Unveiling the Secret Superstar
There’s something endearing about the Secret Superstar and Dangal girl, Zaira Wasim. Her chipped nail paint, nervous gait and apprehension to speak even to a limited media gathering point to the fact that she isn’t the ‘seasoned star child.’ This naivety seems to have worked like magic in her favour and she certain-ly isn’t going to let go of it easily. Her unabashed confession, when she says, “I never wanted to be an actor!” stands as testimony.
This statement coming from the teenager who has already proven her acting prowess stumped us, but that’s her. Zaira, who was in Bengaluru to promote the 11th edition of the Bengaluru Midnight Marathon as its ambassador, further added, “It was destined that a person from Mukesh Chhabra’s casting company happened to be in Kashmir and visited our school. I had acted in a play and had forgotten about it completely. I was asked to audition and was selected. I haven’t been able to register whatever has happened for the last two-to-three years. It feels like yesterday.”
While in Dangal, Zaira played the role of young Geeta Phogat, where she wrestles with boys in village dangals (wrestling championships), in Secret Superstar, she plays a subjugated Muslim teenager who isn’t allowed to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. Though both roles were starkly different, Zaira was able to deliver with ease and has been critically acclaimed. But in real life, the actress says, she is completely different from her onscreen avatars. “Insiya (her character in Secret Superstar) is very passionate and determined about what she is doing. But in real life I am an introvert. I am very reserved about my opinions and will not speak until and unless I have to,” says the actor.
Another interesting fact that few know about Zaira is that she shares a special relationship with her mother. It’s quite similar to the relationship Insiya shares with her mother. “I can’t explain it. Our relationship is uncannily scary because the way we gel with each other is crazy. She’s like an older sister to me and is very possessive,” says the loving daughter.
Now that she has given one hit after another and that too with Aamir Khan backing her, it seems quite evident that Zaira will be in Bollywood for long innings. But once again, she cautiously says, “I will go with the flow now but it’s not that I have certain ambitions or that I am inclined to certain profession.” Zaira still has a long way to go, before her answers seem as rehearsed as her film dialogues.