Saeeda Imtiaz - On Her Foray Into Acting, Films, Her Life And Personal Choices

She is done with modelling, for that does not have any charm left for Saeeda, who is now two films old with her current venture, Wajood, in cinemas. Better known for her yet to release film Kaptaan, the graduate of Stony Brook University with a degree in Psychology, Saeeda was busy promoting her movie Wajood prior to Eid. That is when MAG got hold of one of the freshest actresses on the block to find out what made her sign the new film and how it was working with the industry’s legend, Javed Sheikh. Uncertain on how her movie would work with the masses, Saeeda is confident as she has lent the movie her cent per cent and “with Javed sir on director’s seat, you only expect wonders.” Read on to find out more…

Tell us about your life off camera.
Well, my real life is very reserved, as in like when I am on set, I am a different person, when I am home, I am more family-oriented. I am not a party person. 

How did you foray into showbiz. How did films happen?
I started off with a photoshoot that was referred [to me] by a family friend and from there I got my first project Kaptaan, a film based on Imran Khan and Jemima. I played the lead role in the film and from there on, I started getting offers for dramas, campaigns and fashion shoots. It was after Kaptaan that Javed sir asked his team to approach me and I was called in for the screen test for Wajood.

Do you think that you have been able to do justice to your role in your latest release?
Well, yeah I have! But I am sure as you start working on different projects, you get mature with time. So, hopefully, by the time I start working on my next film, I will be a little more mature, confident and more polished as an actor.

How challenging was the role for you?
It wasn’t challenging, the reason being the politeness and humbleness that the role of a family-oriented person demanded. I am possessive when it comes to relationships but somehow, I do relate myself to that character, and I am sure every women does, too. 

Did you get into any sort of training before embarking on the shooting for the film?
Well, we did! The training workshops were conducted before and during the shooting. 

How was it working with Danish Taimoor and Javed Sheikh?
I think working with Javed sir is a learning [experience] itself. He is so patient, humble and down-to-earth, and the same goes for Danish, though he lacks patience. But he is very friendly and working with him was an amazing experience.

Additi Singh from India is also a part of the film. How supportive are you when it comes to cast actors from across the border?
I am very supportive. I believe that actors should be given memorable projects to work in irrespective of their origins. There should be no hard feelings and any sort of jealousy. I am not a person with unnecessary airs. I believe that there should be no competition when you are working in a film together.

Any memorable incident from the sets of Wajood?
There are lots of memorable incidents. I got my muscles pulled during the shoot and I still went on to do 16 takes even though I was injected and was in excruciating pain. To forget about the pain, I ended up eating a lot of jalebi to bring more energy for the shoot of my first song.

An aspect of the movie that you liked the most before saying ‘yes’ to the role?
That it was Javed Sheikh’s film. Even before listening to the script, I had an idea that the script would be good.

How has been the journey so far from modelling to acting?
Acting is more fun and I enjoy it a lot more than modelling. You have so much margin in acting to prove yourself. There are expressions, dialogues, dance moves, so many things, unlike modeling, that I believe is tougher.

Name one actor or actress who inspires you.
Zeba Bakhtiar. Her movie Hina is my all-time favourite. Other actors [that inspire me] are Bilal Ashraf and Fahad Mustafa. 

Who, according to you, is one actress who is reigning Lollywood these days?
I think, Saba Qamar. She’s ruling the industry.

What if you are offered a very strong role from Bollywood but that does not see you in a leading role?
Well, it all depends on the role, script and the cast. Honestly, it all depends on the circumstances when a Bollywood offer comes my way.

From a handful of successful current Pakistani films, which is your favourite and why?
Actor in Law and Jaanan. I usually watch films at home when they’re out on DVD. I watched Jaanan just because of Bilal Ashraf. I wanted to see what character he had played in the movie but I liked Actor in Law more.

Which of your character traits make you a good actor?
Whenever I pick a role, I try to put myself in the character’s shoes and relate myself to it, so as to play it in the best way possible. 

Which is your favourite genre of art?
It all depends. It all varies with situations and scripts. Maybe drama, may be horror, maybe thrill. I don’t have any favourites here. 

Do you follow fashion blindly or you are a careful surfer? Which is your all-time favourite brand?
I don’t follow fashion blindly, honestly. I try to be a trendsetter, instead, as an actress. I want to make sure the outfits I wear are trending. I create designs out of an outfit myself, the way I like. Other than that, I always make sure that I standout with my appearance. As for the brands, there are so many favourites. I wear whatever I feel comfortable, confident and beautiful in.

What is your style statement?
I like wearing long gowns. I like wearing skirts. I like wearing frocks. It all depends on my mood and the occasion. But I’m always in pyjamas at home. 

Are you a movie buff?
Oh yes, big time! I love watching films. I don’t watch a lot of dramas because it needs lots of patience to sit and watch an entire series, week after week, I’m not that sort of a person. I hardly watch movies in cinemas. But at times, if a film is supposedly really good and I hear good reviews about it, I do go and watch it.

Rapid Fire

Any memorable moment?
I guess recently, one when my mom was here for five months and stayed for the longest time in Pakistan. 

First celebrity crush?
Abhishek Bachchan. 

An actor you wish to work with?
Salman Khan and Abhishek Bachchan. 

Favourite colour?
I have lots of favourite colours. Pink, Barbie pink, sky blue.

If you could change one thing about your appearance or personality?
Maybe I’m too caring, too soft-hearted. I think, at times I don’t like that about myself. Because of that people start taking me for granted. That’s what I hate.

Fool proof way to win your heart?
I like people who are humble, kind and simple. 

You can’t live without?
My mother.

You would never forgive?
The people who hurt me the most. I’ll let the God decide. 

You are most emotional when…?
When I think of myself without my mother for the rest of my life. I doubt if I can ever live without her because I just love her so much.

Things you cannot leave home without?
My cell phone, wallet and shades.

What makes you impatient?
When something is dragged unnecessarily, that’s what makes me impatient. I just want everything to be done quickly and don’t like things to get delayed.

Your favourite book?
I read magazines, but not books.

What are the most important things you have learned in life?
Be kind. Be generous. Learn how to say ‘no’. Stand up for yourself. Spread love. No hatred, no jealously. That’s what I have learned.

How would you describe yourself?
I’m a very friendly person who loves to do social work and is very nice to people. But rude to those who are arrogant. I would speak up when I am treated wrongly without even considering the consequences. I prefer people being in my good books rather than being in my bad books. 

What would you never wear?
There are a few fashion styles that I usually see on the ramp that I would probably not wear. 

How long does it take you to get ready?
It takes a long time. If I’m really in a rush, I would take 40-45 minutes, approximately. 

Your best habit?
Helping poor people, that’s what I do. Another best habit is giving surprise gifts. 

Things that you have learned from this industry?
I’d probably say acting skills. This is what I have learnt so far. I want to groom myself in acting and polish myself, overall.

Outfits: Attire By Bushra Wahid
Hair & make-up: N-Pro
Coordination: Umer Mushtaq
Photography: The Rohail