Nadia Afgan became dear to us when she appeared in Jawad Ahmad’s popular music video O Kayndi Aye Sayyan Mein Teri Aan. She then continued to make us laugh for many years by doing numerous sitcoms such as Shashlik, Hoo Bahoo, Beauty Parlour, Butt Palace, Naak Mein Dum, Qubool Hai and Black and White. This actress who would usually be seen in sitcoms introduced us to a different side of hers when she performed as a wicked wife in Shehr-e-Zaat, an orphaned nurse in Sammi, a religious extremist in Faltu Larki and a helpless prostitute in the film Manto. Nadia Afgan has also exhibited fluency at speaking Punjabi language through various projects such as the tragi-comedy Bilqees Kaur and the romantic comedies Larka Karachi Ka Kurri Lahore Di and Suno Chanda. She has also proven herself as a fine director with the beautiful drama serial Sham Dhalay to her name, and also Yassu Panju Haar, Dosti Aisa Naata, Bhatti Ki Buss Ho Gayi and the telefilm Aap Jaisa Koi. I asked Nadia Afgan a few questions, which are as follows along with their answers:
You have acted in classical sitcoms of Pakistan. What was the element which made them memorable?
Those were good days. Many talented people who were equally hardworking started their careers from these sitcoms. A lot of good scripts were written and all of us worked together honestly like a family.
How do you find modern Pakistani sitcoms?
They are not upto the mark. They are based on bad scripts and incorporate bad humour. Also, the actors do not perform well.
Is it a coincidence that you have been playing one Punjabi character after another lately?
I have no idea. The two serials I did were back to back so I guess it is a coincidence. Plus, I am good at speaking Punjabi.
Do stories like Sannata and Shehr-e-Zaat affect you personally?
No, they do not. They are stories and I just play the characters.
When actors move towards direction, is it necessarily because of their dissatisfaction with the work being done?
I do not know about others but I always wanted to direct. If given a choice, I would pick direction over acting any day.
When you direct, what objectives do you have in mind?
I want my scenes to be perfect. I want the actors to give the perfect take. I believe in rehearsals and hard-work. When I read a script, I form a storyboard in my head and then I try my best to shoot it that way.
Do you miss the chemistry among Nadia Afgan , Mandana Zaidi, Sarmad Khoosat, Omair Rana, Ali Tahir, Wajeeha Tahir and Jawad Bashir?
Yes, I miss those days and that bond. However, I have not worked a lot with Ali Tahir and Omair Rana. I do not think Omair was even there in those days.
What do you remember about your telefilm Mujhe Ghar Chahiye?
I remember that we shot in very bad conditions. It was hot and humid and we were shooting in the slums. But the script was great and my friend Saleem Sheikh was also in the cast. He is a wonderful actor and it is always great working with him. The telefilm won an award as well.
Tell us about your upcoming projects, both related to acting and direction.
I have no acting project in the pipeline. My upcoming directorial project is Parlour Wali Larki, soon to be released on BOL Entertainment. Its OST titled Bol Kaffara has become very popular.
While many still remember Nadia Afgan as the ‘Mishi’ of Shashlik and hold the character very dear to themselves, Nadia is bent upon exploring new avenues by doing intense roles and by stepping into the field of direction. We wish her the best of luck for her upcoming projects.