Celebrated Pakistani actor Nauman Ijaz, who played the male protagonist in the latest released web series ‘Mrs and Mr Shameem’, says that it was a big responsibility for him to sensitively portray an effeminate man in a south Asian story.
Starting his career in 1988, he says that in the last 30 years he looked for an opportunity as an artiste to play a character like that because he has observed the unfair treatment an effeminate men receive from their family and society.
Nauman said: “It is interesting how the topic is as fresh as it was 30 years ago. But the good thing is, we are making a 20 episode web series like ‘Mrs and Mr Shameem’ on this.”
“Earlier it was unimaginable. Having said that, the majority of our population in south-asian society, men are dealing with toxic masculinity. If you are effeminate, no matter how talented, sincere and responsible you are as a human being, your achievement will never be celebrated in the usual manner. Your body language becomes your only identity.”
The actor pointed out that in a modern world even though the elite society somewhere started accepting people with differences, the majority of the population who are living in middle-class society, find it hard to accept.
“As an actor, I feel the responsibility of at least starting the conversation on this matter. I genuinely believe that our action speaks louder on the kind of man we are which has nothing to do with body language. If you take responsibility, be respectful and compassionate to other human beings and especially to women, that makes you a real man. Funny, that people say it more often than practice them,” said Nauman.
The story of the show revolves around two friends Shameem and Umaina.
While Shameem is a tender man, Umaina is an alpha female who falls in love with a man and eventually became the victim of domestic violence. Shameem who never got any romantic attention from Umaina but always loved her, comes to rescue her and another story of love starts from there.
Directed by Kashif Nisar, written by Sajjad Gul, the Zindagi original show – also featuring Saba Qamar, Gul E Rana, Faiza Gillani, Amna Malik – streaming on Zee5.