Zaira Wasim the budding child actor had made her big Bollywood film debut with 2016’s biggest hit film ‘’Dangal’’ and she impressed everyone with her performance as the young version of Geeta Phogat in the film. Now she’s finally gearing up for her second film ‘’Secret Superstar’’ starring Aamir Khan and Mahi Vij releasing this Diwali 2017.
How has your journey been from ‘’Dangal’’ to ‘’Secret Superstar’’?
My journey so far to be very frank and honest from Dangal to Secret Superstar has been very great. Many good things I’ve observed in this journey actually like I feel that am very lucky and blessed to work again with Aamir Sir and same crew which was there while entire shoot of Dangal and also the fact that I’ve got to work on such two powerful script with content oriented roles and both these films are very special and dear to me.
Tell us something about your journey before ‘’Dangal’’ ….
Before Dangal I feel like what I am doing right now my life was pretty similar like this even before Dangal happened. People literally think that my life is literally very much upside down but I think and feel that it’s pretty much the same as there’s not much difference to how my life was before and after Dangal. Like I come from a family where girl child was considered and still is seen as very backward so I am not at all a movie freak person who actually does an effort to go to theatres and watch movies and in real life too I have not seen that much films as such. But my father supported me very much in regards to my film career as an actor.
Was it planned that Secret Superstar would come after Dangal?
Infact I’ll tell you that I was cast and signed for Secret Superstar before I had even started shooting for my first film which was Dangal. By the end of shoot of Dangal, we started shooting for Secret Superstar and they released the teaser during Dangal.
Advait Sir had said that he tried to convince you very hard that don’t do Dangal is it true?
Yaa right you heard as he tried very hard to convince me into not doing Dangal but he knew that it was not possible at all as that time my priority was Dangal.
How was your experience of working with Advait during Secret Superstar?
I was hanging around with almost same crew which we had for Dangal. But apart from that fact, I feel both the journeys were fun as while shooting with them all over again, we reached a point where it felt like I was working with my friends. And of course I was very happy and thrilled to be working with Aamir Sir again. It was quiet fun but the role I played was challenging as I could not connect to the character of Sanam as I actually come from a family where everyone is very supportive of me and my career and the father I have in the film is very different from my father in real life.
Tell us about your first interaction with Mr. Khan?
It happened through school and really I’ve always been a very shy kid and I would not interact with a lot of people who I didn’t know. But there was a time where a play was being held in our school like a drama based on female foeticide so I took a part in it and I was playing the unborn foetus and it turned out to be very good. So then our principal sort of discovered that this girl can act and a casting director from Mukesh Chhabra’s Office was in Kashmir and he was looking for a girl for a film and he also happened to visit our school in that time period so that’s when principal gave in my name and I shot an Ad then another ad and after that I got shortlisted for the role in Dangal.
You’ve done 2 films now with Aamir Sir so what kind of rapport do you share?
Actually he’s like family to me now. He’s both a father figure and a friend to me. Whenever I need some type of advice, help or want to just talk to him regarding anything, he’s just there a call away always ready to help me out.
What’s your take on the criticism you’ve received from many people who think you shouldn’t do films?
See I believe that lot of people have their own opinions and it’s totally okay as they’re entitled to their opinions and they don’t bother me anymore as I’ve learned the hard way and come to terms with the fact that opinions do not define the reality and it doesn’t even affect me personally now.
By Vrinda Mundara.