EXCLUSIVE: Barzakh is not a regular family drama, says Pakistani actress Sanam Saeed as she reunites with Zindagi Gulzar Hai co-star Fawad Khan after 12 years

Pakistani actors Sanam Saeed and Fawad Khan have joined forces for director Asim Abbasi’s Barzakh, which will release on ZEE5 Global on July 19. The 6-episode series blends in magic realism with supernatural fantasy in a family reunion setting and is set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Hunza Valley.

Connected to India sat down with Sanam for an exclusive interview encompassing her new series, her camaraderie with co-star Fawad Khan and acting. While the trailer was dropped by the makers earlier this week, it is enshrouded with mystery, giving away very little of the plot.

Naturally, CtoI asked Sanam to decode Scheherezade, her character from the series. “Barzakh deals with two dimensions. One, Earth and life on Earth, and a parallel, not a universe, but a parallel dimension. My character is from both dimensions,” she says.

She is one character who’s from both places. She can connect the dots and pass on messages from both dimensions. To simplify Scheherezade, she’s the glue, she’s the one who brings everyone together, makes sure everyone is happy, makes sure everyone’s problems are solved. So, she’s the peacemaker, the communicator, the messenger and the glue,” Sanam adds.

Barzakh has been hailed as an experimental project by Fawad Khan, one of the leads in the series. Echoing her co-star, the 39-year-old actress says, “It is an experimental project, in terms of it’s not a regular family drama. It is a family drama but done with a different take. It’s not one dimensional. The track goes here and there, but eventually it all comes together.”

Sanam says she was looking for something that would challenge her, break the norms and push boundaries. “Barzakh is definitely something that none of us have done before. It was a challenge for us, interesting for us, and we were all nervous about how it was going to be received, but because the themes are so universal — family, love, loss, death — that I think that the connection will be made,” Sanam says.

Fawad and Sanam have previously worked together in the critically acclaimed Zindagi Gulzar Hai. The pair made a comeback after 12 years. Asked about her co-star, she described him as a ‘gentleman’. “He’s very respectful of his co-stars, of the team, of the environment,” she says.

She also used words like humble, quiet, reserved and professional to describe Fawad. “As an actor, he’s very focused on his craft. He likes to try things new, he likes to change things up for himself,” she adds, “And as co-actors, whatever force Fawad gives, the co-actor gives it back, and whatever force the co-actor gives, Fawad gives it back. So, that makes it a really easy actor to work with.”

Sanam also highlighted one aspect that makes Fawad popular amongst fans. “He’s also very good with the gaze. That’s what you all have fallen in love with.”

However, Sanam says her co-actor remodelled himself for his role in Barzakh, which was heartening for her to witness.

Watch the full conversation below.