Gorgeous, committed and what we would call ‘beauty with brains’, Sabeena Syed is a force to reckon with.
The extremely talented actress has already done plenty of significant roles, making a strong mark in the world of entertainment. She has an amazing energy to her craft, as she continues to make waves, while pursuing other pursuits along the way.
Social Diary had a great time talking to this fascinating starlet who is honest, has a zealous approach towards life and aims to pursue he work with her own ideologies. Enjoy our intriguing chit chat:
SD: Was becoming an actress always on the cards or was it led by something significant?
Sabeena: I definitely enjoyed performing on stage as a child, for an audience that too – but never seriously considered becoming an actress professionally. It always seemed like a very ambiguous, distant dream. However, when I took a gap year after A levels and auditioned, I realized that this was a career I thoroughly enjoyed. Also, since I got an opportunity to work as a sub editor in Tribune and Brandsynario during that time, at such a young age that too, I had a clear vision of what I wanted from life by then – it was to obtain a sense of emotional gratification from my profession, for me it was my acting career and everything related to the sphere – hence the communication design degree that I chose to pursue simultaneously.
SD: What has been the most significant role you took on till date and why?
Sabeena: Apart from the ones that I’ve recently done, that are yet to release – I suppose, if I’m to consider projects that I’ve done in the past, it would be Faryal in Yaqeen Ka Safar. The character was definitely somebody I couldn’t relate to, I had to detach from who I am as a person and all my comfort zones to bring out somebody who could create chaos and tension, in not only the plot of the drama but also the hearts of the audience watching it. Also, being my first project, it was very challenging – all my learning had to take place on set in real time, so I had to extensively push myself to create an impact with my performance
SD: How do you pick your projects? Is it true that the Pakistani serials have become monotonous in nature and nothing new is being put out there anymore?
Sabeena: Since I’m also pursuing my bachelors, I try not to overwhelm myself and focus on what the script, plot and my character have to offer to the audience. Considering the fact that I have to balance out my career with academics, the scripts that I pick have to be impactful and meaningful. In my opinion, there are scripts that explore new storylines and topics but they’re eclipsed by censorship, I feel and end up having a redundant feel. The underlying notions are then lost in the subtle visual symbolism. That being said, digital platforms are simultaneously being actively explored – not to mention the admirable local indie content that you can find online, does balance out the void we may feel with the content broadcasted on TV
SD: Is there a specific genre you haven’t explored yet that you wish to?
Sabeena: I have no idea why I would really love to explore the horror genre, although I never watch the films myself but I feel it would be so much fun to be on a spooky set and know what goes on behind the scenes – this would probably also be the first horror film I would watch then.
SD: How different was it to shoot for a film as compared to drama serials? Was there a new learning curve that was offered in the process?
Sabeena: Although every set is different, I feel with drama serials there is a time constraint for execution – so the tempo is very upbeat. On the contrary, at least the film sets that I’ve been to, were shot at a relatively slower pace. The working hours can get hectic in both but a film set is relatively peaceful, can’t say what it’s like for the production team though, because they’re always on their toes
SD: As someone who is passionate about animal rights, give us your two cents on the issue of stray dogs in Pakistan? What do you feel should be done?
Sabeena: I feel as a society we need to collectively learn to co-exist with not just each other but animals as well – they have a right to life as much as we do. Co-existence is the least we can do, if we’re ready to go a little out of our way, we can try and make the lives of stray dogs easier. Donate to organizations such as ACF so that the ones wounded or ill can be treated and the ones on the streets neutered (for regulation of the population) and vaccinated (for your safety and theirs). If not, you can always feed the stray animals close by, it’s worth it and your heart will melt when you see their joy
SD: Continuing down the line, how do you feel the Pakistan entertainment industry should create a strong stance to get global recognition?
Sabeena: The Pakistani entertainment industry, I feel is yet to find a defining stance as well as visual style. Considering how diverse our culture already is and the various narratives that society offers filmmakers – there’s yet a lot of exploration, trial and error to take place. That too keeping up with the global cinematic standards that are constantly evolving and difficult to catch up to sometimes. Some genres we simply cannot pull off with the same quality. Although, there have been films and lots are in the pipeline that did remarkable justice to Pakistani culture and I’m sure are yet to obtain the global recognition that they deserve.
SD: Do you feel there is raging competition now but similar storylines when it comes to dramas and movies? How do you aim to leave a lasting impression with your work?
Sabeena: As mentioned before, I feel there is a strong censorship policy that offers filmmakers a very rigid framework to work with – considering this the entertainment industry still continues to churn out content that can provide the audience with storylines that are new but also fit the criteria of what is acceptable. In my opinion, that is commendable – it’s like looking through a kaleidoscope, if we’re to have a positive outlook. Plus, there is yet a lot of interesting content produced by filmmakers and our audience should really support them! I genuinely hope I do and even now I have to thank my fan base for supporting me and motivating me to constantly challenge myself with new projects
SD: Projects in your kitty for 2021?
Sabeena: There are two drama serials that will soon broadcast on Hum TV! One is all set to premier on the 21st of May, You Tou Pyar Hai bohat. Apart from that I’ll be seen here and there, there’s also a short film directed by Abis Raza that you’ll see me in! And hopefully many more projects to come!