There’s nothing vulgar about Indian OTT platforms: Sanam Saeed | The Express Tribune


From her debut as a model at the mere age of sixteen to working on intriguing productions such as ‎Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam and ‎Zindagi Gulzar Hai, Sanam Saeed has come a long way. The Cake star recently appeared on FWhy Podcast and spoke about her incredible journey as a performer in Pakistan.

Upon being asked about her unconventional choice of film projects, Saeed replied, “I am picky with films but also very lucky. The kind of projects that came to me reflected the work I wanted to do in life. Once you work on a different storyline than the mainstream ones, then you can’t go back. It also builds you a certain reputation for doing specific roles, and I stuck to that.”

Saeed felt she still struggles with doing on-screen roles, despite being an actor for so many years. “I am a camera-shy person and that hasn’t changed. Since I used to perform on stage only, I was terrified of cameras at first. Like, I am not even great at public speaking right now because I have to be myself in front of an audience with no hair or makeup, no costume or wig to hide behind. No script and to have an opinion on topics, that’s something very different from modelling or theatre acting.”

She further added, “Eventually, I did get used to the camera lens, but it took me time. I still feel like my acting on television can never be at par with the realness of theatre acting as there’s no element of spontaneity and the energy also varies on set. There are so many cuts and breaks while filming, it doesn’t create the same authenticity as it does on the stage. Sometimes a plane goes by and interrupts you or your co-star doesn’t reflect the same energy, and that’s, why I think acting in front of a camera is harder.”

On her mother’s battle with cancer

Saeed then spoke about her mother’s struggle with cancer before her demise. “It was breast cancer the first time and 6-7 years later it was lung cancer but it was the same strain from the first tumour. Cancer always returns because it spreads inside. It’s like a door that has opened up and the cells slip through them. The worst part is the treatment, it kills you. It upsets you and impacts your moods, making the bones weak. My mother got cancer-free after the first year, then she was six years in remission until finally the medicine’s side effects were reduced and she gained some life.”

Before concluding the discussion about her mother’s demise, Saeed expressed how she has accepted death as a part of life. “I have always thought of death as a fact of life. You have to accept it and acknowledge the fact that it’s a loss that must be faced. I learnt to celebrate the fact that they are now part of a greater force of energy. They are definitely in a better place than this and reunited with the people before them,” she concluded.

Keeping the doors shut

After the host questioned Saeed about her decision to keep her personal matters out of the public eye, she explained. “My private life is no one’s business. It’s a lot of weight to carry like their opinions and judgments-and I don’t want any of that effect on me. If someone is happy for me, thank you, and if they’re not, that’s okay but I don’t need that in my space and aura.”

She also added how tabloid and clickbait journalism has become “suffocating” and newspapers don’t leave celebrities alone. “They are celebrating couples that are getting married and that’s brave of them to put their lives in public but if something goes wrong, the media doesn’t leave you alone. We have become so nosy because of social media. It has become an addiction to know every single detail about someone’s life. Who is wearing the best outfit in this show, or checking out the latest review of someone’s acting? Like, stop. We have become thick-headed, demotivated and full of insecurities now,” she noted.

On her upcoming projects

Saeed also talked about her upcoming project Barzakh, which features Fawad Khan as well. During the interaction, she revealed how the Asim Abbasi directorial will be available on the Zee5 application, but will not be released in Pakistan. “Why were these Indian OTT applications banned in Pakistan? There is vulgarity on television and news nowadays too. To tell you the truth, the content was just an excuse. In reality, it was a lot of producers and channels that felt threatened by the platforms. If all of us actors who prefer working on projects that are different than the mainstream storylines on television, will eventually start working with other productions, then who will do the dramas?” she asked.

The Ishrat Made in China actor then acknowledged that Pakistan’s decision to ban the applications is also justified. She said, “If the audience gets a taste of the content on these OTT platforms, then it’s bad for the people running the drama business here. Also, I think it’s fair if India doesn’t let us play our content in their country, then we shouldn’t boost their economy too.”

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