Saba Faisal: “The industry has become more ageist towards actors”

Saba Faisal discussed the issue of ageism in the entertainment industry with BBC urdu

Mahnoor Jalal

Mahnoor Jalal


Saba Faisal sat down with BBC Urdu to discuss her acting career and other things. The actor had pointed out the existence of ageism in the entertainment industry- which meant that actors were discriminated on the basis of their age, when she was asked about how the industry had evolved since she had first started her career. Saba had said that actors were more concerned about not appearing old to others than they were in the past:

“Previously, actors could be young and play an old person, or they could have been old people and have elder children- it didn’t matter as long as they had talent and could perform. But now many of the young women I work with are really concerned about their age and don’t like it when they’re called “apa” by others. ”

When questioned on whether the entertainment industry limited roles for women after a certain age, Saba said that it was true but today the industry did not limit women and even roles of mothers in television series had equal importance in the plot as heroes did:

“Yes there is a restriction, but I feel that today our industry offers better opportunities to women. Because when I started my career 20 years ago I was cast in a television series to play Humayun Saeed’s mother. This terrified me and I requested the director Javed Fazil to re-cast me as his sister or sister in law, but he gave me some really good advice. He told me that for the role of a sister-in-law or sister there is no performance margin, and they never have any relevance to the story. But a mother’s role is the central character and is relevant to every show. So I thought about it realized that he was right. Now every role of a mother I do in a series, I make sure that her character is parallel to the show’s hero or villain.”

Saba Faisal further discussed the issue of nepotism in the entertainment industry since her own two children are also working as actors now. But she said that her children did not like to be compared to their mother, and wanted to seek their own recognition in the industry:

“My children are self made and don’t like it when people compare them to me. We were at a show where the host praised me to my daughter, to which she quickly grew annoyed and said that she was aware that I was talented, and wanted to be recognized for her own potential.”

You can watch the complete interview below: