Samina Ahmed and Manzar Sehbai recently graced Vasay Chaudhry’s Gup Shab, wherein upon entering, Sehbai asked for the table kept between his and Ahmed’s seats to be removed, referring to it as a “wall.” Saying that he wanted to be near his wife, he pushed his seat next to his wife’s – a gesture that was received with thunderous applause.
True to his nature, when asked about how he was doing, Sehbai said, “As long as my wife is with me, I am great.” Remarking upon Chaudhry’s declaration of the duo becoming social media’s favourite couple, Sehbai said, “We don’t have a hand in that.” He expressed his gratitude for his fans and followers, alongside their support.
When questioned about whether she had watched Sehbai romance Iman Ali in Bol, Ahmed laughed and praised Sehbai’s acting prowess. “I didn’t know him then, and I was quite taken aback, thinking, ‘Who is this?’ You know how it is, it’s been a while since I’ve worked in television and film, so I do recognise most people. I was surprised. I thought, ‘Who is this person? Where did Shoaib Mansoor find this person? What world is he from?'”
The couple walked the audience through how they met, explaining that they did not know each other from before. While Ahmed did not know about Sehbai, he admitted that he had heard her name and was aware of her work, despite having lived in Germany. The two met coincidentally whilst working on a series called Dhoop Ki Deewar. When Chaudhry claimed that Sehbai now fully knows the stellar actor to whom he is married, Sehbai declined, saying, “It is a process. You find out new things.”
Chaudhry joked about Ahmed’s “dictatorial powers,” asking Sehbai if she’s shown that side to him. “She doesn’t need to show me anything, she just does it,” came the response. However, he added that her speciality is the fact that is mellow-natured. The couple also spoke about their trip to Germany in 2022, where they explored Berlin. To Chaudhry’s surprise, Ahmed revealed that she did not share any highlights from her body of work with Sehbai. “My closeness to her is not due to her work,” shared Sehbai. Ahmed also admitted that she does not watch her husband’s work either.
When asked if she agreed instantly to Sehbai’s proposal, Ahmed said that she took some time. Furthermore, when questioned about the changing tides of time and changes she has witnessed, Ahmed said, “Nothing can remain in a vacuum or stay static. Life has to go on, things have to change. I’ve seen that change, quite a bit of it. But when you ask me about the impact on character selection, I don’t think so. I truly appreciate our actors. They work hard and with dedication.”
Sehbai, when posed with a similar question, simply said, “It’s not my work to comment on other actors. It’s not my problem. Whatever work I do in this profession, I do it for myself. I don’t do it for the director, nor do I do it for the audience. This is mine. It’s my work. I don’t have the audience in mind for which I work. I work for myself. Some like it, some don’t – it’s up to them.”
Chaudhry then asked about how this thought process gelled with that of Mansoor’s, to which Sehbai clarified that they never had differences. “Shoaib Mansoor never obstructed me. I did Bol. I did the character the way I wanted to. Shoaib Mansoor did not obstruct me. Nor did he ever say, ‘Do this, this isn’t right, etc etc.’ Not once did he say anything.” He shed light on how the attitude he had towards a character was dependent on him. Moreover, he emphasised that while this is creative work, one should know what creativity is.
When asked about whether actors had the time to invest in the entire process of jumping into their characters, both Sehbai and Ahmed admitted that there’s rarely enough time. Despite this, Ahmed reiterated, “Whoever is working in this field, I say that against a lot of odds, they work with all their might, integrity, and do all they can, as per my experience.” The debate then continued on the commercial and consumable aspects of projects and narratives.
Sehbai also joked about being well-versed in the language of silence – something he claimed in jest that he picked up after marriage. Moreover, he spoke about his love of the Urdu language. “This Urdu language that I use, it is not mine,” said Sehbai. “Neither is German my language. My mother tongue is Punjabi. We’re Kashmiri. Usually, people use a language. Then, there’s developing a relationship with a language. It’s very necessary. If you wish to create magic and beauty in the usage of a language, then you must develop that relationship.”
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