In conversation with Saniya Shamshad
The glamorous and sensational Saniya Shamshad has been in the drama industry for a couple of years now. Making her debut in drama serial Ghaao (2011) opposite Sami Khan and Samina Peerzada, she has starred in hits Rehaai, Aseer Zadi and Mai Dewaani, along with her award winning role in Agar Tum Na Hotey.
In a matter of just 2 years, Saniya has received five HUM AWARD nominations, which is incredible. Before stepping into the world of drama and acting, Saniya was a successful TV host.
The eye candy of the Pakistani media Industry, Saniya, is a standout artist amongst the most attractive and skilled Pakistani on-screen actresses. It is because of her enchanting and appealing look that she is ruling the TV screen nowadays. Saniya is a complete bundle of excitement, excellence and style.
The gorgeous actress began her TV vocation at an extremely youthful age. She performed different characters and did justice to the parts given to her. With her cute and alluring looks, she took over almost every Pakistani heart. It was not in any manner a shock to see her rule the drama industry this quick. Undoubtedly, Saniya can be titled as the most gorgeous and skilled performing artist of 2015. As far as I know Saniya, she is a girl of smooth nature, while others title her a courteous and agreeable young woman.
Keeping all of this in mind, it was a delight to meet Saniya and have an exclusive interview (and photo session) with her. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.
Mirza: In some shows, you have been presented with unconventional roles – like your character in Mai Deewani – but in other serials you are given stream-lined roles. How comfortable are you with the transitions? What kind of roles do you think fit best to your persona?
Saniya: Well, yes; I have played different characters and honestly I enjoyed doing all of them. Repeatedly playing similar roles gets you bored. Acting demands versatility. It’s always challenging to see myself in different characters. I can’t just specify any particular role because I try to mould into every character given. I just give my hundred percent in whatever I do. And I think that’s the best you see in an actor.
M: You seem to be very ambitious about your career; did you face difficulties moving up the ladder? Was there anyone to support you or guide you in the industry or was it all a trial and error process?
S: Difficulties are always there when you start up with something new. Until and unless you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you can only depend on yourself to move forward. The key to overcome this is hard work and love for your work. And I consider myself lucky as when I started acting, I had the privilege to work with gems like Nauman Ijaz and Samina Peerzada; they were like my mentors, I learnt a lot from them. I always look up to my seniors for advices regarding projects and they are always helpful.
M: What’s the biggest compliment you have ever received? What was it and who gave it?
S: Well the biggest compliment I’ve ever received was “You’re not an actor, you’re a performer!” and the person who said it, I am a huge fan of his. It was really a big achievement for me, Alhamdulillah.
M: You have received five Hum Award nominations in just two years; how does it feel?
S: (With a huge smile on her face) It feels great, obviously. It’s like a “school result day” feeling, but winning and losing is not important. Being nominated in itself is an honor. If I win I plan to work harder for my audience and if I do not win, it again makes me more passionate about my work and I feel I need to work harder.
M: Did you ever thought you’ll achieve so much in so less time?
S: Honestly, I had no clue about it, but Alhamdulillah, it’s all Allah’s blessing, my hard-work, my family’s prayers and the love and appreciation that I have gotten has made me reach the point where I am today.
M: Tell us something about your school days, back in the years when you too were a fan of this industry? Did you always want to be an actress or you had other dreams?
S: Thinking of school days makes me feel nostalgic. Those days were full of fun. Although, I used to be a calm and humble kid but I enjoyed my school life a lot. Definitely I was a fan of the industry but never thought of joining it. This was the point where destiny played its role. I never thought of being an actress but it all just happened. The best part is that I love what I am doing. I didn’t know acting would turn out to be my biggest passion.
M: What one quality would you want your ‘Prince Charming’ to have?
S: Um, if he is my prince charming, then he needs to have a good sense of humor, should be intelligent, we both should have a good understanding of each other and have mental compatibility for sure. And looks do count.
M: Are you up for modeling and hosting or acting is your only passion now?
S: I have already done hosting initially but I am more into acting. As for modeling, err no… It’s not my cup of tea. I am very much okay with acting.
