Zareen Khan Interview: Horror as a genre isn't explored much in our country!
In an interview with BollywoodMDB, Zareen Khan opens up about her film 1921, fallout with the makers of Aksar 2, nepotism and much more.
After romance, comedy and thriller, actress Zareen Khan is getting into horror space with her latest film 1921. Directed by Vikram Bhatt, the horror film features Karan Kundra as the leading man and is set in London. Before the release of the movie, BollywoodMDB correspondent, Mohnish Singh, catches up with the actress for a candid conversation. In this interview, Zareen talks about a lot of things, ranging from her latest film to fallout with the producers of her last release, Aksar 2 and a dearth of good horror movies in Bollywood to nepotism. Excerpts...
Q. Tell us something about your character in 1921?
A. I play a character called Rose in the film. She is a ghost whisperer who can communicate with the spirits and pass on their messages to their dear ones. The film is set in the era of 1921 where people used to lead a very simple life.
Q: Would you like to clear the air about the Aksar 2 controversy? You had given several explosive interviews accusing the producers of not adhering to fare practices.
A. Aksar 2 didn’t turn out to be the kind of film which the makers had promised me before the shoot. I really don’t know why things went wrong. During the shoot of the film, the makers kept adding different inputs to the whole story. They had clearly promised me that the film wouldn’t be along the lines of Hate Story 3 and that it would be a clean film. However, the film had taken a totally different shape. I guess they might have lost their vision of the film during the process. I really don’t know what exactly happened to them. When the film released, I went to watch my own film with my family and friends in a theatre. Anyway, all that negativity is gone in 2017.
Q. In recent times, we have been seeing you in prominent roles in not-so-large budget films unlike how you made your acting debut with Salman Khan’s film Veer...
A. My role in Veer wasn't small being a newcomer. Take any established actresses today, they will have small roles only in a Salman Khan film. Because Salman is Salman! I don't think even the audience wants to see anybody else in his movies. In spite of that, me being a newcomer, I had a very prominent role in Veer. It was my dream debut. It was something which I had never even imagined of. I don't think any film is big or small. Nowadays, it's the small-budget films which are doing a lot of business. I am a huge fan of Salman and it's because of him, I am a part of this industry. His film Tubelight too didn't do well. Today, it's more about the story and the characters.
Q. Do you think that had Veer released today, it would have done better business?
A. If Veer had released now, I do think it would have been a much bigger hit. In fact, I was actually speaking about this to a few people some time ago, and then, too, I had mentioned how the timing was wrong. I do believe that timing also plays a crucial factor in the fate of a film, and had Veer released today, it had every chance of doing extremely well."
Q: Coming back to 1921, how was your experience working with filmmaker Vikram Bhatt?
A. It was an amazing experience. I am a big fan of his work. I remember watching his film Raaz when I was in school. I loved that film. He is an amazing person and has an ocean of knowledge. His vision towards horror films is brilliant. I really learnt a lot while working with him.
Q: There have been a lot of debates about nepotism in Bollywood. What is your take on the same?
A. I would like to use a line which was written by Vikram sir for his daughter when she was debuting as s director. The line is “Nepotism can give you a chance, but success depends on your talent.”
Q: How was it working with Karan Kundra?
A. Karan is a super fun person. I hadn’t met him earlier before we came together for the shoot. I just saw him on TV. When I get him and worked with him, I really enjoyed. He is a funny guy.
Q. Why do you think that our horror films fail to click with the audience?
A. In our country, horror as a genre isn't explored much. There are very few filmmakers who make horror movies. It's surprising that there is a major part of the population who likes watching horror. Unfortunately, most of the times, a horror film ends up as an unintentional comedy. Today's generation would love to watch a Conjuring or an Annabelle. But if you try giving them the same content in Hindi, they will be like what bullshit! I think we have double standards here. We, Indians, love imported things. Further, it's assumed that Indians don't know how to make a horror film. People need to change that perception. They need to come out of their influence of the West and try to accept what's being made here.
Q: When you joined the industry, you underwent a lot of body-shaming. Has things changed for you now?
A. I have come to terms with it. As actors, we should be judged for the kind of work we do. A lot of people come out in the open and give lengthy speeches on body shaming. Unfortunately, these are the only ones who criticize and judge us behind our back. I am a big structured girl and I have made peace with it. So, we actors should be judged on our acting skills and not for the kind of clothes we wear or on our weight.
Q: Are you open to doing television?
A. I am open to working in television. If something intelligent and interesting comes my way, I would really love to do it. I love watching Bigg Boss currently and I am a huge fan of the show.