'I'm struggling and crawling to make my dreams come true', says 'Taish' actress Zoa Morani on nepotism in Bollywood

Zoa Morani, recently seen in Bejoy Nambiar’s Taish on Zee5, is all set to shoot for her next. Fallen, directed by Reema Katgi, which is also Sonakshi Sinha’s OTT debut, is all set to resume shoot in Rajasthan in January.

The series, which shall eventually be streamed on Amazon Prime, had to stop filming in March due to the lockdown. Like several other actors, OTT has breathed fresh life into Zoa's career as well, with her last three projects, Akoori, Bhoot Purva and Taish all being streamed on Zee5.

Although Zoa cannot reveal much about Fallen, she does say, "All I can say about my character is that it's very different from what I am as a person and am really excited to be working with everyone. This is going to be a new challenge for me."

Talking about Taish, which was also released as a series broken into six parts, Zoa says, “I was very nervous because it was the first time that I was working with a director that comes with so much experience, while in previous projects I had worked with debut directors. He is a man who knows exactly what he wants, and in spite of budget constraints and a paucity of time, he still made sure everything got done.”

The actor, who is also the daughter of producer Karim Morani, has already got another big film in her kitty. Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Tuesdays and Fridays, will see her play the role of an NRI. Talking about the nepotism debate that is raging in Bollywood these days, she says: “I feel nepotism is there in every industry. Also, I am still struggling and crawling to make my dreams come true, in spite of the family that I come from. I think the more disciplined I am becoming, the more hard work I am putting in, the more I am getting back from the universe. Back in the day maybe I wasn’t doing enough because of which my debut film didn’t do well as I must have taken it for granted. I feel as far as the concept of nepotism is concerned, maybe you will get your first break faster than somebody else but eventually it depends on the individual. And everyone who is successful today has put in a lot of hard work to get where they are and we should not take that away from them.”

It was in 2007 that Zoa made her foray into the film industry as an assistant director for the Shah Rukh Khan- Deepika Padukone starrer, Om Shanti Om, followed by Ajay Devgn’s Halla Bol (2008). Her acting debut was in 2011 in Always Kabhi Kabhi, produced by Shah Rukh Khan. The film turned out to be a box office dud.

“I was going crazy after my first film didn’t do well. My career didn’t go as expected. I had a fixed pattern in my head that this is what's going to happen in my life, but it didn’t. I think I was too young or not emotionally stable enough to be able to deal with the failures and the hardships that came along. I was in a very big mess,” says Zoa.

It was then that Zoa got into Asthanga Yoga, which she says changed her life. “It has helped me emotionally and physically and was a complete life change, as I would go to sleep at 9 pm and be up by 5 am. My family was shocked,” says the actor who was diagnosed with Covid-19 earlier this year and had to be hospitalised. “I would not have been able to deal with Covid, along with being isolated, had it not been for my yoga practice. The hard work that my teacher put into me to teach me how to be emotionally and physically strong, was like God preparing me for Covid, as it teaches you to be positive no matter what the circumstances,” explains Zoa.

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