I'm dying to do a 'masala' film: Perizaad
Perizaad Zorabian burst into films with Bollywood Calling. She has since made a mark in movies like Mumbai Matinee and Joggers Park. A rare combination of beauty and brains, she went to Lee Strasberg School of Acting. Read transcript of a chat held on April 8 where she spoke of her new films like Bandung Sonata and fielded other questions.
chaman: I heard you are an MBA. John Abraham is an MBA too. Do you think the industry is changing and the actors are becoming more professional?
Perizaad Zorabian: Yeah, it's great that educated people are looking at acting as a serious profession!
girish: Govinda is entering politics and so are many other film stars. What do you think of their decision? Will you be venturing into politics too?
Perizaad Zorabian: I think it's their decision entirely and one should respect it - just because an actor wants to enter politics it shouldn't be laughed at. To be a politician you need only one qualification that is to be sincere to your people and if Govinda is committed to that then so be it. I don't have the inclination towards politics so that area won't interest me at all.
angel: What kind of music do you prefer? Will you be going to the Enrique concert due to be held sometime now?
Perizaad Zorabian: Yeah for sure - I love Enrique! I love pop and retro - Tina Turner, Bryan Adams, Whitney Houston, Savage Garden and Enrique.
kareena: I read about you somewhere: "Spunk and dollops of acting talent, that's Perizaad for you. This powerhouse performer from Joggers Park deserves a faster sprint in her career." Your comments.
Perizaad Zorabian: Wow......I totally agree with this. I really was hoping that the world would open up for me after the success of Joggers Park but I guess things don't always fall into your lap. I have never gotten anything easy so I guess I am meant to work hard and have patience and I know eventually good things will come my way...;-)
anjali: Which all brands are you endorsing now? How do you pick the ads you would like to be associated with?
Perizaad Zorabian: Well I am with Nitco Tiles and Asmi is in the process of re-negotiating the contract with me. Yes I am extremely picky about the companies I work with - I want them to use me and my brain - Not just my face. And somewhere their advertising should promote both personalities and beliefs.
chickpea: Why did you say that "you feel like commodity"?
Perizaad Zorabian: That wasn't meant like that. I said that very positively - I have the highest regard for Mr Bannerjee from Absolut and think he is very smart and when I asked him why he wanted only me for the launch his answers were so 'not emotional' and 'businesslike'. I loved everything he said and I realised that to a company I am nothing but a commodity that will better their brand. It wasn't meant badly.
rahul: Perizaad, you have acted well in all the movies of yours that I have seen. Why don't you do more movies?
Perizaad Zorabian: Rahul, I want to do films that I believe in - that excite me and that make sense - I haven't been offered too many great scripts and have rejected 25 at the last count post Joggers Park. I want to do films that make people notice my art - not ones that just show tits and ass.
inktomi: Purijad, do you get irritated if someone misspells your name?
Perizaad Zorabian: Yeah very... but I am so used to it - it's always misspelt or badly pronounced...like you have just now.
smita: As an actress, how satisfied you are with your performances so far?
Perizaad Zorabian: Smita, I don't think I have reached my peak - I love some scenes in my films and some scenes make me cringe. I am my worst critic...but the positive thing is that I am growing as an actor with each film and I am proud of that.
jagat: How important do you think is the equity between the director and actor? Of the directors you have worked with, whom did you have the best equity?
Perizaad Zorabian: I began my career with Nagesh Kukunoor and he has great equity and respect - it helps when you work with someone whose work is respected because the audience comes to watch his films - but my decision to work on a film is first the script - no one is greater than that. Then comes my equation with the director - if we understand each other. When a director and an actor are on the same wavelength it's magic - I experienced that with Anant Balani.
harish: How many movies per year should an actor do in order to do justice with the role?
Perizaad Zorabian: What is ideal is that an actor does one movie at a time - but no films stick to their schedules so it's very hard to work that way. I think 3 - 4 films is the maximum...if you really want to concentrate.
sachin: What are your upcoming movies? How do you pick the movies that come your way?
Perizaad Zorabian: Great scripts and great acting potential. I have Mahesh Dattani's Morning Raga with Shabana Azmi and I have learnt so much working with them and one with cinematographer Rajeev Menon. I am currently working on a film titled Devaki by a Bengali filmmaker Bappaditya who, I think, is a genius.
joy: When are you going to work for Subhash Ghai next?
Perizaad Zorabian: I wish I knew that answer - Mukta is family to me and I am under a three film contract with them so when they get a script that I fit I know we will work together. Bu nothing's happening right now.
jeevan: As a celebrity, how should one deal with media? Can you share some of your tips?
Perizaad Zorabian: Be honest and stay true and never bullshit the press - they see fakes all the time. So credit them with intelligence to see thru your pretences - respect them - keep your dignity intact and they will respect you in turn. Be straight and they will always support you. Don't use them - it's not nice.
shama: Don't you think doing Mumbai Matinee was a mistake? You hardly had a role in it. We were expecting so much of you after Joggers Park and Mumbai Matinee highlighted you everywhere in promos but your role was too short.
