Exclusive! Saqib Saleem On Working With 2 National Award-Winning Directors Back-To-Back: 'I Don’t Want To Be The Smartest Person In The Room'

Exclusive! Saqib Saleem On Working With 2 National Award-Winning Directors Back-To-Back: 'I Don’t Want To Be The Smartest Person In The Room'

Akash Bhatnagar

Saqib Saleem is one such actor who has surely risen through the ranks to establish himself as a leading name in the Hindi film industry today. From doing comedies like Mere Dad Ki Maruti to dramas like ’83, the actor has surely left me impressed in all his avatars. I have admired how easily he adapts into his characters and makes you believe that he is that character himself. The actor ended 2021 on a high with ’83 and started this year with Unpaused Naya Safar that has been receiving good reviews for his performance.

Talking about the success, Saqib says,

“2022 has indeed started on a good note and the last year ended on a good note as well. It’s gotten me to push my boundaries as an actor, try something new that I haven’t. I have told myself in the last two-three years that that’s what I am going to do as an actor, push myself and try and do characters that bring out something new every time I come on screen.”

Co-incidentally, the director of ’83, Kabir Khan, is a National Award-winning filmmaker and so is Saqib’s director of Unpaused, Ruchir Arun. Mention to the actor how he has moved from one National Award-winning director to another, he gets excited.

He shares,

“I feel blessed that I am getting to work with all these talented people. I always believe that I want to work with people who are far smarter and far more talented than I am. I don’t want to be the smartest person in the room, that’s not who I am. I want to learn from people and both these directors are such unassuming personalities. It was during the shoot of the film that I got to know about Ruchir’s National Award win and he underplayed it so much. Nowadays, when people flaunt their smallest awards on social media, here are these people who have got the biggest honour in the country and they have already moved on. You learn so much from such people as they teach you about living in the present and not in the past.”

But having such an esteemed and recognized maker behind your project, does that increase his confidence in the project that he is doing?

Saqib responds,

“Awards are great but I feel better when I am surprised by my director’s work. And if a filmmaker does that, there is no bigger award than that.”

Since Unpaused is a story based on lockdown, as I ask Saqib if hypothetically the lockdown is enforced again tomorrow, who would he like to be locked up with, he has an endearing answer.

He replies,

“My boys from ’83. We’ll have a great time.”

It’s great to see how far Saqib has come ever since his debut and I feel mightily impressed with his choice of work in recent years. With two such great performances back-to-back, Saqib has increased my expectations from him and I am sure he will live up to them in future as well.