Pakistani actress Saba Qamar received much flak a while ago, after a video emerged of her mocking Bollywood actors like Salman Khan, Emraan Hashmi, Hrithik Roshan and Riteish Deshmukh. With her Bollywood debut opposite Irrfan Khan in Hindi Medium around the corner, the actress issued a clarification saying it was all in jest. However, she won’t be touring India for the film’s promotions, given the state of affairs between the two countries.
Saba wasn’t always part of the plan though. Says director Saket Chaudhary, “Once we cast Irrfan, we were looking for the female lead. It wasn’t like that we jumped to Saba as a default option. We had considered other actresses here, but there were issues. When I approached actresses for Shaadi Ke Side Effects, it was a struggle for us to find someone who was willing to play a mother on screen. So I knew it that there was an issue already here. We tried to think of whom we could cast and that’s when I saw Saba in a couple of Pakistani television shows. I knew she would fit the bill of a next-door Punjabi girl and decided to take her on board. The equation between the countries was much better back then.”