Pakistani drama actress Sonya Hussyn had recently revealed that she will be playing a schizophrenic in upcoming play alongside Sami Khan. The duo had shared screen in Aisi Hai Tanhai as well as recently in Ishq Zahe Naseeb and had received a lot of love from fans. The on screen pair will now be seen in director Mohsin Talat’s next drama.
While majority of drama content focuses energy on social issues more or less revolving around household matters, love affairs and marriage, a few drama makers are taking the bold step to talk about important issues like mental health. Two of HUM TVs recent dramas have been dedicated to this subject. The on-going Sajal Aly and Ahad Raza Mir starrer Ye Dil Mera and recently concluded drama Ishq Zahe Naseeb, both shed light in a very different kind of mental health issues.
Sonya Hussyn was a part of the latter and her character was married to a man with split personality disorder. Now the network is bringing another project on another mental disorder called schizophrenia. In a recent interview with Express Tribune, Sonya shared details about the drama and also her views on the gradual change in subject being taken up, “I do sense acceptability; we are less discomforted by the discourse and I can say that because the audiences have started to respond really well to these subjects.”
She revealed that the drama will be her character’s journey from diagnosis of the mental illness to potential recovery. Talking about the intent behind the project Sonya Hussyn revealed, “It is trying to normalise the condition. Since we openly acknowledge diabetes and illnesses of other organs, we need to also realize that there’s little to no discourse surrounding mental illnesses.”
How did Sonya Hussyn prepare for the role?
Sonya also shared that she had undergone in depth research regarding the condition which included meeting patients with schizophrenia and understanding it before accepting the role. She visited rehabs and communicated about her training with the director and producer for two months.
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I think it is much easier for me to just stay away. To be alone. To not insert myself into any situation or relationship that will cause me stress….. ⁉️‼️‼️‼️‼️ Hi, I am schizophrenic and i am not ashamed of being on medication or talking to a therapist! #mentalillnessisreal #comingsoon #humtv #sonyahussyn
Sharing some insights about the condition and its relevance to Pakistan Sonya stated some statistics as well, “Every fifth person out of a hundred is schizophrenic in Pakistan, as opposed to DID which is comparatively rare. I think there’s also a myth that we cannot help these people because the illnesses are permanent, but they can very much be treated.”
Hussyn is an actor who feels she has a responsibility when it comes to what the kind of message is being sent across via any project. Recently she had revealed in another interview that she was offered Mere Paas Tum Ho but she refused the project as it came off an extreme negative portrayal of women.
So when can we expect Sonya’s drama?
Well the shoot of the drama had taken off however due to coronavirus production had to shutdown. According to Sonya the drama was scheduled for post-eid period however now with 30% of production work remaining and the on going uncertainty, a definitive release date cannot be given.
Sonya however has found a silver lining in this delay as well. She plans of getting a better grip on her character during this time, “I can now live as a person suffering from the illness, away from civilization and the distractions of a busy life.”