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Samina Peerzada on her shows, acting and Indian audiences

PROBABLY an unknown name here in India, Samina Peerzada has been labelled Pakistan’s Shabana Azmi by the Indian media and Pakistan’s Amitabh Bachchan by Pakistani journalists.

An accomplished actor, ex-model, theatre personality and television star in neighbouring Pakistan, Indian audiences will now see her on Zee Zindagi on two shows: Zindagi Gulzar Hai (8 pm daily) and Noorpur Ki Rani (8.55 pm daily, starting July 13). In Zindagi Gulzar Hai, she plays a gentle, forgiving woman, which she says is the exact opposite of her role in Noorpur Ki Rani, based on the novel Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. “In the second show, I play a scheming woman who makes her way through life playing games and manipulating people,” she tells us.

Talking shop
And how much of a challenge is it to portray two characters that are as different as chalk and cheese? “As an actor, you have to dig deep and play your role by banking on your personal experiences, observations and sometimes your imagination. That’s the only way to play so many different roles,” she explains, adding, “Most often it works but sometimes it backfires. Thankfully, my audiences back in Pakistan have always been supportive. I am hoping to get the same support from India.”

Having been exposed to Indian films back home, Peerzada always hoped that Pakistani shows and films would be screened in India too and is thrilled that Zee Zindagi is at least making a start. “It’s really exciting for us because it’s another audience bank. As artistes, we put our hearts into what we do,” she concludes.

—Rashmi Rajagopal

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