Zareen Khan is going to be seen playing a homosexual in her upcoming film Hum Bhi Akele Tum Bhi Akele. The film is set to release on Valentine’s Day next year, however it is all set to be screened at a film festival in New York this month. In an exclusive interaction she speaks about her film, her struggle and being launched by a superstar.
Zareen was keen to do festival film as she had never done such a film in the past, “I got to know through my friend that Anushuman Jha, who is acting in the film and also producing it, is looking for an actress who will be able to play this role of homosexual. I approached them first. They were bit sceptical initially because I have not done indie film before this. So they wanted to check if I can pull it off. I did an audition which they liked and I got to play this role. I am playing a lesbian girl and I have a gay friend. It is a story of how they come out with their truth and their journey ahead. I am quite excited that it is premiering in the festival and is going to release next year in India.”
So was she bit apprehensive about playing such roles? To this she says, “No, I was not apprehensive at all. I have many gay friends and I have seen their struggle. It is still difficult for them to get acceptance in the society, even though there is a law now. They have to face many problems; people don’t treat them well though they have same feelings and are made of same flesh and blood. It helped me a lot while doing this role.”
The actress also feels that there is a long way to go for homosexuals to get right representation in the industry, “Homosexual characters have always been portrayed in comical way, and they have been made fun of in the past. Things are changing and some main stream actors are fine with playing homosexual characters on screen. The industry is evolving but I think there is a long way to go.I feel it is not just our industry but overall in all industries,there is a scope to improve things for homosexuals. ”
You have been launched by Salman Khan but you still had to struggle to get work later, so how did you cope with that phase? Zareen says, “I can never forget the fact that Salman Khan launched me. It was a dream launch for me. I never wanted to be an actor and I had no connection in the industry. He launched me and that time too people criticised me for my looks and weight. However director Anil Sharma and others had told me to put on weight for this role because they thought that girls in those eras used to plum. After that I did not get work for a long time I did a song with Salman and that’s all. He gave me the launch pad and it was up to me how to I go about my career. It took me some time but I am getting to do different films in Hindi, Punjabi and in South so I am happy about it.”
You were also body shamed like you mentioned and lot of girls nowadays follow many actresses and wish to get figure like them, what is your take on that? Zareen replies, “If someone is willing to reduce weight for fitness then it fine. However my advice to young girls is that don’t follow any diet or fitness regime just look like someone. You have to be comfortable in your skin. Everyone’s body is different and god had created all of us differently. If you are in glamour profession then you have to have to look certain way. Therefore if someone wants to make a career here, they have to get right figure but with right guidance. They also need to know that we actors have to sport various looks and get desired body for particular characters which we play in different films. Like for this film I had to put on weight as there are feminine and masculine lesbians and I am playing the masculine one. So I had stopped working out for a month and did not follow any diet for a month to pile on some kilos.”