Zainab Shabbir - Artistically Aiming For High

In an era where new talent is popping from every nook and corner, and we get to see new faces on our television screens every other day. A face that caught everyone’s attention not only because of her refreshing looks but also because of her exceptional acting skills was the up-and-comer Zainab Shabbir. The actress, in only a short span of three years, has undoubtedly became a notorious name in the industry with some notable projects on her credit. Started off with a supporting role of Ishmal in a 2018 soap opera Maa Sadqay, she quickly went on to grab leading roles after performing substantially that got noted by the critics. With a very realistic approach of acting, this girl is surely on the rise, and with her prominent acting skills there is no looking back for the Sanwari alum. The passion she has for her craft made her to go a few shades darker to fit-in to the character of Ujala, which speaks volumes of how involve she can be as an artist. In a conversation with MAG, Shabbir spoke about what inspired her to become an actress, how it feels to be in the public eye and what kind of characters attract her. Excerpts: 

We all know you as an actor, but who is Zainab Shabbir in real life behind all the glitz and glam?

Well, Zainab is totally a nerdy girl in person. I don’t even like to dress up. Also, I don’t even like to meet new people. That is how I am in real life, to be very honest.

How did you end up in the entertainment industry and what really sparked your interest in acting?

I always wanted to join the showbiz. But I never was that confident. One day, I met an actor and he really inspired me. From that day, I decided to start acting and to take it up seriously as a career. I’m blessed that my mother also supported me a lot.

What do think is the advantage and disadvantage of being in the limelight?

Being in the limelight is a good thing for sure. Everyone dreams to be in it. But it’s really important to firstly struggle for this limelight. Otherwise, you will surely become a star but definitely not a shining one.

If offered, would you do any project across the border when the current situation normalises?

Sure, why not. I would love to work there and represent our industry.

You went a few shades darker than your complexion for your project Sanwari, which is quite commendable but doing it in the time where many actors still promote fairness products what’s your take on it?

Actually, I didn't think about these things when I was offered that character. I just wanted to work, and only work. For me, it was a character many girls can relate to and so, I really loved it. I have no regret in playing Ujala's character as it is the most loved character in my career till now.

What is that one dream character that you really want to perform on-screen?

I would love to play the character of a crazy, spoiled brat as I love and enjoy doing negative roles.

Film is a very vast medium and when makers are trying hard to revive our cinema, will we ever be able to see you on the big screen?

Oh, yes definitely. I love films and it would be really fun to act on the big screen as it is such a big medium.

Who do you think is your biggest role model when it comes to acting?

I can’t name one, there are many. Samina Peerzada, Sania Saeed, Nouman Ijaz, Saba Qamar.

Of all the roles you’ve played till now, which have you resonated the most with?

It would be Ujala in Sanwari, and also my titular role of Emaan.

If not an actor, what would you have pursued as your career?

I would have been in some kind of business then.

How would you describe your acting style?

Umm, I don’t know. I think that I try to put reality in my acting and the characters that I play, so yeah it would be realistic.

We are currently seeing you in the drama Mehar Posh alongside the very talented Ayeza Khan, Danish Taimoor and veteran actor Sania Saeed, how was your experience working with them?

It was a dream come true, when I heard that I am working with Sania Saeed. I always have been a big fan of her. And now after knowing her in person I love her even more. She is a true gem. Ayeza and Danish, what can I say. Both of them are such good human beings and extremely down to earth personalities. We need more actors like them. It was a wonderful experience working with the whole cast of Mehar Posh.

If you could choose your own cast and crew for your next project, who’s penning down the script, who take the director’s chair and who is starring opposite you?

This is a tough one (laughs). I would want to work with them all. But as I have more memories with the cast of Sanwari, I would definitely choose them.

Lastly, what projects are in the pipeline for you?

I am being very choosy these days, to be honest. But soon you all will be seeing me in some very good and interesting projects.

Hair & Makeup: Basit Ali
Coordination: Umer Mushtaq
Photography & Styling: Yellow Jacket By Zeeshan Ahmed