• Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Muneeb Butt looks back at struggles, rejections


Jan 2, 2024


Actor Muneeb Butt recently appeared on Shaista Lodhi’s YouTube podcast, Talks That Matter, and discussed his life choices, why he remains selective about the TV serials he does, and despite that, how he maintains his expensive lifestyle amidst the inflation. In the process, the actor also opened up about his acting journey, which involved a lot of rejections and snubs before he could actually call himself a star.

“It was always my dream to join the police force,” he shared. “I also wanted to join the army. Our family is such that all of us wanted to be in the forces somehow. I wanted to do CSS as well but I realized when I flopped my chemistry exam that I will be wasting my time. There wasn’t much guidance for us back then either. So, it was really difficult.”

It was then that Muneeb decided that he should venture into media. “I was not at all the kind who’d be repelled by what my parents are doing just to appear ‘different’. I knew that if my acting career doesn’t kick off, my father has a running business that I can join.”

Therefore, venturing into the field without any fear, Muneeb recalled facing discrimination head-on. “Whenever you start doing something out of fear, you aren’t able to stand your ground. But I had a plan B. It’s a very smart thing to also have a plan C. And if possible, multiple sources of income. See, if I want to do a project now, I do it because I want to, because I like, because it makes me happy. I won’t be doing it out of necessity – that leads one to take on work they don’t want to do, which consequently, isn’t great work.”

The actor recalled how back in 2019, after Yaariyan, he did not take on any serial for over a year and a half. “A lot of times I also get offered a lot of money for a mediocre script, I don’t take it on,” he remarked. “I generate funds from elsewhere. I also regret rejecting some projects. Because they do really well later and once an actor even won an award for the role I refused. But I feel that also has to do with destiny. If God has decided something for someone, they will get it. It was never meant for me in the first place. And, that actor had been working really hard since way before I came into the picture.”

The actor went on to reminisce his earlier struggles, how he wouldn’t even get the role of a sidekick, and would have to settle for that of a sidekick to the side character. “I remember in this drama I did, Sara Khan was playing the main character. She gets a proposal from this guy in the 16th episode. I wasn’t even that guy. I was that guy’s brother. And I only had one dialogue in the whole show; ‘Bhaabi agayein bhaabi.”

Muneeb, however, spoke about how he then moved on to getting better roles and eventually getting nominated for awards for his performances and eventually making it. “In 2019, Hum Awards at Houston, I was nominated in the Best Actor category with Nauman Ejaz. I was happy that I was just nominated with this actor that I looked up all these years. That was the actual reward.”

In response, Shaista held that if it wasn’t for the rejections, stars wouldn’t value the success they are setting themselves up for. She then asked him that if he was to choose between overnight fame, which translates to virality in today’s day and age, or slow and steady success, which would he choose. Muneeb replied, “See, slow and steady success sounds very nice but realistically, everyone wants it overnight. So, if I am given that option, why wouldn’t I choose it? In practicality, we all want that.”

Asked how he handles the lows in life, the actor said, “I just go to my parents. I tell them the problem. And it sets things straight. I’m not egotistical, neither am I arrogant. The fame we get often leads us to believe we are special. In reality, it just Allah doing this for us. I acknowledge that us celebrities, we’re not special and this fame, this respect, it’s God’s work. And so, I will never use my celebrity status to get what I want.”

The actor, however, recalled this one instance at a hospital when a doctor refused to check his father. “I was wearing a face mask. I took it off and I told him I know the owner and I will dial his number and I did because that doctor had told me rudely to take my father. He was so inconsiderate, he was like, ‘zyada problem horaha hai to lejao na yaar.’”

Muneeb also talked about raising his child, Amal Muneeb, with his actor wife, Aiman Muneeb. He shared how he and Aiman make sure they don’t give Amal the impression that she can get away with things because she is a daughter of celebrity parents. “Even Amal gets irritated now by all the attention. We, as celebrities, are used to all the affection. And we also believe all this attention she gets is because of the love our fans have for us. But when we were getting Amal admitted to this school, the principal told us how they will have to struggle with changing her mindset, and that’s a fact!”

Watch the complete podcast here:

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