A small town girl who was high on her ambitions was spotted by the Dabanng Salman Khan outside Whistling Woods Acting Academy in Mumbai. From there, her life took a completely different turn. Sweet, frank, and grounded are the first three things that you notice about this 24 year old actress. Besides, she is always like a house on fire. She had one of the grandest dream debuts with the box office scorcher of the tinsel town with Veer. But destiny had other choices; the film was a box office disaster and she was panned by both the critics and the Media. Controversies started pouring in from all corners regarding her looks, appearance and even her nationality which shattered the newcomer into two pieces. But then with Character Dheela re breathing back life into her, there were no looking back. Her latest release ‘Housefull 2’ has become the talk of the town and is expected to join the 100 crore film brigade.
Post the release of the film and amidst all the applauses and acknowledgements, Zareen Khan takes out time to speak to us and this time, she is one happy woman. We swear!
With this interview, she tries to set all the records straight as she is looking forward to a bigger and better future in the industry post this film.
Over to the hottest Housefull 2 heroine:
You are being applauded for your role in Housefull 2 and grabbing a lot more eyeballs. How are you reacting to it?
The fact that everybody is appreciating me is helping me work harder for an even better future. I just don’t want to be carried away but do all more stuffs so that I eventually establish myself too as one of the best heroines of the industry. Plus, moreover, whenever I have made an appearance on the big screen, people’s reactions have always been so very different. Veer gave me a lot of criticisms and people started writing me off. But then Character Dheela gave me a lot of appreciation and with Housefull 2 things have gone even one more level, one more notch higher, People have voted me as the hottest heroine of Housefull 2. So it is all so good now!
Being voted as the hottest heroine of the film, you must have been elated to the core.
From a girl who was called and tagged as a look alike to Katrina Kaif, being called the hottest heroine was definitely a huge leap. And what excites me more is that this time; it was the people who have voted for me. So in one way, the audience has also started liking me. So yes, I feel so good now!
Veer, as you said did not quite help you much as an actress, were you disappointed that the film did not work?
It was my first film and I obviously expected it to do well. It had the biggest names in the industry, such a big director, so obviously when it didn’t work, we, as an entire team were affected. But yes it affected me a lot more. The Media and the critics started targeting me and went on to write rubbish about me. I don’t know why Media had that kind of a grudge with me then. I was just a girl, who was aiming to take the first stepping stone in the industry and I had no starry background or any godfather. So writing me off so quickly was a possibility, but I never knew that could happen so soon.
You were also criticized on your looks and regarded as a Katrina Kaif look alike. Some people started calling you ‘Fat Kat’. What was the effect of that entire episode on your Life?
Honestly, I don’t know why people started saying stuffs about me. Katrina is a very talented actress. Had it been comparisons with her, I would not have minded it so much. But when things got nasty with people disrespecting me everywhere, I felt so humiliated. The newspapers, magazines, channels, every day would churn out something or the other about me, most of which were baseless and completely untrue. So as a newcomer, it obviously took its toll on me. And coming to the Fat Kat instance, I feel the industry is a little biased here. They somehow appreciate other A listed actresses when they gain weight and put on 10 kilos, 12 kilos to look perfect for their role. But when it comes to the debutantes, they kind of bog them down with discouraging quotes and remarks. I was a newcomer who knew nothing about Bollywood. I just did what I was asked to. If I put on weight for my first role, what was the problem in everyone accepting me too the way they have accepted many others today.
But with Housefull 2, everything has gone for a toss most certainly.
(Interrupting me, she continues) And not only that, they have also remarked that I am 27-28 (like Katrine Kaif) whereas I am just 24 and will be turning 25 this May. Plus people kept on spreading rumours saying I am from Canada, Pakistan and what not. But through this interview I want to clear off all the records. I want to convey that I am very much an Indian, who knows how to speak English, Hindi and Marathi. (She laughs). (Coming back to the question, she replies) Hopefully Housefull 2 will change people’s perspective about me and would give me a better way to connect to my people.
When the entire industry awaits news of cat fights when there is a list of actresses working together, this time we were all shocked. The other female lead in the film, Asin, even called you co-sympathizers. Seems that the girls this time bonded really well!
Obviously, with all the girls my equations were fabulous. Rather the entire team bonded so well. And I am out an out a tomboy. So I was like the protective one among all the four of us. I was the one who used to fight for all the girls against all the boys. I have always been quite boyish and was never like, “Oh, I have to be this girly. I have to let them pick on me and all.” If they used to pick on me or any of the other girls, I was like one jhansi ki rani fighting for them and giving it back to them. Our boys are very mischievous and naughty. They keep on playing pranks on the girls. Most of the time, they used to play pranks on Shazahn and she, being a very close friend now had me supporting her right away! Maybe that was the reason we bonded so well.
How was it working with the funny man Sajid?
Well, Sajid was oh my God Hilarious while the entire shoot of the film. He is so fun to be around that at times, he would crack jokes so often that we forgot our own lines. He also got angry a couple of times but he is my favourite director now. We had loads of fun together.
Rapid Fire with Zareen Khan:
Your strength lies in: My mom
Your weakness lies in: My pet
A director that you are craving to work with: A lot of them actually. I desire to work with Raju Hirani, Imtiaz Ali, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the list is really long. I wanted to work with Sajid Khan. That has come true but I want to work with him again.
You are comfortable in: Being myself! I just cannot be fake.
You go bananas over: The only thing I can go crazy for are Chocolates!
Words that best describe you: Crazy, naughty and bitchy (Laughs out loud). People might feel that I am very sweet and all, which I really am but but when people start talking bad about me, I get really bitchy too.
One question you would want people to ask you: There a lot of misconceptions that people have about me. From now on, I believe I would really request them to ask me whatever they want to directly. I am on Twitter and they should feel free to ask me directly rather than believing the Wikipedia and other sites that we have or some journalists who are not true to their job!
Finally what are your upcoming projects that are keeping you busy for the next half of the year?
I am doing a Telegu movie with Vikram which is still left to be completed. I have completed half of it and would be flying to Delhi soon to complete the shoot for the film. Then I have Partner 2 with Salman yet again (Smiles). I had been offered the film right after Veer released but the movie still does not have a good script. So as and how the script gets finalized, we will talk about it!