Instep Today

Catching up with Saman Ansari

Instep Today
By Maria Shirazi
Sat, 10, 18

The popular actress speaks to Instep about Romeo Weds Heer, selection of roles and much more.

Saman Ansari is a versatile artiste who has carved a niche for herself in a rather short span of four years. In Dar Si Jati Hai Sila, we saw her essay the role of Sila’s mother, who was defenseless against the sexual advances of a man (trusted by everyone in the family) towards her and her daughter. In drama serial Khaani she portrayed the character of an extremely manipulative woman, who loved her son (essayed by Feroze Khan) and had spoilt him to an extent of no return. At present, Ansari can be seen in drama serial Romeo Weds Heer, in which she is once again playing the role of Feroze Khan’s mother.

With only one episode into the play, we know that Romeo Weds Heer is a romantic comedy and that Saman’s character is flamboyant and over the top. “I play a cosmetologist and plastic surgeon, who looks down upon people who are not from her social set up. My character is in your face and is always controlling and dominating her husband and son,” she told Instep in an exclusive interview.

Apart from this, the actor is currently gearing up for her upcoming play Maria Binte Abdullah that will air on Geo Entertainment in the coming days. “I have a guest appearance in the play. I come in two or three scenes. It is a flashback for Maria (the protagonist) who remembers how her mother used to take care of her and how as a child she would accompany her mother while going to the church,” she revealed.

When asked if she has gotten any formal training in acting, she said, “I am an accidental actor, so, I haven’t taken any formal training in acting. However, I recently took training from Khalid Ahmed and Zia Moyheuddin for my theatre debut at NAPA.” Saman Ansari played the lead in the recently concluded theatrical production, titled Jasoosi Duniya, and her performance was quite commendable given that it was her first time performing on stage in front of a live audience.

Talking about her theatre experience, she said, “It was completely exhilarating. The energy that you derive from a live audience is unmatched. No matter how well you perform for TV you are acting into a camera, but on stage every action gets a reaction; that could be positive or negative. If I had my way, I would become a theatre actor for life.”

As for her upcoming projects, Ansari shared that she is in Lahore these days, shooting for a play titled Hoor Pari, which is scheduled to go on air this December. Ansari is playing the titular role in the play and claims that it is nothing like the characters that she has portrayed in the past. “Hoor Pari is about a woman’s struggle. I always believe that the dramas I feature in must have a social change message and this is no different.”

As far as the selection of roles is concerned the actor said that she likes to take up challenging roles. “In the beginning I would take up any role that came my way because I was establishing myself as an actor. And I wanted to make sure that it was understood that I was not here for stardom but to present my talent as an actor,” she said, adding that she’s blessed to work with the veterans of the country, especially her co-star Noman Ijaz, who instantly realized that she had the talent that could be huge if channeled in the right way.

“When I worked with Noman Ijaz in Dumpukht, my first true performance came in front of people and my next project with him was Dar Si Jati Hai Sila where I was able to present all those emotions of pain, frustration and the dilemma of a mother, sexual abuse and her fight and quest to defend her daughter’s innocence.”

When asked about the challenges that she has faced, Ansari said that it was wonderful that our industry was growing but it also brought up the dilemma of lack of standardization when it came to what one should be earning. Also, production teams mostly comprised young boys, she felt, who learned on the job and while there is nothing wrong with that it usually became an issue and created delays when you had a complete novice coming on set, not knowing what to do.

“And then there is that obvious bias towards a particular look, which they call ‘beauty’,” she pointed out. “So what is happening now is they will give the title or lead role to a pretty looking, white washed girl who may not know how to act to save her life but then they will put up foundation actors around her and the rest of the story to ensure that the serial or the soap is a success.” She admitted that she does not agree with that but she can’t raise a tidal wave of change given that she is relatively new. “But what I can do is to let my thoughts be heard and I’m sure the veterans and those who take acting seriously will agree with me on that.”

As for her future plans, they are as diverse as the looks and characters that she plays on television. “I wish to continue being in the industry and though I’m moving back to America I will keep on travelling for projects that are lucrative for me and when I say lucrative I mean they are challenging for me as an actor and they convey a social message. Besides that I might try my hand at direction,” Ansari informed on a parting note.