Entertainment industries around the world have their share of cliques and camps. And the Pakistani drama industry is not any different. While not rampant to a notorious extent, there is no denying that many of our dramas tend to have a team that is often repeated.
Over time it has become quite noticeable how certain directors tend to repeat actors in their projects. Sure, Nadeem Baig will more often than not have Humayun Saeed as the leading man of his project but that’s not the only case. There are other directors for television who have a set of favorite actors that they like working with.
Here are some of the major Pakistani drama directors and their favorite actors that they like to work with the most.
Directors and Actors
Farooq Rind and his clique
Notable for his works that include Pyar Ke Sadqay, Baaghi and Besharam, Farooq Rind’s clique consists of actors Zahid Ahmed (Jugnoo, Pukar, Ishq Zahe Naseeb), Yumna Zaidi (Jugnoo, Pukar, Ishq Zahe Naseeb, Pyar Ke Sadqay), and Saba Qamar (Besharam, Baaghi) who often play the main leads in his dramas.
Apart from the main leads, Farooq’s clique also consists of supporting actors Malik Raza (Besharam, Jugnoo, Pyar Kay Sadqay), Saba Faisal (Baaghi, Pukaar), Ismat Zaidi (Jugnoo, Ishq Zahenaseeb), Khalid Malik (Baaghi, Laa, Ishq Zahe Naseeb) and Rehan Sheikh (Pukaar, Besharam, Laa, Jugnoo).
Kashif Nisar is another prominent name in the Pakistani drama industry. Often playing the main leads in his dramas are actors Naumaan Ijaz (Kami Reh Gayee, Ullu Baraye Farokht Nahi, Dumpukht, Pinjra, O Rangreza and Dar Si Jati Hai Sila, Saat Mulaqatein, Bay Emaan Muhabbat upcoming web series Mann Jogi and drama Raqeeb Se), Saba Qamar (Sannata, Ullu Baraye Farokht Nahi, Sangat, Bay Emaan Muhabbat Mann Jogi), Yumna Zaidi (Ullu Baraye Farokht Nahi, Pinjra, Dar Si Jati Hai Sila, Inkaar), Iqra Aziz (Ranjha Ranjha Kardi, Raqeeb Se) and Imran Ashraf (Lashkaara, Inkaar, Ranjha Ranjha Kardi).
His supporting cast includes Kiran Haq (Sangat, Pinjra, Dar Si Jaati Hai Sila), Faiza Gillani (Intezaar, Pinjra, Mann Jogi), Munazzah Arif (Inkaar, Dar Si Jati Hai Sila, Ranjha Ranjha Kardi), Omair Rana (Ullu Baraye Farokht Nahi, O Rangreza) Noor ul Hassan (Darr Si Jaati Hai Sila, Ranjha Ranjha Kardi, Inkaar), Kinza Malik (Darr Si Jaati Hai Sila, Inkaar), Uzma Hassan (Mann Jogi, Bay Emaan Muhabbat, Ullu Baraye Farokht Nahi).
Known for his work mostly on Geo Entertainment, Anjum Shahzad’s clique consists of actors Sana Javed (Darr Khuda Say, Khaani, Romeo Weds Heer) and Feroze Khan (Khaani, Romeo Weds Heer). Saman Ansari also starred in Khaani and Romeo Weds Heer in a supporting role.
Badar Mehmood and his clique
Badar Mehmood has only made a handful of dramas so far, but after he directed Aisi Hai Tanhai, he became one of the most sought-after directors on TV. His next three dramas Balaa, Cheekh and Ishqiya were quite popular during the time they went on air. His clique consists of Bilal Abbas Khan (Balaa, Cheekh, and upcoming Dunk) and Azekeh Daniel, who surprisingly, starred in all three dramas Bilal starred in.
It is not just the actors that the directors are fond of working with. Some directors also have favorite writers whose stories they tend to direct for screen more than others.
Saji Gul and Kashif Nisar
Director Kashif Nisar not only has a camp that consists of his favorite actors but writers too. That is precisely why he keeps collaborating with one of his favorite writers, Saji Gul, time and again. The director-writer duo first worked together on the drama Sannata. Then they delivered the super hit O Rangreza. The duo will be back with yet another project, this time a web series, Mann Jogi, set to air on Zee5.
Faiza Iftikhar and Kashif Nisar
Faiza Iftikhar is known for writing brilliant and complex female characters. She wrote two dramas that Kashif directed, Pinjra and Ranjha Ranjha Kardi. Both dramas received unanimous appreciation for having distinct storylines.
Bee Gul and Kashif Nisar
It was only ten years ago when Bee Gul started her writing career when she first wrote the drama Kaun Qamar Aara. But since then, she has become a household name in the Pakistani drama industry. She wrote Dar Si Jaati Hai Sila, which handled the sensitive topic of sexual abuse in a great manner. The drama was directed by Kashif Nisar. Both of them will reunite once again for the upcoming Raqeeb Se.
Badar Mehmood and Zanjabeel Asim Shah
Director Badar Mehmood and writer Zanjabeel Asim Shah have worked together on two dramas as of now: Balaa and Cheekh. Although both dramas had a brilliant start, the audience complained that they stopped making sense somewhere in the middle.
Having cliques in an industry may not necessarily be a bad thing, but when well-established channels, writers, and directors choose to work with the same actors, again and again, other talented actors have no choice but to work on average scripts. While this might not seem like a huge problem now, in the near future it could negatively affect the kind of talent that is promoted in the industry.