This new breed of actors is talk of the town but before these newcomers can be appreciated wholesomely, they will have to invest in perfecting their craft a bit more meticulously.
A fresh batch of television actors has cropped up and you may not know everything about these newcomers as of now, but if they play their cards right, these are names you’ll be talking about in time to come. This new breed is dynamic, raw and unique and every individual artist has managed to make an impact in at least one project. That said, before they’reappreciated as actors to look out for, it’s important to critique their work subjectively. They may have come a long way but there’s still miles to go…
Srha Asghar, to begin with, has to be one of the most impressive young names in television today. Defying the fact that women actors often get stereotyped after their first popular role, Srha has come a long way since she featured in the massively popular comedy series, Babban Khala Ki Betiyaan. Her character Washma as Abdullah’s (played by Bilal Abbas Khan) sister in Pyaar KeSadqay went against the grain in many ways. She did not play the jealous and spiteful cliche desi sister-in-law but essayed the role of a rather fiery daughter and supportive sister. Washma’s undaunted opinions on men, marriage and skepticism over skewed idealism on romance and marital bliss were received well among all viewers and were exemplary of certain feminist arguments essential for any progressive story to be deemed impactful.
Asghar has featured in Mehreen Jabbar’s Ek Jhooti Love Story in a similar role as a supportive and endearing sister to Bilal Abbas Khan and is currently on air in social drama Aakhir KabTak in a completely different avatar.We’d say she’s playing her cards right.
The gorgeous and more experienced, Rabia Butt - who initially did not receive roles that would allow her to prove her potential - has finally made her mark on screen as the fiery, blunt, wise and street-smart Nargis in Anjum Shehzad’s Pehli Si Mohabbat, which has been scripted poignantly by Faiza Iftikhar. Rabia has made her presence felt with her performance as a woman who comes from the wrong side of the tracks, with the right set of values; her characterdefies stereotypes. Rabia has definitely come a long way since we saw her in Yeh Dil Mera and even Aangan. Her role in PSM has put her on the map; it’s also made that fabulous shade of red lipstick a trademark!
Alizeh Shah, who started out as a child artist but began her professional acting career in 2017, is one movie and a couple of serials old but made a mark as the unconventional army recruitDua in drama serial Ehd-e-Wafa. Since then she’s featured in drama serial Mera Dil Mera Dushman but it was her casting opposite Danyal Zafar in Ramazan serial Taana Baana this year that was highly anticipated. Unfortunately, it was not up to the mark. While her character Zoya potentially had performance margin, Alizeh couldn’t bring nuance to the young and headstrong woman she was portraying. We hope this disinterested performance was a bad phase and Alizeh will pick up from where she left her fans in Ehd e Wafa because she certainly has ‘Superstar’ potential.
Moving on, who can forget Momin Saqib’s viral outburst outside the Lord’s cricket stadium in London, right after Pakistan’s defeat in an international cricket match? But he’s not a social media sensation. This British Pakistani was visiting Pakistan during his winter break when he was offered a film, the shooting of which got disrupted due to the onset of the pandemic. Saqib has since then managed to overcome his viral introduction. He made a serious debut in drama serial Be Adab, followed by a stronger performance in drama serial Raqs-e-Bismil as Isa, the doting younger brother in a conservative Peer Gharana. This Eid Momin featured as lead in a romantic comedy telefilm titled DilKe Chor. His performance in Raqs-e-Bismil is so far his strongest and there is definitely room for improvement but Momin is nevertheless a young actor with good potential.
Youngest in this group, Aadi Khan won hearts as aspiring cricketer Kaddu (Waleed) in drama serial Chupke Chupke. Aadi has previously appeared in several drama serials opposite established artists, in particular Nibah starring Asif Raza Mir, Sawera Nadeem and Aamina Sheikh in the lead. His role in Chupke Chupke was well received, with fans of the drama appreciating his boyish good looks and cute characterization. As a young 19 year old with over 200 commercials under his belt, Aadi is definitely a new kid to look out for but he needs to work on his craft in order to pick up critical appreciation. Aadi claims he has no prior training or on-stage experience and that he does not read his scripts before signing his projects. But he could definitely benefit from some intense training in theatre and vocal Urdu diction if he aims to make television a full-time career.
It is not enough to just possess great looks to make it big in the entertainment industry. Just like classical musicians and instrumentalists or theatre actors invest in rehearsing and training, new TV actors also need to invest in workshops, rehearsals, script analysis, dramatic readings and character development, which will enable them to hone their craft. Good looks and sleek figures will only get performers to a certain point after which newcomers begin to get stereotyped, typecast as well as feel and sound the same. The mark of a brilliant actor is to possess the ability to shed old skin and recreate new onscreen personas. One hopes that these young guns will find the time for this investment.
– Afreen is a creative writer and a Digital Media professional with special interests in Film, TV and pop culture. She can be reached at