This year some really interesting dramas went on air on different channels. Most of these dramas wouldn’t have been as engaging as they were if the actors who played the leading and supporting roles did not translate their respective characters so impressively on screen. An actor’s performance can make or mar a character. Even the most well-written characters lose their appeal if they are not portrayed convincingly on screen. There are times when even the most simple supporting characters become easy to connect to when they are enacted on screen in the right manner. While playing a negative role, it is also really important for an actor to keep things real and not go overboard. An actor who manages to do that makes the viewers hate their character but the audience cannot help but praise the actor. This year, so many talented Pakistani female actresses showcased their amazing acting talent in different projects. The roles assigned to females are also changing through the years. Also, even some of the more ‘typical’ roles were actually fun to watch because of these brilliant performers. Therefore, this year we decided to make a separate list of actresses who outshone in different roles.
Here is a list of those amazingly talented female actresses who gave the most impressive performances in 2021:
Yumna Zaidi (Dil Na Umeed Tu Nahi)
Yumna Zaidi keeps on treating her fans to powerful performances every year. She translates the most difficult roles effortlessly on screen and never ceases to add the kind of intensity needed to make such roles memorable. She played one such character in the drama serial Dil Na Umeed Tu Nahi this year and she was simply outstanding in the role. Her portrayal was intense enough but never overdramatic which made Sumbul’s character come alive on screen with its vulnerabilities and strengths standing out. Yumna’s performance made Sumbul’s journey relatable for the viewers and even more heartwarming.
Yasra Rizvi (Dil Na Umeed Tu Nahi)
Yasra Rizvi most often chooses projects that are challenging and she makes sure that the projects she works in are meaningful as well. Her role in Dil Na Umeed Tu Nahi signified how some girls in Savera’s situation resign to their fate. Yasra Rizvi’s performance was top-notch in the drama and she did exceptionally well while translating Savera’s soft and nurturing nature on screen. Her on-screen chemistry with her co-stars definitely raises the bar even higher and brings out the best in others as well.
Navid Shehzad (Dil Na Umeed Tu Nahi)
Navid Shehzad made an amazing comeback to television with a meaningful negative character. She played the role of a wicked woman who runs a brothel in the critically acclaimed drama serial Dil Na Umeed Tu Nahi. Although this character was negative it did serve a bigger purpose. Also, watching Surriya auntie’s antics was sometimes entertaining! Navid Shehzad has such a graceful personality yet her effortless portrayal made her the perfect actor for this role. We were truly in awe of her outstanding acting skills while watching the show.
Sammiya Mumtaz (Dil Na Umeed Tu Nahi)
Sammiya Mumtaz is another exceptional actress who makes the viewers feel for her characters irrespective of the role she is playing. Even when she plays similar characters, it is enjoyable watching her on-screen. This year she truly impressed us with her inspiring role in the drama serial Dil Na Umeed Tu Nahi. She played the role of a mother who stands by her daughters’ side despite all odds. Her performance, as usual, was not only convincing but also endearing because she added the right emotions to every single scene.
Qudsia Ali (Aulaad)
Drama serial Aulaad happens to be Qudsia Ali’s debut drama. The kind of performance she showcased in Aulaad shows that she has a bright future ahead of her. It won’t be wrong to say that at such a young age, she turned out to be such a measured performer considering the kind of brilliant treatment she gave to the character of Mouni. In recent times, a lot of actors have attempted to perform such characters which represent the specially-abled individuals of the society but the way Qudsia played Mouni’s character not only made it lovable but also showcased what struggles they are faced with. If it wasn’t for her performance, Mouni’s character would not have left such an impact, which makes it one of the best performances of 2021.
Faryal Mehmood (Raqeeb Se)
Faryal Mehmood has been a part of the industry for a few years now. She has always stood out and earned appreciation for her performances but it won’t be wrong to say that her portrayal of Insha in the drama serial Raqeeb Se put her name on the map. It was a treat to see Faryal Mehmood just being herself and so effortlessly acting out the character of Insha who is strong, independent, level-headed but also has her emotional struggles, especially related to her father. Faryal Mehmood did complete justice to this character and after this project, the audience is definitely going to be excited for her upcoming projects because they already know her caliber as an actor.
