Yumna Zaidi is a powerhouse of talent and her name comes in the list of the top female actors of our country. She has given masterpieces one after the other and every year, she serves viewers with characters that leave behind a mark. From a simpleton yet troublesome Mahjabeen in Pyar Ke Sadqay to a naive Mushk in Raaz-e-Ulfat and now a fierce but distressed Allah Rakhi/ Sumbul in Dil Na Umeed Tou Nahi (DNUTN), Yumna has come across as a force to be reckoned with.
In a conversation with Hassan Choudary of Something Haute, Yumna Zaidi discusses her journey, her favourites from 2020, and upcoming big project with Amin Iqbal, Ishaq e La.
Surprisingly, Yumna calls 2019 onwards her best year. “I usually sign two projects a year but in 2019 I signed up for four; one cameo in Ishq Zahe Naseeb, and then Raaz-e-Ulfat, Pyar Ke Sadqay and DNUTN. I didn’t sign anything for 2020 and then the pandemic enveloped the world. So, it was a great year for work as I got to work on different characters.”
Not many would have realized this but there are continuity jumps in DNUTN. The scenes currently being aired are all shot after a nine month break as shoots came to a halt due to pandemic and Yumna went back to US. “You will notice that my face is healthy in some of the scenes because I ate a lot when we were sitting in isolation in America. So, it was tricky for me to maintain the emotions that Sumbul was going through at that time. I wasn’t happy with the scenes because I thought that I have not done justice to what Sumbul was feeling as I have never experiences any kind of addiction or its withdrawal. I felt I did the scenes on a very high note, so they will look disconnected. However, when I saw Sumbul on screen, I realized that it worked,” she shared.
Yumna also revealed why DNUTN stands out as a cause-based project in a sea of dramas that talk about social issues, specially sexual exploitation.
“Firstly, Kashif Nisar doesn’t make projects with an aim to sell them. Amna Mufti has written a beautiful story and then I always had an idea that this will not air on any of the top three TV channels,” she said, adding, “I also knew that this has multiple tracks and stories. Also, I wanted to do this because it was a prostitute’s role. Now, the kind of personality, face, and physique I have, I felt that no producer or director will offer me such role in the future because I don’t have those qualities i.e. nazakat etc that usually are required for these characters.”
Yumna considers all the factors mentioned above significant in helping her sign the project. However, these conditions may not be ideal for any top actor as she didn’t had central character, the project had multiple storylines and it wasn’t going to air on one of the top 3 drama channels. Yet, she admits that she puts her trust in Kashif Nisar.
“Kashif Nisar fought to cast me in Dar Si Jati Hai Sila; I got recognition and an award after the drama, then I did Inkaar with him. So, if a person knows my strengths, I guess I should trust him. Also, I won’t lie; I had signed 4 projects so I knew that I will be on HUM and Geo in my other dramas. I also don’t focus on monetary aspects when I do dramas on social causes; they are like a sadqa for me.”
“We shot for 20 days after a nine month break in October/ November 2020 to wrap up the shoot of DNUTN,” she shared, adding, “When I shot the scenes with Omair Rana, we were shooting parallel for PKS and DNUTN. So, I used to meet Omair bhai on both sets. I was playing Mahjabeen and Sumbul at the same time.”
Watch the full interview here to find out more: