I would love to shoot in Kashmir, its environs are outstanding: Zareen Khan
Post by on Sunday, September 19, 2021
Smitten by the beauty of Kashmir, Bollywood actress Zareen Khan aspires to grab any role she is offered that would be shot in Kashmir. Shooting in beautiful Kashmir backdrops is her dream.
In a conversation with Rising Kashmir’s Misabah Bhat, Zareen talks about her journey into Bollywood and her wish to shoot in Kashmir.
How did you land up getting a role in the film “Veer” and how was your experience working with Salman Khan?
I met Salman Khan as a fan, and I had no idea what was going on in his mind. In 2008 he was shooting and luckily, I was also on the shoot.
Being his fan, I just wanted to greet him and speak to him. Security guards around him prevented me from meeting him, but I still went ahead and greeted him and to my surprise he replied to my greeting. I was so excited.
When I was about to leave the spot, a person who earlier tried to stop me said, “Bhai wants to talk to you.” I started a normal conversation with Salman and told him about myself and my family. He asked me for my pictures, and I showed him my family pictures. He then asked whether I had portfolio pictures and to my surprise, I had no idea what the portfolio pictures were.
He gave a call to Munna, who is a renowned photographer and called Ashley Rebello for clothes. I was all dressed up and my pictures were taken, and I was so intimidated to ask what was happening.
By the end of the photo shoot, I got to know that Salman was considering me for a role in his big budget film “Veer”. It took me a while to come to terms with what was happening in my life, that time. That is how I became a part of the film industry.
Working with Salman was great. When I became a part of the film, I was completely a lost child and I was quite young to work alongside one of the biggest superstars of our country.
It was a surreal feeling. I literally thank Salman. He is such an amazing person and made the entire atmosphere so comfortable. He didn’t make me feel hesitant about anything and took my proper care.
What projects are in the pipeline?
There are two projects that I need to shoot in London. It is in Punjabi and Hindi. We were supposed to go there in April but due to a complete lockdown, we couldn't. Now we are planning to visit in November, I hope that happens.
There are a few interesting web series that have been offered to me. Hopefully, next year I will be seen more on the screen.
Are there any upcoming releases?
Yes, luckily a little bit of window that we got around January to March, I managed to shoot a web film that time. It is a horror-comedy called “Patalpani”. We are in its post-production phase, and will be released soon.
Recently you did a film “Hum Bhi Akele Tum Bhi Akele” which was released on OTT platform due to the pandemic. How has the experience been?
The film couldn’t be released in India on the big screen which will of course be a little sad for us. But the film was already premiered in November of 2019 in Manhattan where it won the best film award in the South-Asian International Film Festival.
OTT or big screen, I think right now we are living in a phase where we get appreciation for the film we made, I think that is the best thing we can get.
Even the biggest films are now coming on OTT.
What actors influenced you while you were growing up?
Becoming an actor was never on the card. I always thought that actresses are the perfect ones with the perfect hair and looking great all the time and I was a complete tomboy. I never imagined myself being an actress. I wanted to do a lot of other things. But destiny had some other plans. I did have a couple of favourites whom I enjoyed watching but nobody as an inspiration.
Kashmir is considered as the best backdrop for Bollywood in the country. Have you thought of shooting in Kashmir?
Kashmir is such a beautiful place, and I would love to shoot there. I think it really doesn’t matter with whom I am shooting. The beauty of Kashmir will overshadow whoever I am shooting with. What matters is Kashmir not the one who I am shooting with.
Which Bollywood movie shot in Kashmir did you like and would have loved to be part of?
There are so many films that have been shot in Kashmir, but I would have loved to be part of the movie “Haider” as it was an amazing movie besides it was shot in Kashmir.
What things can be done to attract more filmmakers to shoot in Kashmir?
Filmmakers are rushing to Kashmir to shoot films, music videos. Kashmir is so beautiful, and nothing needs to be done to attract anyone. It is already attracting a lot of attention from other parts of the world.
Have you ever been to Kashmir?
Yes, it has been a while, I have a lot of Kashmiri friends and I could not plan a longer trip to Kashmir. It was just a one-day trip, but I managed to look around. Besides Srinagar I went to Gulmarg. I really need to plan a longer trip to Kashmir with my mother who is unwell right now.
I love Kashmir and it is one of my favourite places. There is a lot more I want to see of Kashmir. I will be visiting it very soon. Kashmiri people are so welcoming and loving. I love everything about Kashmir: the culture, the clothes, the cuisine, and the lotus-stem (Nadru) is my favourite.
What would you suggest to the aspiring youth of Kashmir wishing to work in Bollywood?
I would suggest them to work hard as there are no shortcuts to success and do not take rejections to heart because this is an industry where you face rejections every day but the whole point is not to give up. Keep going and be true to yourself and your work.