Hadiqa Kiyani (Raqeeb Se)
There was a lot of hype about the fact that Hadiqa Kiyani was making a debut with the drama serial Raqeeb Se this year. So far into her career, everyone has known her as an ace singer but who would’ve thought that she was hiding this talent in her all along. The performance of Hadiqa Kiyani in Raqeeb Se was mind-blowing right from the beginning and to see that she effortlessly matched the caliber and finesse of her experienced co-stars like Noman Ejaz and Sania Saeed was exemplary. Hadiya Kiyani portrayed the character of Sakina with such finesse that it easily became one of the most memorable and brilliant performances of 2021.
Sania Saeed (Raqeeb Se)
There is no denying the fact that Sania Saeed is one of the finest actresses of Pakistani dramas right now. She has so much experience that she literally owns the characters that are assigned to her, therefore it was the same for Hajra in Raqeeb Se. The flow there was to her performance in this drama was unparalleled, it was like watching a river of emotions flowing in front of you. There was so much that Hajra wanted to say but she couldn’t. Making all of her emotions visually obvious for the viewers to decipher was not an easy feat but in Raqeeb Se, this is exactly what Sania Saeed did and showed how she was at her finest.
Ramsha Khan (Shehnai)
Ramsha Khan is a fine actor and this is why the ease in the dialogue delivery comes naturally to her. It is always interesting to see that no matter how challenging or complex the characters are, Ramsha Khan brings such effortlessness into her acting that you really find her characters closer to reality and relatable. In the drama serial Shehnai, her character went through a lot where she was being forced to marry, the anger, anguish, pain of heartbreak, and hope of moving on, all these factors were portrayed brilliantly by her, making it yet another brilliant performance by Ramsha Khan that the audience got to witness this year.
Sana Javed (Dunk)
Sana Javed has started taking one challenging character after another and in every drama serial, she has paved her way to success. The same goes for her in the drama serial Dunk where she underplayed the character of Amal, not making it too obvious what was running through her mind yet letting everyone know the evil streak there was to her personality. Sana Javed’s performance was very convincing Dunk and although the drama was dragged and probably lost the grip it had on the viewers, Sana Javed’s acting was definitely a saving grace of the drama because as it approached the end, everyone was keen to know how Amal will react upon getting exposed.
Ayeza Khan (Chupke Chupke)
There was a lot of debate when the drama went on air with Ayeza Khan playing the role of a college student. In the initial episodes, her get-up and styling attracted a lot of negative attention but as the drama progressed, Ayeza Khan’s brilliant and effortless performance let everyone know why she was the perfect choice for the role of Meenu. Her energy, her zest, effortless dialogue delivery, and overall treatment with which she portrayed this character were not only convincing but perfect too. Meenu had a lot going for her and Ayeza Khan covered every aspect of her personal and emotional struggles brilliantly. She also showed how good her comic timing is. Seeing Ayeza Khan’s performance in Chupke Chupke definitely makes us want to see her in more comic roles.
Asma Abbas (Chupke Chupke)
Asma Abbas is one of the most versatile actors the Pakistani industry has ever produced. There is absolutely no character under the sun that she can not play and do complete justice to. Her comic timing, fluent Punjabi dialogue delivery, and overall antics in general in Chupke Chupke were not only funny but an absolute treat to watch. She played the role of deceased Nawab’s first wife and her tussle with the second wife of her husband was always amusing. She has the aura of bringing warmth to the screen and to have one such character which everyone could feel connected to in the form of a motherly figure was what made Asma Abbas’s character and performance even more special.
Uzma Baig (Chupke Chupke)
Uzma Baig is not actively seen in Pakistani dramas. It was after a long time that the drama viewers not only got to witness her performance but also saw how good of an actor she is. She played the role of Nawab’s second wife and it was obvious that speaking Siraiki did not come naturally to her but the way she adapted to it and added comic tinge to her dialogue delivery was phenomenal. Her robotic body language and expressions were the highlight of her performance, making it quite a memorable one seen this year.
