Half Hour With Mirza Zain Baig

A get-to-know conversation with the handsome and delightful actor Zain Baig.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up?
Born, brought up, schooling and college in Karachi, until I went to London for three years to do Chartered Accountancy. I returned to work for KPMG. I am a sports enthusiast, love cricket and football — love listening to music and spending time alone.

You started off your career as a model and later joined the acting field. How did this happen?
I started off as a model with some gigs in London and then encouraged by my friend couturier Umar Sayeed, who said I should also try acting! I was working for KPMG and was also a brand ambassador for his brand. Then Nadeem Baig made the drama Dil Lagi happen and there was no looking back.

Did acting seem like a realistic career choice? Were you supported in your decision?
It just kind of happened to me and I was supported by everyone from my family to friends. However, this is a career one should not completely rely on; there must always be a backup plan —focus on your education especially and earn a degree, as I was always advised to do by my parents. Don’t completely make this your only career choice to avoid any problems in the future.

There is this common notion that models can’t act. What do you have to say about that?
There are countless mainstream actors/actresses around the globe who started off as models and then became very successful actors. These are two very different professions but, I feel both come under the realm of performance art.

Your choice of roles so far has been pretty interesting. Which character is your favourite?
Every character that I have played is my favourite as I did them with all my heart — Faizi in Mera Rab Waaris, Balaaj in Mala-e-Yaar I worked hard on. I studied the character of a feudal landowner closely and added my own lines like ‘fullstop’ and ‘sadqay’ to the script which was all great fun.

Who has been your favourite co-star to work with so far?
Naming just one is very difficult, so, to name a few; Yumna Zaidi, Sanam Chaudhry, Sarwat Gilani, Azekah Daniel and Abid Ali Sahab — I got to learn a lot from each one of them and it was a lot of fun.

You are getting a lot of praises for your portrayal of Balaaj in Malal-e-Yaar. How does that feel?
I am very honoured. It feels one’s hard work has paid off. However, I am finding it hard to get rid of the accent that I did — I took it that seriously! (Laughs)

Is there a specific character you’d love to play on-screen? Any role that you wish you had done?
Honestly, I have never really followed Pakistani dramas or movies since I was always busy in studies or sports. I love Tom Hanks’ work; love Forrest Gump from the movie Forrest Gump and Chuck Noland from Castaway. We hope Pakistani cinema will be able to make movies like these soon and we get the opportunity to play such of roles. There are such great actors in the world as rolemodels: Al Pacino in The Godfather or the character he played in Scarface, Tony Montana — what an example!

Any plans for silver screen?
Sure, why not? But I have not yet been offered a good script yet!

Favourite actor of all-time?
Tom Hanks, Al Pacino, and of course, the Top Gun guy, Tom Cruise.

Three movies you loved since you were young?
The Godfather series, Castaway, Titanic and the one I just can’t forget is the movie series of Rocky.

Your biggest support?
My parents and my friend Umar Sayeed.

Three most appealing qualities in a woman?
Smart, honesty and knowing how to carry herself .

2019 has been…?
An awesome year. It really treated me well by God’s grace.

Your New Year’s resolution?
I just want to be happy and want to plan a great vacation in 2020.

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