M: Your favorite director/producer?
S: My favorite directors are Abis Raza and Mehreen Jabbar.
M: Your favorite Pakistani movie from 2015 and why?
S: I went to watch all of them. Every film was remarkably different and creative. This year was a healthy one for the industry. I really enjoyed Karachi Se Lahore more; it was a nice, fun movie.
M: Would you be available to do a film if offered any time soon?
S: I have been getting offers of films but I haven’t decided on it yet; maybe in near future. I always go for the script and a strong character, so one never knows.
M: Do you discuss your choice of serials with any one or you take whatever serial and role that comes your way?
S: Not as such. I don’t look up for advices in this. I feel I am mature enough to see and understand what I am going to do. Whenever I am going to perform any role, I read and I believe in quality rather than quantity.
M: Do you remember your first serial? You didn’t have a very prominent role but was it challenging for you to work as an actress and make your debut?
S: I had just gotten through my exams when I did my first play. I didn’t know much about acting back then but they cast me as they were looking for a girl like me. They had to work hard on me, I was not an easy one (smiles). Yeah, the first experience was really tough. I had to understand the industry norms and make my debut as strong as possible.
M: Is acting a childhood passion? Who was your inspiration and why?
S: It wasn’t really a passion as such; it just happened. Nothing was preplanned. However, after I started working, Nauman Ijaz and Sania Saeed became my inspirations. I really admire them and look up to them.
M: Do you consider yourself lucky to be working with such established directors right at the beginning of your career?
S: It is always a blessing in disguise. They are all very competitive and sincere towards their work and I feel so proud to work with them. It’s such an honor to work with them from the start of my career. They guide me well. I try to be honest with my work and follow their instructions.
M: Does it bother you when you are compared to other actresses from the industry?
S: I don’t remember any such situation. I believe in establishing my own identity and being different. I try to set my stronghold with my work. Also, I think every individual is different. Every person has a distinct personality. Instead of wasting my time thinking about such comparisons, I try to focus on my work and get as better as I can. I always welcome criticism; I learn from it and try to improve myself.
M: Talking about professionalism, how professional is our industry? Do you think having educated people in the media is helping?
S: Professionalism is a necessity. The little glitches we have in the industry should be filled in by educated people as it is easy to communicate with them, they understand you well. Working is always easy when people around you understand your mentality and respect it. We surely need educated and experienced professionals to help the industry grow big.
M: Have you ever been subjected to any scandals? If so, how did you get out of it?
S: I feel blessed to be away from all kinds of controversies and scandals. I try to stay as simple as possible. I reach the set on time, do my work whole heartedly and as soon as I am done with it, I leave back for home. I am focused on my work; probably that saves me from all such things.
M: Some time ago, you said you were focusing on your career and marriage is not your priority. Is it still the same? Do you think any one is contesting hard to be the Prince Charming you have been looking for?
S: Haha, no, I am still focused on my work. I love my work. But then again, the norms and values of our society cannot be ignored. I am a family-oriented girl and obviously I will get married some day. When I find the right guy, I’ll go for him. I plan to work even after getting married so finding a guy with a liberal mindset and who understands me well is a must. It is just about the right time and the right guy.
M: Tell us about your future ventures? Do you have any upcoming serials or projects?
S: There are quite a few projects in the pipeline. I am working on them these days; they are all in progress and will soon be on-air. Wait for the surprise.
M: Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
S: Well honestly I never plan my future as such but I am surely on it and have high hopes from it. I try to live in the moment and make the best out of it. I always give my hundred percent, I believe if I give my hundred percent to my present then it will surely lead to a vibrant and happy future for me. I hope whatever is written down for me is for the best.
M: Any message for your fans?
S: I would just say that no matter what happens, always try to look within yourself and believe in your potential. Always stay positive and try to stay away from negativity. Just focus on your work and whatever your profession is, be honest to it. When you throw positive energy in your work it comes back to you with double the speed and always benefits you. Focus is really important to succeed in life. Whatever you want to do in life, make it your passion. Respect everyone and learn to trust. This is all I would say to my followers or friends.