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17 Aug

Yes, absolutely there’s pressure to be better: Humayun Saeed on his Pride of Performance

This past weekend was all about celebration. We celebrated our independence and, like every year, the government decided to celebrate and honour those who have served Pakistan with their continuous hard work, immense talent and unmatched excellence in their respective fields.

A list of 184 Pakistanis and foreigners was announced on 14th August, all of whom will be honoured with civil awards on March 23rd 2021. One name stands out, though. He has worked for almost 25 years, enthralled audience that’s spread around the world, given this country its highest grossing films – thrice in a span of four years, produced dozens of successful serials in this past decade and most recently has given this country its biggest TV drama in years.

He, of course, is Humayun Saeed.

Humayun Saeed has been working for close to 25 years

It’s a rare occurrence when someone is awarded and there’s no criticism, absolutely no criticism. Ever since Humayun’s Pride of Performance news has come out, the audience, his fans, his peers – every one is elated. It almost feels as if he’s the only one getting the recognition.

“I guess people think I haven’t got it just like that; they realise I have worked very hard to earn it and that makes me very happy and satisfied,” Humayun responds when asked about the overwhelming reaction.

Even though he has been working and working successfully for over two decades, Humayun’s projects in the past 5 years have certainly played a significant role in amplifying his stardom and establishing him as a versatile actor. He knows it. “It’s been a long journey. From the time I did Mehndi, people have been kind and have always appreciated my work. But when I ventured into production, somehow a section of the audience started thinking that maybe I wasn’t as interested in acting. Even though I was recognised for my work as an actor for several dramas it wasn’t until I did Punjab Nahi Jaungi that majority of the audience acknowledged that I was a good actor,” he says.

Humayun has won several awards during his career for not just his performances but also for producing top quality content

And if anyone had any doubt about his acting skills, his blockbuster hit drama Meray Paas Tum Ho — which ended earlier this year — convinced even his harshest critics that no one else could have played Danish – the love-struck husband whose entire existence revolved around his cheating wife – better than him.

“It’s not like I hadn’t seen success before. Allah has been so Kind to me. But the reaction that Meray Paas Tum Ho got was something else. Each episode, each scene was discussed with so much seriousness and interest… It is my most successful project till date and has played a major role in connecting me to a much larger audience,” he adds.

But does the success of Meray Paas Tum Ho and the Pride of Performance coinciding mean there’s more than usual pressure on him? “Yes, absolutely! There’s pressure to be better, to play more diverse characters, to choose scripts that meet the audience’s expectations. The success and recognition hasn’t made me complacent. If anything, I am even more charged to get back on set, work hard and do my absolute best.”

Stay tuned… A detailed video interview with Humayun is coming your way soon!

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hassan choudary