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Saqib Saleem on Unpaused Naya Safar: Got to Show a Side of My Skill Set That I Hadn’t Shown Before

After Unpaused’s success in 2020, the series is back with its sequel, Unpaused: Naya Safar, which will tell us five unique stories revolving around the pandemic. The recently released trailer gives us a glimpse of those stories and the several characters whose lives take an unexpected turn owing to coronavirus. Before the trailer release, News18.com caught up with actor Saqib Saleem, who is playing a thief in one of the five shorts. Describing his character, the ’83’ actor told us that his role had something different “in terms of what has been offered to me before,” which made him say yes to it.

He said, “It was a very well written script, and I had a very interesting character to play, a character that had something different in terms of what has been offered to me before. It was a very raw rustic role. I’m a guy who is a 33-year-old thief from UP. He does these odd jobs to make money and gets stuck in the lockdown. And there are certain tracks happening in his life about his wife being pregnant and him having to get back to her but he gets stuck in a godown where he has the loot.”

“So, it was a character with multiple layers and a lot of shades. And I just got to show a side of my skill set that I hadn’t shown before. For me, as an actor, that was very important.”

The actor adds that the pandemic has taught him to be more patient. “I think that’s been the learning from COVID that more than anything else, you have to be patient. As an actor, you anyway have to be very patient. Because you wait on a set far more than you actually act on a set. And with COVID, you had to wait a lot more to get back on the sets. This whole process made me a lot easier with myself than I was before.”

Saleem is associated with several popular movies like Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge, Mere Dad Ki Maruti, Race 3 and the most recent 83. However, he says that when he had first entered the industry, he had no idea about what to do and would have been happy doing a couple of TV shows and advertisements. He said, to survive here as an outsider, he had to ‘wake up every day and work.’

“I don’t know if you are from the industry or not, everybody has to do the same thing. I think I’ve had a beautiful journey where I have learned a lot as an actor. I came here as a 21-year-old boy who had no idea how the film industry works or what films one should do. I would have been happy doing a TV serial or even two-three ads and going back to Delhi. I was not very ambitious and this city, this industry gave me that ambition. Going forward, I want to continue the quality work that I came here to do,” he expressed.

On being asked whether having a family member in the industry helped to some extent, he agreed. For the unversed, Saleem is the brother of the Gangs of Wasseypur actress Huma Qureshi.

“It is nice to have family in the same profession because you can talk about your feelings, about how you want to approach something, your insecurities, and everything else. And it really helps in having a person who understands what you’re going through,” he concluded.

Saqib Saleem’s segment in Unpaused: Naya Safar is titled Teen Tigada and is directed by Ruchir Arun. It also stars starring Ashish Verma and Sam Mohan alongside Saleem. The series will drop on Prime Videos on January 21.

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