise due to the nonchalant attitude of some, the rest of us have to suffer. In my 20 years working as an artist, I cannot recall once when a shoot had to be cancelled because of me or I had called in sick. For me, co-cast is definitely important.
SD: As a veteran actress, do you feel the new generation of stars are bringing something onto the sets which they really shouldn’t?
Saba: Our rising stars I would say are extremely talented, even more so than us- the elder generation. However, the only shortcoming I feel is their lack of commitment. That isn’t strong otherwise they have such potential to move forth and create great things.

SD: Was there any uncomfortable scenario you had to face while working with the young actors of today?
Saba: Not as such per say. I have been fortunate enough to work with such brilliant names like Neelam Muneer, Ahsan Khan, Sami Khan, Danish Taimoor, among others.
SD: If you look back at the kind of dramas that were made in the day to the kind of serials and productions you see now, how do you feel things have changed or progressed?
Saba: Unfortunately, we only have a few limited writers now who write close to reality. But I wouldn’t blame them as nowadays the writers will create what the masses want. And it’s usually over-the-line, melodramatic productions depicting women as damsels in distress with stereotypical settings. But this is so far away from the actual situation- the woman of today is actually a strong person who is balancing her many roles in life while she pursues her career.
SD: Is there a certain kind of role or character you haven’t done so and wish to get the chance to showcase in your prowess?
Saba: MashAllah I never had this stamp on me that I could do either positive or just negative roles. I have taken on great instances of comic roles. I have also done the role of the innocent mother with tears, and I have managed to strongly bring my sheer negative stance across the camera in a villainous role too. The kind of characters in the era of PTV were those which were specifically written by writers. It was done in sheer precision. The writers had such impeccable observation of how a character should be. But that isn’t happening anymore. If today’s writers actually did work on that with such passion, our artists have such flair and passion that they will confidently bring them across the screen with such energetic performance.

SD: Please shed light on how you are able to create a good balance between your work and personal life?
Saba: For a woman, who is going out to do something, that doesn’t mean she has left her house in a complete mess. I believe Allah created women in such a way which allows them to manage all that is important with such grace. I think we can manage our home, families and work beautifully if we are committed to bringing the best onto the table. I take everything in great stride. Alhumdulilah I haven’t faced issues where I couldn’t balance everything. Because I took on these different roles, where I do help out for my husband as I have been doing so, I manage my kids and give them guidance on how they should be creating a balance too. It can happen for you if you are willing. That is my motto.
SD: You have managed to create such a strong stance in the world of dramas? Would films ever come into the picture?
Saba: My priority has been and always will be television. I did a few films, like London Nahi Jaonga, however the film wasn’t completed as yet due to the pandemic. However, I feel currently the scope of films in Pakistan isn’t as bright. And those who are creating films, are actually putting their sweat and blood into something which doesn’t have a strong infrastructure yet. I feel we should have more screens so that the producers are getting the return they deserve. I do hope our film industry progresses and we are put on the map with global attention.

SD: The pandemic has definitely left a huge impact on all of us. How have you been managing your life through it all?
Saba: When COVID-19 came, the first wave brought with it a lot of fear and uncertainty. I was worried and stressed out like many people out there. But then I realized something. In this pandemic I thought of what we can do for ourselves? It was this time that we couldn’t even ask for help from our loved ones. We were helpless when our colleagues and peers were affected. But then everyone got together to manage it well. Families were able to spend quality time together. Even the work revolution happened when people realized they can actually manage and do things right from home. So this time taught us what we are capable of doing.


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