2021 saw some new faces and emerging talent in Pakistani drama industry. In this list, we will see some debutants in the order in which I saw them.
1. Arsalan Naseer in Chupke Chupke
I have been a fan of Arsalan Naseer for ages, and I have been watching his content ever since he did a parody of Mere Paas Tum Ho (you should check it out). It was on his channel that I heard of Chupke Chupke. For a debutant, he has done well to portray a loving brother and a confused lover boy Haadi. He then appeared in a telefilm Hona Thha Pyaar opposite Sanam Jung. In some places, he lacks range to express his emotions, and I have noted in my review of the telefilm. But he is a charmer, and his was definitely a promosing debut.
2. Aiman Saleem as Rameesha aka Mishi in Chupke Chupke
Aiman played in Chupke Chupke. She loved Haadi
3. Daniyal Zafar as Zain in Taana Baana
He played Zain in raana baana. He is famous singer composer Ali Zafar’s younger brother, and I best remember his as the “Muntazir” guy. That Coke Studio song is one of my favourites. He marked his acting debut in Ramzan special drama and impressed the viewers.
I also liked his song “Tu Mud ke na jaa we hun sajna”, and his little act as a news reader.
4. Adeel Afzal in Parizaad as Ahmad Nasaaz
Adeel Afzal played Parizaad’s friend, his first ever genuine friend who doesn’t see his colour but sees him as a person. Ahmad Nasaaz was instrumental in shaping up Parizaad to be who he is today.
5. Khushhal Khan in Bebasi and Qissa Meherbano Ka
Khushhal Khan is one of the debutants of 2021. He has been modeling for quite some time now, and Qissa Mehrbano Ka is his first foray into the acting world.
This good looking young chap was first scene in Qissa Mehrbano Ka as Ayaz, the estranged nephew of the titular character. His scenes are few and far between, but every time he is on screen, he makes his presence felt.
Next, we saw him in Aik Hai Nigaar as Nigaar’s brother Shahid. He had only a couple of scenes, but he has won our heart when he breaks down after losing his family.
In Bebasi, he is one of the leads. He plays Sahir, a young man helpless in love and a keen observer of people around him.
Khushhal is one of the most remarkable debuts of 2021
6. Azan Sami Khan in Ishq-e-Laa*
Ishq-e-Laa not only brings two powerhouse performers Yumna Zaidi and Sajal Ali together, but it also marks the debut of singer composer Azan Khan. Azan as hot shot businessman Azlan does a remarkable job of being an arrogant snob and a romanctic at heart.
7. Maheen Siddiqui as Minal in Dobara
Maheen plays Minal, the only person who can empathize with Mehrunnisa after Hidayat Ullah’s death. Minal is a breath of fresh air who is loving, caring and understanding her mother.
8. Meerub Ali as Gul in Sinf-e-Aahan
Shaista Khanzada is a rebel who wants to join army… And every rebel needs some support. Gul Khanzada is that pillar of support. She is smart and can think of best solutions for a situation. She promised her mother that Shaista would engage to Kamil if she is allowed to appear for ISSB test. She also asks Kamil to take Shaista to Gujranwala for ISSB test. We all need such supporting family members. Meerub Ali holds her ground in frame with a powerhouse performer like Yumna. I like these sisters. Meerub is one of the most promising debuts of this year.
9. Dananeer Mobeen Syeda Sidra Batool in Sinf-e-Aahan
Apart from the five leads of the new ARY series Sinf-e-Aahan, there are other important and interesting characters, too. Syeda Sidra Batool is one such character. She takes a scarf, and is obsessively into totka and wazeefa. It is painfully hilarious. Her character will leave you in splits every time she’s on the screen, and credit goes to her performance.
Dananeer became a sensation after her “pawri ho ri hai” video. And that same fame has gotten her this role. She’s effortlessly charming in front of the camera, and a very sorted and well-spoken person in real life. I am looking forward to seeing her more often in dramas.
10. Taashi in Sinf-e-Aahan
Do you agree with my picks? Did I miss anyone who debuted in 2021? Who is your favourite performer of this year?