New Kashmiri Kid on the Bollywood Block

Confessing to being a clumsy and shy teenager and already making waves in Bollywood, this Kashmiri starlet couldn’t have asked for more at such a young age. Zaira Wasim who made news for her acting prowess as Geeta Phogat in Dangal and then again as Insia Malik in Secret Superstar, has already bagged a National Award and this is just the beginning of her celluloid journey. The immensely talented and popular actor was announced as the Youth Ambassador for the 11th edition of the Bengaluru Midnight Marathon 2017 flagship fundraising event conducted by the Rotary Bangalore IT Corridor at Smoor. The Bengaluru Midnight Marathon will take place on December 16 at KTPO, Whitefield in Bengaluru. Zaira unveiled the theme for this year “Run to BEneFIT’” and spoke to RITZ Magazine on how she’s been lucky to have got the taste of instant sweet success.

Were there any apprehensions coming from Srinagar and entereing the big bad and a completely different world of Bollywood?
The biggest challenge was accepting the fact that I had bagged a huge role with Aamir Khan as I had no connections in Bollywood. My first thought was would I be able to give a decent audition. I had to compete with girls who had been featured in some ad or the other. I also had a lot of social anxiety, I was clumsy and didn’t know if I could perform in front of people, but I guess I was lucky. Now, everytime I step out, I get a lot of appreciation for my work and it feels great.

Did it all come too early? How did you manage all the work and studies together?
I was in the 8th standard when I did Dangal. I’m in 11th standard now. The people I have in my life- my family, my sschool, my friends, my professional career – everybody has been so supportive and that’s the only reason everything became easy to juggle with and I could manage to do it all and give it my best. Aamir Khan’s passion is extremely inspiring. The way he respects his work. He’s not just a Perfectionist but also Mr Passionate.

What did you learn or imbibe from Aamir Khan?
One thing that I learnt from him was that there is no level of perfection. One is never perfect. You always have to strive harder.

How did the movie Secret Superstar come about and how was your experience?
Actually I got selected for Secret Superstar even before I started shooting for Dangal. There was a time when I was watching wrestling videos with Aamir Khan and someone from AKP came and asked me to audition for Secret Superstar and I went ahead. I would also love to do movies in the South Industry as they make some brilliant movies down south. But the script has to be exciting.

How have things changed for you in the last one year after all the success? Do you have a personal stylist and a fitness trainer?
As a person I’m not crazy about brands, but yes, I have a personal stylist now as it’s very important to put your best foot forward in this industry. My stylist’s name is Bornali Talukdar and I love the outfits she picks for me. I’m also going to start fitness training as soon as I go back to Kashmir. I have a lot of friends who are fitness freaks, so I plan to start working out soon.

Any sportspersons that inspire you?
I’m in awe of Virat Kohli.