Hazel Keech to star in Ira Khan’s play, says ‘she is young but I feel she has seen a lot and been through a lot at her age’
Hazel Keech has revealed she has worked as an associate producer on an international project, studied Improv Comedy and performed with a group and graduated as a Regression Therapist in her free time after starring in Bodyguard.Updated: Sep 16, 2019 12:59 IST
She is possibly best remembered for the only film she has done in Bollywood — Bodyguard (2011), besides a few dance numbers. But Hazel Keech has stayed away from acting in films ever since. Why? The model-actor cites “lack of good opportunities” as the reason why she’s missing in action from films.
“After Bodyguard, I got a lot of offers to play the same role, and I was looking for something different from what I had already done, so I did the item song Aa Ante Amlapuram (Maximum; 2012). After which, again, I was only offered item songs,” she continues, “As an actor, I only want to work in projects that interest me, the story as well as the role. When I commit to anything, I give it my 100% time and energy, so I don’t compromise on the work I do.”
While everyone may wonder what kept her busy all this while, Hazel is quick to clarify that she has not been sitting idle.
“Since Bodyguard, I was an associate producer on an international project; I studied Improv Comedy and performed with a group, and I’ve now graduated as a Regression Therapist,” says the actor, who married former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh in November 2016.
There’s a notion that Bollywood requires female actors to conform to certain standards, and Hazel, who is of a British−Mauritian origin, shares that she has had her share of experiences in the film industry. “For me, it was frustrating coming to Bollywood, growing up in a very Hindu traditional Indian household with a British father and trying to convince people I’m Indian after being judged by my name and accent,” she rues.
However, she adds that things have gradually changed for better. “In my years here in India, I’ve seen Bollywood change from having certain requirements like having classical dance training and speaking Hindi to having none of those matter anymore. Women don’t even need to be Indian anymore. Today, we have leading actresses from different nationalities as well as Indian,” she elaborates.
And now, she’s making a comeback to acting playing a protagonist in Ira Khan’s debut directorial play, Euripides’ Medea. Calling theatre her first love, she says, “My training has also mostly been from acting schools, which were very intertwined with theatre. So it’s more like a homecoming for me rather than a comeback.”
Talking about working with Ira, the actor says, “She is young but I feel she has seen a lot and been through a lot at her age, and she understands the complexities of the characters and the dynamics between them far better than your average 21-year-old. Ira brings freshness and a different perspective to a complex play. It’s impressive to see her being so sure of herself and what she wants.”
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