Perizaad Zorabian, the new style guru of the small screen, talks shop, movies and more with Bidisha Singha
Hey, where did you disappear?
(Laughs) I went underground, for almost a year. I wasn’t in touch with any of my friends—professional or personal. There must be scores of them out there just waiting to kill me.
And now suddenly, after all these months, you resurface with a television show..
Yeah, Limited Edition on NDTV Good Times. Since Indians are not really brand conscious, my job is to introduce them to high-end luxury products. And it’s not just clothes and accessories. Viewers will get to know about fine wines, million dollar yachts and gourmet chocolates.
I guess you’re perfect for it then.
(Laughs) When I met Arun Thapar, the channel head, he called me the baroness of style. I was fortunate to be born in an affluent family. I guess that was my ace. For once I don’t need to act..just be myself.
But why return with a show which is aimed at a niche audience and will probably have less visibility?
Right now my baby is my priority. I can’t devote too much time to work. I’m doing this show because the producers have been really accommodating. They understand that I am a new mom and have other commitments. Also, I can relate to the concept.
What about soaps? You haven’t done anything after
Hum Pardesi Ho Gaye.
As I said, I have no time for dailies. Besides I don’t think I fit the prototype in today’s soaps.
So, you’ll never be seen in a
If you had asked me this question some years ago I would have said, “NO.” But today, after my baby, I am a new person. And the new me believes in never saying never.
What about reality shows, the song and dance type?
Oh no, not those. I enjoy interacting with a a live audience but not a reality show.
I have three films coming up—N Chandra’s
Breaking News, Kabhi Up Kabhi Down
with Sanjay Suri and
has been under production for a long time.
Why the delay?
The post-production is taking time. I’m working with a new bunch of people and it’s not easy wrapping up a film.
Apparently you have a steamy scene with KK Menon in the film.
Who told you that? There is nothing steamy in the film. It’s a psychological thriller..dark and eerie.
But you have done steamy scenes in the past, with Bikram Saluja in
Just Married, Rahul Bose in
Mumbai Matineeand Pat Cusick in
Bollywood Calling. Which one did you enjoy the most?
(Laughs) You’ll get me into trouble. But honestly, there’s nothing sleazy about such scenes if they are aesthetically shot. As long as one is comfortable doing them, it’s fine and just like any other scene.
You made your film debut with a Nagesh Kukunoor directed comedy,
Bollywood Calling, a genre which has now become very popular. Don’t you think you could have done better had you started out now?
I think my launch was perfectly timed.
had released just before
. I was the heroine in a new genre and ended up playing leads in all the films I did subsequently.
Didn’t Nagesh Kukunoor offer you another role?
No, he didn’t. I’m still in touch with him but not professionally.
Don’t you think he’s gone astray after moving into the mainstream. His last film,
Bombay to Bangkok, was a dud.
Nagesh has been experimenting with a lot of different genres and has grown with each film. His attempts have always been sincere. Everyone is allowed to falter and you can’t judge a person by one failure. He’ll bounce back with
8 x 10
toplining Akshay Kumar.
If the buzz is to be believed, you had problems with Apurva Lakhia during the shoot of
Ek Ajnabeeand that’s why you weren’t in
Shootout at Lokhandwala..
Apu is a dear friend. There was no problem whatsoever. I was the only girl on the
sets and used to be treated like one of the guys even though I was the film’s heroine. We had a blast. As for
.. he didn’t offer me the film.
Salaame-e-Ishq? Weren’t you pencilled in for a cameo?
Yeah, I was supposed to do Isha Koppikar’s role in the film. She was a Parsi and not a Punjabi then. But I was getting married and both Nikhil (director Nikhil Advani) and Mukesh Talreja (producer) understood my situation. They let me go without any issues. I’ve been really lucky with the people I’ve met. They have all been good to me.
So, how’s marriage been?
Wonderful. Touch wood! Boman is my rock star. He keeps me grounded and at the same time he has opened my eyes to the world. Earlier, I was like a horse with blinkers on, looking straight ahead. He has removed the blinkers.
Do people still mistake him for the actor Boman Irani?
The funny thing is that no one has ever bothered my husband. It’s always been the actor Boman who’s got into trouble because both he and my husband share the same name. He told me how once a lady had given him a long lecture on why despite being a married man he was dating me.
Now that you are a sexy mom can we hope to see you in an item number?
Nope. It’s not because I think such songs are bad. It’s just that I’m not comfortable doing them. I have never done anything that might embarrass my parents. And now that I’m a mom, I have to be even more responsible.
How’s the family business going?
I’m very involved in my dad’s poultry business. I helped him with his marketing campaign. I’m working on my restaurant business too. (Laughs) You can always trust a Zorabian chick.