10 Things Sort Of Creator Bilal Baig Can’t Live Without

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Bilal Baig, co-creator and lead actor of the acclaimed CBC series like, Be ready for the unexpected. his show, which was just renewed for a third season, subverts TV stereotypes by portraying a more nuanced representation of transness with Baig’s character, Sabi Mehboob. “I’ve felt for a while that trans people, and especially racially trans people, aren’t really given the space to slow down or be more reflective or quiet,” he says. “We’re not always one hundred percent ‘on’ and fabulous and flamboyant.”

Thanks to its refreshingly nuanced storytelling approach, like has resonated with audiences and critics. Since its initial release in October 2021, the series has earned a long list of accolades, including three Canadian Screen Awards and a prestigious Peabody. Here, 10 things that inspire Begg to push the envelope in Canada’s TV industry.

the possibilities

Baig was a recent guest Toronto based podcast, which serves as a space for in-depth discussions with queer and trans artists from the BIPOC communities. Directed by host Umang Antriksh Sagar, the episodes cover a range of topics including self-love, disability support and grief. “The euphoria is soft and intelligent, and the conversations feel natural, so I love listening to them as much as participating in them,” says Baig.

(Image: Prospects Podcast)

on earth we are gorgeous in a nutshell by Ocean Wong

“I cried several times reading this book. It made me feel so good and I was really grateful for it,” says Baig. The novel, which explores themes of love, caste, class and masculinity, is a typical narrative does not follow a structure, but instead blends different genres and styles of writing.”He just did his own kind of thing, and I thought it was very inspiring.”

(Image: Penguin Random House)


Because his job involves being on TV and promoting his shows on social media, Baig says technology inevitably plays a big role in his working life. However, they really feel most inspired when they are offline. “I’m from another time, I guess. Even though I’m a millennial, I have a pretty non-existent relationship with my phone. Instead, I prefer to go for walks and text whenever I can.” Live surrounded by nature.

(Image: Apple)

New York City

Visiting Metropolis to Promote Season 2 of like On HBO Max, where it streams for its American audience, Begg was inspired by the busyness of the city. “There’s a lot going on, and there’s a lot of character and culture,” he says, as strangers eagerly approach him with admiration about his work. “It was enchanting and daring in a way. I love places that capture the crowd.

(Photo: Fred Soo, Wikimedia Commons)

Anthropologie Pilcro Pants

comfortable. versatile. Structured, but not body-hugging. Begg says her closet is filled with variations of this style of loose, wide-leg pant, citing a particular fondness for the Pilcro collection by Anthropologie. “They’re cool and stylish, but also practical and comfortable—you can move around in them, which is important when working on set,” he says.

(Photo: Anthropologie)

chicken biryani

“Comfort means a lot to me, especially in regards to being creative,” says Baig. They derive great comfort from their favorite foods, and say that nostalgic Indian and Pakistani dishes from childhood like chicken biryani help them feel at ease, and prepare them for creative inspiration.

(Photo: iStock)

Artwork by Harmeet Rehal

Toronto Artist Works Baig’s career journey has been a huge one – from book covers for his plays to Good boy to set the background of in 2020 like season one, to the hanging pieces in Begg’s Toronto apartment. “I love his personality,” he says. “They embody so many colors and shapes. I love how expressive their art is. It feels dreamy and intense.

(Illustration: Hermit Regal)

“Lift Me Up” by Rihanna

Baig was creatively excited when the singer released his first single in six years in October. “I spent the night crying, listening to it over and over,” he says. “Rihanna’s voice is powerful.”

(Image: Def Jam Recordings)

Live stream of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The American politician and activist is known for her lengthy Q&A-style live videos on Instagram, where she tackles a wide range of topics from taxing the wealthy to climate change. “As soon as I get a notification about a new IG Live, I jump to watch it,” says Baig. “I love hearing people talk about what they care about.”

(Photo: Franmarie Metzler; US House of Photography)

giving back

Begg works with the Toronto non-profit organizations Story Planet and Paprika Festival, where she facilitates workshops for creative writing and literacy. “I think they do really amazing work in their specific communities. It inspires me to give back more.

(Image: Paprika Festival)

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