Hiba Bukhari (Fitoor)
Hiba Bukhari is comparatively new to the Pakistani drama industry but in such a short span of time, she has gained a lot of success and popularity. Hiba has swiftly become a household name and is now at that stage in her career where her association to any project can easily attain higher viewership. In the drama serial Fitoor, Hiba Bukhari played the role of Dilnasheen. She had everything going against her and things were never favorable to her – she still tried her best to accept whatever life gave to her. Hiba Bukhari skillfully showed what it took Dilnasheen to face everything bravely. Although she also lost track and decided to go against the norms she was met with a few realizations that changed her perspective. In every episode, Hiba Bukhari showcased Dilnasheen’s struggles convincingly, making it one of the finest performances of her career so far.
Mahira Khan (Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay)
Mahira Khan made a come back on Pakistani TV screens with Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay. There has always been a debate about Mahira Khan’s acting skills but in this project, she proved her caliber as an actor. The character of Mehreen is quite complicated but Mahira Khan effortlessly gives away what Mehreen is thinking, what she is feeling, and what’s running through her mind. Mehreen has never had it easy and she has faced abuse and torture in several ways because of the people around her. What sets her character apart is that Mehreen is not a victim and she doesn’t want to come across as one. She always fights and gives back. All these shades of Mehreen’s character have been brilliantly portrayed by Mahira Khan, definitely making it one of the best performances of 2021.
Kubra Khan (Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay)
Kubra Khan is also one such actor who made a name for herself right from the beginning of her career. She has always been loved for her performances in different dramas and the best part about her career graph is that she believes in varied roles and experiments. Kubra Khan is not the kind of actor who will be seen in similar roles. Last she was seen in drama serial Alif and this year, she came back as Mashal in Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay. Her character was short-lived but the kind of impactful performance Kubra Khan gave showed that she very well understood her part as an actor. She knew that she will have limited screen time and scenes, therefore she had to leave a mark in the opportunity given to her and she delivered. Despite all the cruel things she did, the audience never truly resented Mashal because they understood where she was coming from. Kubra Khan gave one of the best performances of her career in Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay.
Laila Wasti (Azmaish & Dunk)
Laila Wasti has been a part of the industry for a long time now. She returned to the TV screens after a long period of time and since then has been consistently seen in different dramas. She has a very strong screen presence and despite playing the soft-spoken, motherly roles, she always brings an edge to her performances which sets them apart and makes them impactful. She has recently been seen in the drama serial Azmaish and Dunk and in both the dramas her characters were more or less the same but her performances were strong and convincing. Her outburst in the drama serial Dunk as Haider’s mother when she decided to support her son has to be one of the best scenes seen in a Pakistani drama this year.
Laila Zuberi (Parizaad)
Laila Zuberi is an experienced actor in the Pakistani drama industry. She has many characters and roles to her credit and has given some memorable performances. Laila Zuberi always brings in a lot of calm and charm to her dramas and always has substantial roles to play. Usually, she always does the characters that fit her personality where she always looks poised and sophisticated. In the drama serial Parizaad, she was assigned a character in which she has never been seen before and not only did she impress, she did complete justice to it as if that role was written with her in mind. She has brought in a touch of comedy with that character and all those antics that actually define her personality have been portrayed by her brilliantly. Although it was a supporting role the limited screen time she got, she made sure to leave an impact and give a memorable performance.
Saboor Aly (Parizaad)
Saboor Aly has been a part of the drama industry for a while now. She has been consistent with her projects but it won’t be wrong to say that she rose to fame recently when the drama serial Fitrat became popular and everyone loved her performance as a negative character. Saboor Aly definitely had all eyes on her because the drama viewers were keen to see what she was going to come up with next. No one actually saw Bubbly coming and all we can say is, she has arrived. Saboor Aly has given the kind of performance that has put her name on the map. Bubbly was definitely not an easy character to play but Saboor not only did justice to it but portrayed it with such sensitivity and sensibility that was required to make this story heard and stay with the viewers. The character of Bubbly Badmash later turned into Dilawar was a huge responsibility on her shoulders and she did complete justice to it – so much so that it is going to be remembered for a long long time.
Rabia Butt (Pehli Si Mohabbat)
Rabia Butt stepped into acting only a few years back and it was such a wise decision. Every time she has left a good impression on the viewers as an actress. Her role in Pehli Si Mohabbat had so much to offer and she had done complete justice to it. She made Nargis’ character stand out just the way it was meant to be. The persuasive manner in which she delivered the dialogues added more meaning and intensity to those well-written scenes. Apart from her make-up, everything else about this portrayal was spot on.
