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'I have stopped making public appearances in Pakistan'

Last updated on: August 13, 2012 15:26 IST

'I have stopped making public appearances in Pakistan'

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Rajul Hegde in Mumbai

Pakistani actress Saeeda Imtiyaz, who makes her film debut with a biopic film titled Kaptaan on former Pakistani cricketer and politician Imran Khan, is all set for her dream run in Bollywood.

The starlet plays Jemima Khan, Khan's British ex-wife, in the film.

She talks to Rajul Hegde about her experience of working in a Pakistani film and her Bollywood aspirations.


Image: Saeeda Imtiyaz


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'I watched Jemima Khan's interviews to prepare for the role'

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Born to Pakistani-Kashmiri parents in Dubai, Saeeda is one of nine siblings and was raised in New York.

Ask her if the film's story will harm Imran Khan's reputation in any way and she clarifies, "Imran Khan is aware of the film. The makers took his permission and discussed the story with him. He's comfortable with it. Jemima Khan had tweeted that she and their children are equally excited and eagerly waiting to watch the film."

So did she meet Jemima to prepare for the role?

"No I haven't met her but I watched her online interviews to prepare for the role. It was challenging but fun. I had a complete makeover with a new haircut," she says.


Image: Saeeda Imtiyaz


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'I want to be a versatlie actress'

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The actress, who has done over a hundred advertisements, is currently in India on a tourist visa to try her luck in Bollywood. 

When told that many Pakistani actresses and models are currently trying to make it big in Bollywod, she says confidently, "It all depends on which banner; director or script you work with and how passionate you are about the work."

She adds, "I want to be known as a versatile actress and hope my portrayal of Jemima Khan will establish as much."


Image: Saeeda Imtiyaz


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'I was reluctant about doing a Pakistani film initially'

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Talking about her role in Kaptaan, Imtiyaz says "I could relate to my character because I grew up outside Pakistan, like Jemima, and had to adjust myself to a new culture when I came to the country, much like she must have had to adapt to a when she married Imran Khan and moved to Pakistan."

It wasn't all smooth seas for the actress.

She reveals, "I was reluctant about doing a Pakistani film initially. I wasn't sure about how it would shape up when the director approached me through a mutual friend. But my friend suggested that I listen to the script at least."


Image: Saeeda Imtiyaz


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'I will wear a bikini with a sarong'

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So is she comfortable wearing a bikini? "I am not but will wear a bikini with a sarong," she admits.

Among Bollywood actors, the starlet counts Salman Khan and Abhishek Bachchan as her favourites, "for both looks and their acting skills," she adds with a smile. 

She also confirms reports of death threats that the Kaptaan team has been receiving.

"Yes. We've been getting messages that have told us to discontinue the project or else they'll harm the entire team, including Imran Khan. I have stopped making public appearances in Pakistan," she informs.

Kaptaan is expected to release later this year. 


Image: Saeeda Imtiyaz


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