Manzar Sehbai flanked by his BOL costars Mahira Khan and Atif Aslam, at the film's premiere in June 2011
Image Credit:

Manzar Sehbai, who played the iconic Hakeem Shafa’atullah in director Shoaib Mansoor’s gritty take on many a social ills, Bol (2011), is coming back to screens, albeit on television. The award-winning thespian spoke briefly with Gulf News tabloid! over the phone from Nathiagali, Murree, where he is currently shooting “my first TV serial ever,” titled Alif.

He explained how Haseeb Hassan, the director of the serial, had chased him for a long time: “He’s a very sweet guy, and has been pressing me to take up the part. I had no option but to agree to [do] it.”

Sehbai added that he is “not a TV actor.”

It may be mentioned here that Sehbai earlier appeared in a TV adaptation of Saadat Hassan Manto’s short story, Toba Tek Singh. The play was an experimental production, and recorded in black and white. Alif is technically Sehbai’s second play, but his first serial.

Alif is already in the news for a number of reasons: firstly, it marks the scripting return of noted novelist turned playwright Umera Ahmad; and secondly, because of its ensemble cast that includes Hamza Ali Abbasi, Sajal Aly, and Kubra Khan. The mega serial is a Samina Humayun Saeed production.