Uzma Hassan (Pehli Si Mohabbat)
Uzma Hassan is a phenomenal actress who makes sure that she highlights all the shades of the characters she plays perfectly on screen. Therefore, it is no surprise that she was chosen to play Zainab’s role, an important character in the drama serial Pehli Si Mohabbat. Her convincing portrayal was the main reason why Zainab’s track had the viewers’ undivided attention right from the start. She performed exceptionally well even in those scenes that required the use of body language and expressions alone to translate emotions on screen.
Saba Faisal (Pehli Si Mohabbat & Raqeeb Se)
Saba Faisal’s effective portrayals have won the viewers over many times. She always ensures that every character she plays stands out for its uniqueness. She has been part of many dramas lately but her performances in Pehli Si Mohabbat and Raqeeb Se deserve more appreciation this year than any other. Both these characters were completely different from one another yet Saba Faisal has breathed life into both of them. She was equally convincing in both the dramas and her definite screen presence made her characters more appealing. She once again proved that she is a versatile actress who makes her characters more engaging by her realistic performances.
It is always refreshing and pleasing watching an actress grow. Ushna Shah is one such actress who has come a long way in the past few years. She has polished her acting skills more than ever and most importantly this year, she chose to play a character that has so much to offer. Ushna Shah has brought out the best in her character in Aakhir Kab Tak. It can easily be termed as the best choice she has made in her entire career and her most impressive performance.
Srha Asghar (Aakhir Kab Tak)
One of the main reasons for Aakhir Kab Tak’s popularity is the remarkable performances by all the actors involved. Srha Asghar was amazing as the confident and outspoken young lady in Pyar Ke Sadqay and she is equally remarkable in an entirely different role in Aakhir Kab Tak. It is almost as if she really is the timid and scared girl she is playing in the drama. She continues to impress every year, we expect nothing but the best from her.
Javeria Abbasi (Aakhir Kab Tak)
We are truly glad to watch Javeria Abbasi excel in a role that is both meaningful and impactful in the drama serial Aakhir Kab Tak. Her character has undergone a massive transformation and is layered. Javeria Abbasi’s convincing performance has made this character come alive on screen. We are waiting to watch her play more interesting characters this year.
Gul-e-Rana (Aakhir Kab Tak)
There are few actors who can make negative characters entertaining to watch without killing the essence of these characters. Gul-e-Rana is definitely one such actress who always manages to breathe life in such roles. In the drama serial Aakhir Kab Tak she plays a role that is negative but we actually find ourselves waiting for her scenes because she never fails to amuse. We love how she has nailed this performance.
Shaista Lodhi (Pardes)
Shaista Lodhi started acting a few years back and since then she has been part of drama with an ensemble cast. This year, she opted to play a character that was appreciated by the viewers a lot because it highlighted the sufferings of all those women who are constantly expected to compromise. Shaista Lodhi’s realistic performance made the viewers take her even more seriously as an actor.
Atiqa Odho (Pardes)
We are genuinely pleased to see Atiqa Odho playing different kinds of roles in dramas. She also chooses to play roles that have room for performance. She played the role of a mother who goes through different phases during the course of the drama. Her acting was convincing throughout which made her character’s presence felt on screen. It is always great watching seasoned actors pick projects which are meaningful and entertaining. Atiqa Odho is definitely one of those actresses who do not compromise on quality.
Bushra Ansari (Pardes)
Bushra Ansari keeps on experimenting with different kinds of roles. Last year, we were not too impressed with her choices but this year she left us quite impressed because she chose to be a part of a meaningful drama. She played a role that was not new but she did so in such a way that she made every scene matter. Bushra Ansari’s impressive performance in Pardes made us look forward to her upcoming projects.
Hina Javed (Pardes, Wafa Be Mol & Aulaad)
Hina Javed recently started acting; she has been choosing quality projects right from the start. This year she played supporting characters in 3 major dramas and in all these dramas her performance was brilliant. Also, the characters she chose to play offered variety and had an important role to play in the story. She proved this year that she can make the viewers love and hate her characters.
This completes the list of best performances of Pakistani actresses in the dramas aired in 2021. Which one of these is your favorite? Feel free to share your thoughts with us.