Saqib Sumeer is clearly one of the most underrated actors in Pakistan; a silent star who struggled his way to make an impression. He is a gem who despite being the king of theatre, only recently got a fraction of the attention that he deserves as an actor. While he has previously given great performance in a drama like Dumpukht, not many people knew him like they do today. So far, his character Rafiq Ali in Raqeeb Se has been the most prominent role that brought him into the spotlight.
In an interview with Hassan Choudary of Something Haute, Saqib Sumeer spoke at length about his struggles and how he made it from being an IT student who came to Karachi for MBA and working a 9-5 job in the middle to trying his luck at the theatre and all that followed.
Saqib’s attitude towards his journey is highly commendable and it is great to see that his struggle has made him humble and not bitter like we often see. He has actually studied the craft from NAPA and his passion is visible in the characters he plays.
He believes that the struggle one faces is a very integral part of one’s journey and it is okay if others remain uninterested or unaware of it. “Your struggle is for you. Your struggle is the real process and that is it. Once you achieve what you were struggling for then it’s done. Enjoy your struggle and give it your 100%.”
Speaking of Raqeeb Se, he shared that his co-actor from Dumpukht, Naumaan Ijaz recommended and encouraged him to play Rafiq Ali.
“I met Kashif bhai (Kashif Nisar) and Nomi bhai (Naumaan Ijaz) for the first time on the set of Dumpukht and since then this is my third project with them,” he said adding that he vibes well with them. He also revealed that Naumaan Ijaz asked him to call Kashif and tell him that he wants to play Rafiq while Saqib did not even know who Rafiq was.
The character was originally meant to be played by Sohail Ahmed, however, he was unavailable and Saqib got the role. “The first episode concluded and I got a call from Sohail Sahab to appreciate my performance.”
“Kashif bhai is an academy and Naumaan bhai is a school so I was very lucky to work and learn from them.” Addressing the confusion about his character, Saqib says it is not a negative character at all.
“I salute Bee Gul for writing such a layered character. A good character is difficult to write, then it is hard to direct and finally hard to perform,” he said explaining that this is why such characters and stories are not often written.
“Rafiq Ali is not a negative character. He is not even 1% negative,” he assured. “Focus on his state of mind. He got married to the most beautiful woman of her time, he loves her but since day one he knows she loves another man.”
“He is not in his senses and that is why he’s wild and abusive,” he explained adding that he is not justifying domestic violence.
There is more to the story and viewers will finally understand his backstory and state of mind. “No one is entirely good or bad.”
Other than Raqeeb Se, Saqib can also be seen in the highest viewed drama, Khuda Aur Mohabbat 3 where he plays yet another important character.
Watch the complete interview here: