“I get the best of both worlds and I'm very grateful for that,” Sabeena Syed

  • 28 Mar - 03 Apr, 2020
  • Alina Qamar
  • Interview

Sabeen Syed, the 24-year-old actress has already played significant roles in a lot of dramas but her career has only just begun. She made her big screen debut in the 2018 Pakistani aerial combat-war romantic film Parwaaz Hai Junoon and is known for her supporting role in 2017’s romantic drama Yakeen Ka Safar alongside the most adored celebrity couple Sajal Aly and Ahad Raza Mir. Syed is refreshingly unpretentious when it comes to talking about her craft. Tag along as MAG catches up with the rising starlet in an informal chit chat. Excerpts follow:

Sabeen Syed

Introduce us to Sabeena as never seen before. Who are you when off-the-screen?

Off screen, I'm mostly working on my art and animations. Being a pretty regular girl at university, it's funny how every year there is an influx of students who approach me and get star struck but then they try to get used to the fact that I'm actually one of them. You know, like "Hannah Montana" (hope everyone gets the reference). So, I get the best of both worlds and I'm very grateful for that.

You’ve worked alongside some talented actors of our industry in your debut film Parwaaz Hai Junoon. How was that experience?

I've made lifelong friendships and learnt so much from the brilliant actors on set. I was very lucky I got to meet and work with almost the entire cast including Shaz Khan, Kubra Khan, Faris Shafi, Ahad Raza Mir, Hania Aamir, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Rachel Viccaji, Shafaat Ali, Sikander Vincent Khan, Shamoon Abbasi and Mustafa Changezi. Everyone was brilliant. This definitely became a great kick start for me in the industry.

You became famous in your teens. Is there anything you feel you missed out on?

The carefree naivety that characterises the teens. Discipline and accountability became a part of my life very early on. Teenagers are allowed to make mistakes and learn, a vital part of growing up. Being a public figure and in the industry, you only have consequences. Sometimes a part of me does wish I could have had the fun all my batch mates did. But everyone gets their own storyline and I am happy.

Let’s talk about fashion. Are you a shoe girl or a bag girl?

Shoes. Is there anything else that matters?

What was your first major fashion purchase?

Pastel Pink Pedro Stilettos rocked my Lyceum A-level farewell. That was my ultimate diva moment.

The press spend their careers trying to get their audiences the inside story of celebrities' public and private lives. How do you draw the line between the public and the private Sabeena?

If there is something I've learned it's that there is no point in faking a public image. People can sense when you're being inauthentic and in the end you face consequences. I stay true to myself in both scenarios and so far it’s been working out for me. Being honest and unapologetic about who you are is, well, just less off screen drama.

What is a typical Saturday night for you?

A typical Saturday night for me is watching old Russian movie or Russian sitcom with my younger brother, mom and my dogs chilling in the cosiness of the lounge and enjoying each other's company. Wouldn't trade these nights for anything.

You acted in E Sharp’s music video O Shabana. Is acting in a music video more fun than acting in a drama or movie?

Acting is fun for me, period. There is a difference though, music videos have to have your expressions synced with the beat. The maestro, Salman Noorani actually rehearsed every action with me prior to the shoot of the song. Making everything well timed to the rhythm and the lyrical content.

If you weren't famous, what would you be up to right now?

I think I would be a full time ACF Animal Rescue volunteer and an artist. I would probably have a lot of time to work on being a better person and give back to society.

Who’s your biggest female role model?

I have actually been blessed with the company of empowered women. From my mother to my manager and PR queen Samra Muslim, to my friends with positive Instagram influence such as Kyra Chaudhary. And this is not to mention the empowering female celebrities such as Meesha Shafi, Mahira Khan, Eman Suleman, Rachel Viccaji, to name a few that top my list. I make sure to learn from these women because of how inspirational they are.

If you could trade places with any actress from the past, who would it be?

If I could, it would be Cher. Mostly to witness how women powered through in the male dominated industry of the time.

What is the one message you would give to aspiring actors and actresses?

Grow a thick skin. With this profession you'll be in the limelight, hearing critique from everywhere. Learn to filter it out and stay true to your craft. Never give up on hours and hours of hustling. And stay unique because that is what makes you special.

Lastly, what projects are you currently working on?

Currently, I'm going to be working on the dubbing of Sairoz film, in which I am casted in a supporting role, gearing up for the silver screen once again.