Yumna Zaidi is one actress whose name appears in every conversation about Pakistani dramas these days. And why shouldn’t it? The girl has given us memorable plays like Dil Kiya Karay, Inkaar, Ishq Zahe Naseeb in 2019 and is yet again marking her territory in 2020 as Mahjabeeb in Pyar Ke Sadqay (PKS). Her talent, versatility and acting prowess overshadow any and all mistakes that we can spot in the narrative or storylines.
Currently, Yumna can be seen in two plays — as Mahjabeen in Pyar Ke Sadqay and as Mushk in Raaz-e-Ulfat — and we are loving her in both so we have innumerable questions about both. Something Haute got hold of the actress who is currently self-isolating in Texas, US with her family. Here are few excerpts from the conversation:
What was your thought process when you were offered Mahjabeen’s role in PKS?
“Honestly, Mahjabeen was so hard to handle. The character is written as a loud girl and some people still cannot connect with her boisterous nature. Then director Farooq Rind was perceiving it in his own way, he had his own preferences and he wanted me to improvise a lot. So I was quite hesitant, confused and afraid throughout the shoot. I was even unsure when it was about to go on air. But I loved the character and energy of Mahjabeen when I read the first three episodes of the script,” Yumna said.
Were there any real-life inspirations behind Mahjabeen’s persona?
“Yes, we used to visit our nani’s place in Karachi when we were kids. There was a helper by the name of Yasmin in her neighbors and she was like Mahjabeen. I used to copy her mannerisms and make my nani laugh. I have also tried imitating my niece, Shan-e-Fatima. I tried to mimic the way she cries or lies to persuade people. Along with these I had a very well-written character as well as the guidance of Farooq bhai,” she added.
Was she anticipating that their on-screen couple will create magic?
“I have worked with a lot of actors and many of them are my favourites like Irsa Ghazal, Noman Ejaz, Ahmed Ali Akbar. But I must say that my energy matches with Bilal on some other level. Our director also used to call us ‘special’ on sets. Bilal has to perform in an understated manner in comparison to Mahjabeen’s loudness and he has done a brilliant job,” she said.
Are you offered challenging roles because directors think you are capable as a character actor?
“I feel blessed that I was offered strong roles like Sila, Hajra, Shakira and even Mahjabeen. These are girls that you don’t normally see, especially in dramas. However, I have always underestimated myself as an actor. When I started acting, I used to think that I will get heroine’s sister or friend’s role. Even today, I am always up for criticism and I somehow expect the worst. But now I have realized that directors-producers see potential in me that’s why I am constantly offered good storylines,” she said.
Watch the full interview to find out Yumna plans to work in films, what are her personal limitations as an actor and what is the secret behind her sizzling chemistry with Bilal Abbas?