Zoya Khan is a model and actress seen in numerous commercial and print ads. She has hosted numerous events and also was seen in Aman Hayer’s latest Music Album ‘The Entourage’. Zoya Khan makes her Bollywood Debut as lead actress in the Film Chori Ka Maal Mori Mein. This Bollygraph Reporter talked to the pretty actress over Coffee about her life and debut movie. Here is an Exclusive Interview with Zoya Khan by me for Bollygraph Readers.
Q: You are from a traditional Muslim family. Did you face any opposition from your Parents and family members for choosing the glamor world?
A: Yes, I do belong to a Muslim Pathan family where culture and upbringing of a girl plays a very important role as there was the parda system and all. Fortunately open minded Parents and relatives helped me in absorbing customs with freedom. Hailing from a well educated family, I was actively involved in Sports and extracurricular activities in school and college level. Being crowned Miss Eve twice, Miss Beautiful Smile and Beautiful Hair in College, I got many offers from the modeling field. My Parents were initially taken aback by my decision to enter the glamor world, but supported me in my decision. I was compelled to complete my Masters along with modeling. My work was further noticed after I was crowned Miss Beautiful Skin 2008 in a Delhi Beauty Pageant. There were oppositions for my being in the showbiz but having the full support of my family, I became confident that recognition for work is the key to my dreams.
Q: What made you choose Acting and Modeling as a Career option?
A: It was a very random decision and I followed my instincts. With many assignments being offered to me during my College days after winning the crowns, I became aware of my capabilities and talent. When I was doing my College (MBA in Finance), I started having an inclination towards theatre and Anchoring. Many good offers came my way which I happily took up. There was no looking back from then.
Q: If I remember right, you made your acting debut with the Television Serial ‘Bairi Piya’ but have not acted in any other serials after that. Do you have any particular reason for that?
A: You are right! I was keen to enter the B-Town and got my first break in acting when Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms roped me in as the character ‘Diya’ in the serial ‘Bairi Piya’. My role was that of a seductress which got noticed. After that I got many similar offers but since serials require lot of hours to be invested and my aim was the Bollywood, I rejected them. However, if the theme of the serial is good and it’s the role of the main protagonist then I would not mind considering it.
Q: If you were not an Actress or Model, what would you have been?
A: If not Actress or Model, I would have loved to be a Pilot or a Naval officer. I have always loved Flying and going places.
Q: How did you get this Movie Offer? Do you have a Godfather in this Industry?
A: It may sound weird but the fact is that I am regular with social networking sites and keep updates and that’s how I got it. I was auditioning for many other production houses also when the director of the movie saw my profile and asked me to appear for a screen test. I was selected out of many girls to play the main protagonist after the audition and final screen test. As far as Godfather is concerned, I do have one – that’s God who is my father everywhere I have traveled and worked.
Q: How do you feel about making your debut in the National and International Award winning Director Sandeep Marwah’s film? Tell me something about your role in the Movie.
A: I was really excited and nervous at the same time. I was excited because of my dreams turning into reality and my hard work and determination paying off. I was also nervous because Sandeep sir has given so much to the society, so many talented people to our TV & Film industry, that will I be able to entertain my audience to their fullest or not. Chori Ka Maal Mori Mein is a full length feature film and the production of Asian School of Media Studies, the first degree college of cinema of the Country. My role in the film is that of Dolly, an independent and determined girl who makes her own rules and bends them as and when required herself. This Film is presented by the Chamber of Movies & Television Programme Producers of New Delhi and the Marwah Studios and produced by Leo VIII & Rising Sun Films Pvt Ltd’s. This Film will redefine Bollywood in Delhi and NCRs.
Q: How was your experience working in the Movie? Did you get nervous on your first day at the Movie set?
A: It was exciting as the film had many known actors and I was happy that I got the chance to perform with them. I was a bit nervous too but my Director Ashok Tyagi who has directed Legends like Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra and Ashok Kumar made me comfortable. My 1st shot was with Actor Puneet Issar ji who made me rehearse my lines with him and the other cast. All together it was a great learning experience working with them.
Q: Does it bother you that you are not making your debut opposite a well known hero?
A: Initially yes, because since long I have been denying offers because of the same reason. But when I heard the story and details of my role, I was convinced that this role would get me noticed. The Movie has Comedy and Suspense and the entire story revolves around the character I am playing which might not have been the case if I was making a debut opposite a famous Hero. I am sure that the audience would love the movie and admire my act throughout.
Q: Is your name really Zoya Khan or is it the name you have adopted to get the Khan advantage in Bollywood?
A: Honestly, You are not the first person who has asked me this. I don’t think that my parents thought that someday their daughter will land up in the Bollywood industry where she can take advantage of her surname ‘Khan’ and named me accordingly. Jokes apart, my real name is Sana Khan since my birth. I took up my screen name as ZOYA KHAN, because I want to distinguish myself from other Sana khan’s working in the industry.
Q: Who is your favorite Actress in Bollywood?
A: Actually there are many Actresses I admire. I loved Kareena Kapoor in Jab we met, Rekha in Umrao Jaan, Sridevi in Chaal baaz, Rani Mukherjee in Black, Madhuri Dixit in Dil toh pagal hai, Priyanka Chopra in Saat Khoon Maaf, Katrina Kaif in Ajeb prem ki, Vidya Balan in Paa and many more. I also admire one of the most prominent actresses of the golden era, Waheeda Rehman, Who despite of being from a traditional Muslim family made a mark in the Indian cinema.
Q: What kind of roles do you want to do? Who are your favorite filmmakers?
A: My dream role would be to play a tomboyish naughty yet sexy detective or an officer on special duty where I can perform action stunts and at the same time charm my audience with my sex appeal. I would like to be in roles which are different. My favorite filmmakers are Prakhash Jha, Karan Johar, Sanjay leela Bansali, Rajkumar Santoshi, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Rajkumar Hirani, Abbas Mastan, Abhinav Kashyap, Farhan Akhtar, Vishal Bharadwaj, Kiran Rao and Anushka Rizvi.
Q: As a newcomer in Bollywood, are you open to intimate scenes and exposing?
A: For me everything depends on what the script demands. Today Audience has become wiser and can’t digest things done over the top. Exposing is majorly down south. It all depends upon the director how to treat the intimate scene and make it into a steamy one.
Q: Are you game for doing item numbers in Movies?
A: I feel Item numbers are something which most of the actresses bet for these days. But I don’t want to be type cast as a Item girl because breaking the tag of a item gal is rather difficult then breaking the tag of a performer. I got many such offers from South and from Bollywood also but in my initial phase I don’t want to take up such offers for the hack of it to get a role. I would rather concentrate on my acting skills and prove myself as a good actress.
Q: Are you open to acting in other language Movies?
A: Of course yes! I am getting offers for South films and would love to work in some good movies as they give a lot of exposure to learn and mold you as an actor.
Q: Do you have any message for girls who wish to enter the modeling and film field?
A: Yes, if you have talent then it will not go unnoticed. Try, try and try till you succeed. Beauty without brains can land up nowhere. Shortcuts are for those who want to sustain in the industry for the time being. And not to forget, be an actor because you love to act. Don’t be an actor because you think you’re going to get famous, because that’s luck.
Me: Thanks a lot for the Interview Zoya and I wish you all the best for your Movie.