• Thursday, July 18, 2024

Entertainment

Nida Manzoor on directing Malala and Meera in ‘We Are Lady Parts’: I think I’ve peaked

One of the major highlights of the new season was an appearance from the Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and a guest starring role for BAFTA-winning British actress Meera Syal.

Nida Manzoor (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)

By: Mohnish Singh

Created and directed by Nida Manzoor, the second season of We Are Lady Parts has turned out to be an instant success on Channel 4 in the UK and Peacock in the U.S.

One of the major highlights of the new season was an appearance from the Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and a guest starring role for BAFTA-winning British actress Meera Syal.

Sharing her experience of working with Malala, Nida said, “She has done such important work for girls’ and women’s education and made a real and meaningful impact, but just getting to honour her sense of humour was really fun, because she is funny, she has got a really dark sense of humour and is really witty.”

Acknowledges both Meera’s craft and the fact she blazed a trail in the industry, Nida said, “I remember watching Goodness Gracious Me and it was the first thing I had seen of South Asian people being funny but also subversive on TV. It was so radical, and Meera’s so much at the heart of it and so hilarious. Seeing her work since then, she’s been a trailblazer.”

She added, “She’s has genuinely been the kind of creative that had to open the doors for someone like me to come through and for a show like We Are Lady Parts to exist. I fully went after her, wrote her a letter and it was just really lucky that she was a fan of the show. Between having her and Malala, honestly, I think I’ve peaked.”

In an interview with British Vogue, Malala had said that she ‘never expected to be in a show’. Further asked about how she landed We Are Lady Parts – which follows Amina (Anjana Vasan), Saira (Sarah Kameela Impey), Ayesha (Juliette Motamed), Momtaz (Lucie Shorthouse) and Bisma (Faith Omole), the members of an all-female Muslim punk band hellbent on making it big – Malala said, “I went to the premiere of Polite Society, and I saw her speak there. That film is a masterpiece. It broke all the stereotypes.”

She added, “I thanked Nida for making it, and for making We Are Lady Parts. They’re so important and reach so many people. They aren’t just for brown people – there’s so much in them that everyone can relate to, from friendship and family dynamics to having the confidence to follow your passions. That’s why I wanted to get into the entertainment world, too, because I want young people and women to get a chance to reflect the world as they see it, and through those stories, we can all connect with each other. But, I’ve always been behind the scenes – I never expected to be in a show myself. Now, I’m finally showing my hidden talent.”

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