Sanaa Shaik told IOL Entertainment: ‘I am definitely still on the first leg of my journey and I’ll probably always feel like I’ll be climbing.’
SOUTH African actress Sanaa Shaik is enjoying global recognition with “Dive Club” and “Class of ‘07” on Netflix and Prime Video, respectively.
For Shaik, the industry has become her playground and she is planting her feet firmly in it with her roles.
The Durban-born actress, who immigrated to Australia with her family when she was 11 years old, said the journey was filled with adventure.
Shaik completed high school in Oz and attained her Bachelor in Commerce degree at Curtin University, followed by a Masters at Sydney University.
Shaik told IOL Entertainment: “I am definitely still on the first leg of my journey and I’ll probably always feel like I’ll be climbing.
“In the beginning and even now, all actors do is audition, unless you’re a name(famous) actor.
“Getting used to the constant rejection never gets easier, I think you just learn how to handle the blows better.
Shaik had these words of encouragement for upcoming actors: “This industry is as much a mental game as it is physical.
“Learning to take care of your mental health is so important.
“Comparing yourself to others will really get you down, it’s important to remember everyone is running their own race. The highs are obviously being on set and getting to do what you love.
“It’s challenging as the days are often long and hard, but sitting in the make-up chair, or waiting for cameras to roll, or breaking down your character with the director and riffing with other actors when filming never gets old.”
Shaik moved back to South Africa in 2022 to get married and start a new chapter in her home country.
“I have always been a creative person. My first love was classical ballet, but when we immigrated to Australia, I felt uncomfortable dancing so I began to gravitate towards acting.
“Nicole Kidman said something really interesting once, when speaking about acting as more of silent calling. This gravitational pull towards the craft.”
She says her motivation comes from kids who recognise her from TV.
“I get so many messages from girls and guys all over the world saying how much they loved it and our characters. Seeing little girls who look like a young me, message me or come up to me has probably been the most special part”.
Shaik is in the feature “Class of ‘07”, which is available on Prime Video.
The film follows a group of girls who get stranded at their high school reunion after an apocalyptic tidal wave washes out the world.
Shaik said: “We had such a wonderful time filming, we literally all became such good friends. It was a little meta because we filmed during lockdown in a bubble, so we became dependent on each other on and off the screen due to the global pandemic, it’s hilarious, endearing and a little bit gross.”
“I believe this one shines a light on female friendships which are so important, but also so complicated. I hope everyone laughs and snuggles with their best friend while watching it.”
Shaik is already manifesting her dream role in “Tomb Raider”.