Manzar Sehbai – an actor par excellence | Pakistan Today

Manzar Sehbai – an actor par excellence

On the eve of the premiere of ‘Bol’, most people, including journalists, critics and artistes, anxiously awaited meeting a new artist who has earned laurels for his performance in the movie.
Manzar Sehbai, the brother of writer and director Sarmad Sehbai, had been living in Germany for the past 35 years, and was in town for only two days in connection with the premiere. Born in Sialkot in 1950, Sehbai later shifted to Lahore with his family. After basic education, he received his Master’s degree in English from the Government College.
His acting skills were polished at college during his involvement with Shoaib Hashmi, Usman Peerzada, Salman Shahid, Shaharyar, Imran Aslam and many others. During 1969 and 1975, he worked in plays and telefilms. He played the leading role in the play ‘Paani Ke Qaidi’ that was directed by Yawar Hayat and written by Intizar Hussain.
He also performed in ‘Kee Janaan Main Kaun’, written by Sarmad Sehbai and directed by Shahid Mahmood Nadeem. After a gap of three decades, he was seen in the lead role in a long play ‘Toba Tek Singh’, based on Manto’s short story with the same title. It was shot in Lahore in 2005, and he had specially arrived from Germany to act in the play.
Talking about ‘Bol’, he said, “When Shoaib Mansoor was looking for someone who could play the role of Hakeem, he had indirectly learnt about my performance in ‘Toba Tek Singh’. He contacted my brother Sarmad in Lahore, got the compact disc of that drama and, after watching the play, offered me a role in the movie. After a few discussions and meetings, I decided to do the film and came to Lahore from Germany for this very purpose.”
Sehbai categorically denied the charges that Mansoor’s latest venture presents a controversial and premature subject in regard to the present socio-religious culture of our society. He said, “There are chances of confusion and misunderstandings, but I think these are very rare in the present era when people are no more stupid or too simple to face such stark realities. Our society has matured enough to admire these types of films.”
He seemed joyful to be a part of the project that provided him with a chance to work with friendly and loving people. “When I came to Lahore and met Shoaib, I felt very happy and the bond between us got stronger in a very short span of time. During this project, I met and enjoyed cordial relations with talented, beautiful and friendly people who have made this experience a memorable one for me.”
He openly expressed that he does not believe in a character’s role being minor or supporting or major. “Every character is important for the actor and he must do his best to infuse a spirit of reality into his role. Before signing a role, an artiste must understand the very spirit of his character and he must be committed to do justice to his work,” he added.
Apart from a striking topic and a strong storyline, ‘Bol’ would also be remembered for the marvelous performance by Sehbai. The seasoned actor would most probably be back in Germany by the time these words are printed, but the Pakistani youth would definitely remember this artiste with pride.


  1. sameen khan said:

    Watched Bol and Manzar Sehbai for the first time. He is a superb actor and his powerful acting is the highlight of the film. Hope to see more of him.

  2. Ankur said:

    he is the fabulous actor what a gr8 preference he has given in "Bol".

  3. arif rao said:

    sehbai acting is beter than naseer ud din shah very good perforemance in bol

  4. Mandeep Brar said:

    manzar sehbai and shafqat cheema steal the show in BOL..

  5. Shashank said:

    Manzar sirji, aapki 'BOL' dekhne ke baad laga ki wakai mein bade dino baad ek jaandar philum dekhi hai. wallah! aapki acting ka jawab nahi. It was so natural. In fact, I hated your character in the film, which can only happen when an actor has given everything to perform. Mere ko aab tak samjh mein nahi aa raha ki aapne aabhi tak hindustani film kyon nahi ki..

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