An interview with star actress from Pakistan, Samiya Mumtaz on her experience acting in The Road to Paradise:
You’ve now been working as an actress both in Canada and Pakistan. What are the biggest differences between the two industries?
There are so many differences… They keep hitting me every day. We, in Pakistan, work in a very informal environment, especially in theatre. They don’t pay as much, so there is this sense of volunteerism in our work, which doesn’t happen with the theatre I’ve done here in Canada. I’ve found it very professional. Everything is very organized – time, expectations of actors, design, directing, everything is much more methodical. At home, I doubt there is a method (laughs). It’s being thrown together pretty much, so it has a different spirit to it.
Working on The Road to Paradise, what is your process like?
This show doesn’t have a script that has been formulated and given to me – I feel I’ve been part of it since it was first being made, when the team was still collecting information. For the Pakistan section of the play, I was involved in going to interview the various people who are now characters in the script. So I feel like I’ve been very much a part of this whole process.
About Samiya Mumtaz:
A celebrated stage and screen star in her native Pakistan, Samiya Mumtaz has been active in theatre for over 20 years. She later started working for television and later, for films as well. Her feature films Zinda Bhaag, Dukhtar, and Moor have been Pakistan’s official entries for the foreign language Oscar in their respective years. Dukhtar premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in the Discovery program in 2014. Mumtaz has performed in India, the US, Canada and Bangladesh, apart from her native Pakistan.