Raising temperatures with her upcoming HATE STORY 3, bombshell ZAREEN KHAN talks fervour and films with VIRAJ SAWANT.
The festive season is coming up, how do you plan to celebrate it this year?
This year, I feel, I’ll be busy promoting HATE STORY 3, which will release on December 4. Apart from that maybe I’ll visit a few friends and try my hand at card games because just last year I learnt how to play cards. So it’s the perfect time to practise it. (Laughs) I don’t really burst crackers. I was scared of those loud bombs since I was a child and even now I am. I used to play with fuljadis.
Any childhood festive memory that still lingers?
As a kid I remember not missing out on any festival, I was really into it. During Navratri, I remember wearing special ghaghracholi and going out with friends for dandiya. During Diwali our whole building would come together and burst crackers. Every festival is bigger than the other in India. After being a part of this industry, we don’t really have the liberty of going out and celebrating festivals anymore.
Our festivals are not just grand but delicious too. How do you keep yourself away from all those delectable sweets?
(Laughs) I don’t punish myself. If I feel like eating something, I go ahead and eat it. I have been someone who was over 100kg in the past and from there I have come down to what I am today. So I know that if I can get so much out from my body, then eating one extra laddoo and then working out in the gym to balance it, shouldn’t be a problem. It’s all about maintaining a balance.
Diwali being the festival of lights, what lights up your day?
This may sounds very clichéd but I am really close to my mother and to see her smile is something that lights up my day. Her opinion and criticism matter to me the most. So I would say, making her happy, makes my day.
Coming to your upcoming film, how did HATE STORY 3 come your way?
It was through Bhushan (Kumar) that I got to know about the film. He called me saying, he had a script in mind and he wanted me to have a narration of the script. Apparently somebody had told him that Zareen would fit this role. HATE STORY has always been a film from the bold genre and he wasn’t quite sure about casting me. I, myself had never done a role or a bold film like this before hence I was very sceptical about doing this. Then I went to his office, heard the narration and I really loved the whole story.
Your last film HOUSEFULL 2 was in 2012 and after three years, HATE STORY 3. Why did you choose this film as your mini comeback?
The whole story of the film is very interesting. It has a lot of twists; unexpected twists, I would say. The character I am playing here is something I haven’t done in the past. So this is going to be a complete image make-over for me. I’ll have a chance to show my potential in this film. It’s not like I did not get offers after HOUSEFULL 2 but I chose to be a little finicky while deciding my next film. I did not mind sitting at home and doing other things like a Punjabi film, for which I also won an award. But for my next Hindi film, I wanted to be choosy. If I was doing something in Hindi then I wanted it to be something that would do good to me and not just for the sake of it. So I guess HATE STORY 3 was the one that caught my attention.
The trailer of the film itself has plenty steamy scenes. How tough is it to perform them on camera?
In the beginning it was really difficult because honestly, I didn’t know how to do it. But our director and his team of ADs were very supportive and very comforting. Karan (Singh Grover) has already done a steamy scene before in a film but Sharman (Joshi) was new to it. We were helping each other and trying to make each other feel comfortable. There was no awkwardness as such while shooting for these scenes because we were good friends by then. Whenever we were performing a hot bold scene and the director would shout ‘Cut!’,we would crack a joke or laugh about something and make it look funny. That was one good part about the unit and my co-actors.
The trailer of the film crossed 1million views in just a day. Do you think sex sells in India?
I don’t think that’s the perception. It depends on how you show things. There are films that are completely based on sex and unwanted sex or cheap looking sex but here it’s just not about sex. It all depends on how you show it on screen. There’s a way of doing things. There is a very fine line between sexuality and vulgarity. It’s a great thing to understand this. Every film you see has a kissing scene and I don’t think there’s anything new that’s happening here. I think, people put HATE STORY in the erotic genre, hence people want to see what’s going to happen.
Your first film VEER was opposite Salman Khan. How favourable was this for your career?
When I did VEER, I didn’t know much about things in Bollywood. I was just one excited person. I was a fan when I met Salman and even after the film, I was still star-struck. Even after the film got over after a year or so, I found it tough to believe that I was an actress finally. That never sunk in. Thought it was a dream debut, I was still very young and naive. Firstly I did not have a Bollywood godfather and secondly, I was just doing things that I was told to do. But then I received a lot of criticism for my looks, weight and everything. Though it was a dream debut it didn’t do much for me. I was undoubtedly happy and I couldn’t have asked for anything more than that. VEER will always be close to my heart.