‘I am really happy that I got a chance to show my acting ability. Got a chance to play a different character where I’m not just an eye candy. I am not dancing just by applying makeup. In the film, I have no makeup. I also increased my weight because I wanted me to look like that character. Mansi is a cool girl who is fond of eating and drinking, so she will not be a zero size figure. I hope people see me from a different perspective after this film. What they think about me is that it is just a beautiful face, it cannot act, it is a little broken. ‘
You don’t think it took too long to get this chance. So far, you have been getting praise or criticism, both only for your looks or weight?
‘Absolutely, it is very sad. The actor is the one who comes to acting. He should not judge her beauty, color, length, all of this. As an actor, we should be given a chance to show our acting. I was told at my mouth in a film meeting that if you have a serious character then you will not be suit. I said, “Why won’t I suit you?” I said, “You are a little beautiful, are you not?” In the industry, believe that beautiful girls cannot act, what does this mean? You will not even give a chance. I am thankful to the one who made me so beautiful that I find people beautiful but that should not be a hindrance for me, should I? It should not be thought that he will give only the role in which only he has to look beautiful and nothing has to be done. This is wrong but I was not given that chance. Now it’s okay, better late than ever, let’s see now. ‘
You had to listen a lot to your weight. There is also a dialogue in this film that if you eat more then it will become thick. How do you answer those who say so in real life?
‘Man, the truth is that when I was in school and college, I was above 100 kilos, but there is a chance that someone should tell me something. When I used to hear that hey, poor fellow is fat or fat, then he bullies me, then I used to think how do we do it? It is such a big body, put two in it. I have always been such that I have never had to face bullying about my body before. After coming into this industry, I became a victim of body shaming and I did not understand that man, I did not take all this when I was 100 kg, now I am half then I am looking fat. It was strange but I don’t mind all these things. If I am an actor, you judge me on my acting talent, not on my weight, length or color, but there are people in our industry who will exaggerate that body shaming should not happen but when they make a picture themselves they will get the size Only zero girls are to be taken. There is a lot of show and double standard in our industry as well.
How comfortable were you to play the role of a lesbian girl in the film? Was there any kind of hesitation?
‘No, I have never hesitated. I am an actor, it is my job to play different characters and such a character which can influence the society, I got to play that, for this I consider myself lucky. I myself convinced Anshuman, who is also the producer of the film, to let me be a part of it because when I heard the story, by the end of it there were tears in my eyes. The film raises a sensitive issue like homosexuality in a light-hearted manner. It has become legal in our country but still people in the society do not accept it. A child is afraid to tell even his family that he is a homo. ‘
Zarine, one good thing has happened that people no longer compare you to Katrina Kaif. Do you believe this?
‘Yes, yes, it is high time now when people do not contact me with Katrina. I am very happy that this barrier broke. By the way, I also think that this comparison was made by the media. When I came in ‘Veer’, it was already said that the girl who came in ‘Veer’ looks like Katrina. People were not given a chance to form their own opinion by looking at me, but with time people opened their eyes and minds and saw that it is not so. Because of this the comparison is over or I think my face is so common that Katrina was said earlier. After that, it was said that Preity Zinta, Pooja Bhatt, Ameesha, Amanda Sunny of Hollywood, look like everyone. I thought that I looked like my mother but when I grew up, it was found that well, I look like so many people (laughs). ‘
What do you do to keep yourself calm during this difficult time of Corona?
‘The last one and a half months have been very difficult because my maternal grandfather was not feeling well. It had nothing to do with Kovid but he was quite old and the lockdown became a bit difficult for him. Before the lockdown, he was a very active person, so he could not adjust and left us. Then my mother fell ill. If she has diabetes and heart disease, she was in hospital for a week, then it was a difficult time but I am not alone in this problem. We are all struggling with our difficulties and stress. In such a situation, let us all remain united, stay positive and try to find happiness in small things. ‘