Perizaad Zorabian: I signed on Mumbai Matinee before Joggers Park and I have no regrets about doing it. I loved my character Sonali - even though there were 10 scenes I loved her warmth and energy and it's always a pleasure working for Pritish Nandy - PNC is another company that I owe a lot to - I began my career with them and will always consider them 'family'. Also Mumbai Matinee was directed by Anant Balani who then did Joggers Park.
monica: What are the things that frustrate you?
Perizaad Zorabian: Insincerity, dishonesty and superficial bullshit! Also I hate the fact that today's films are all about sex and exposure.
laughingbuddha: What's Bandung Sonata all about?
Perizaad Zorabian: Well its an international film that is about the first Asian African Conference and India organised it and I play Indira Gandhi in it - it's a political drama and it has released in China but not internationally.
harish: What excites you more - commercial cinema or parallel cinema?
Perizaad Zorabian: I am dying to do a masala film but I want it to be a good banner. I think as an actor you should work in both - both are equally challenging - I think it's harder to dance around tress and make that look believable than do a real scenes.
laughingbuddha: You are good at song-and-dance routine. Why do you refuse the regular 'Bollywoodish' roles? Or rather opt for roles that are not straightjacketed?
Perizaad Zorabian: Hey I love the name "Laughing Buddha". Hahhha. I haven't gotten a great song and dance routine - I have refused the bullshit B grade stuff though.
PERIZAADFAN: How does it feel to have so many fans that just love you to pieces?
Perizaad Zorabian: PerizaadFan, how sweet is your name - I feel great when people appreciate my work and support me. I can't tell you how happy it makes me - it motivates me to keep doing good work.
jasmine: Why did you do the swimsuit scene in Joggers Park? It was totally out of place. If you hadn't done it then you would not have got any B-grade stuff.
Perizaad Zorabian: Hahhahah... if you think that swimsuit stuff was bad then you have no idea what's happening in films today, at least that wasn't shot badly - they wanted to show Jenny being a normal girl wearing normal clothes in Goa at a shoot - so that's why they had it.
laughingbuddha: Is Arranged Marriage a comedy or a satire?
Perizaad Zorabian: It's a sweet romantic comedy.
ramesh: How can you endorse people to eat chicken? Didn't PETA run after your life?
Perizaad Zorabian: I am a 'murgiwaali' first! Yeah, my father owns a poultry farm and I was there to help the entire poultry industry that has seen the worst two months because of the Bird Flu scare. I tried to explain to PETA that I am very much against cruelty to animals and infact I was at a shoot where they clipped a pigeons wings with safety pins and I refused to shoot. But this was entirely different. They were very respectful after that. Infact the head on PETA in Mumbai had a lovely chat with me. They are good people.
Indian: How do you keep so slim and fit?
Perizaad Zorabian: Hahhah......I am a 'FATTTTTTYYYYYYYYY' I just keep my body covered so that you can't see the fat!
laughingbuddha: With an MBA degree under your belt, why did you opt for films, that too Bollywood istyle that don't offer too much of a variety?
Perizaad Zorabian: I never ever thought I would be a professional fulltime actress. I always thought acting and dancing would remain a hobby and I would be a businesswoman - hence the MBA. But life had something else in store for me and I got the greatest debut with Bollywood Calling. I truly enjoy being an actress and will do it as long as I enjoy it. I know that the minute I start getting frustrated I will quit.
desichick: What do you like to eat, except Chicken of course?
Perizaad Zorabian: Hahhaha......'desi' chick...I don't really eat that much non-veg. My dad's going to kill me for saying that! I am more a sev puri, pani puri, masala dosa, pav bhaji rasta ka khanna... kinda girl.
sonia: What do you do when you are feeling low?
Perizaad Zorabian: Well I feel so depressed when I am low that it's scary! I have this book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - I read it and feel better. I also have a great set of parents who are my emotional anchors and they pull me up whenever I am down. Now I have a wonderful manager, Shailaja - so whenever we face a professional setback she just helps me focus and work harder. I have been blessed with great people around me...my hughest asset.
ipsita: Why does the media love to like you so much? You are there in papers and magazines everyday.
Perizaad Zorabian: I think they are supporting the underdog - I think they just feel bad for me - they know I am different and unconventional and they want to see me succeed and their support is something that I am blessed with. I hope things stay that way.
Thank you so much for joining us today at Hindustan Times, Perizaad! It was a great pleasure to have you here! Unfortunately, that is the end of the time that we took from your busy schedule. Will you like to leave a message for those who joined us today?
Perizaad Zorabian: Hey thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to chat with my fans. It's great to connect with my audience. Thank you everyone for being so honest with me - I appreciate all the feedback. I hope to continue to get good work - do films that bring you guys happiness and I hope to grow as an actor and make you guys proud. Take care and work hard and all your dreams will come true. Like the Alchemist says, " If you really want something the entire universe will conspire in helping you get it."
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