Nora Fatehi’s track “Dilbar” from Satyameva Jayate became the fastest song to hit 100 million views on YouTube and the first Indian song to reach number 3 spot on Billboard’s YouTube music chart. While the original from Sirf Tum featured Sushmita Sen, Nora has showed off some serious belly dance moves in the recreated version. And she cannot be any less ecstatic with the response.
“It’s crazy! The response is phenomenal. It’s very funny that I’m being appreciated for my dance moves because when I was young, I was made fun of as nobody thought I was able to dance,” Nora said with excitement during an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com.
“If Nikkhil (Advani) sir and Bhushan (Kumar) sir hadn’t trusted me with the song, all this wouldn’t have happened. People are not just appreciating me for the hotness of the video but for the performance too. They say it is so refreshing to see that someone can dance and express too because they feel there are a lot of actresses, who come from abroad and lack the ability to express. I think that’s the best compliment,” she added.
While there were obvious comparisons with Sushmita Sen’s popular number from the 1999 film, Nora said the intent was never to copy the original song. “It’s not like we tried to remake it exactly how it was. We just did a different take on it. The whole vibe and look of the song is different. Nobody will ever beat Sushmita Sen, because she is iconic, the song was iconic,” the actor said.
Watch | Dilbar Song from Satyameva Jayate
Satyameva Jayate stars John Abraham and Manoj Bajpayee in the lead alongside Aisha Sharma and Amruta Khanvilkar. John, who also makes an appearance in “Dilbar”, had remarked in its making video that Nora has no bones! “(Laughs) He’s amazing. He has always been encouraging and that’s why I love working with him. There’s so much positive vibe and energy about him,” Nora said about sharing screen space with John in the vigilante action thriller.
Moroccan-Canadian dancer Nora who has flaunted Arabic belly dance moves on several occasions said she would love to see cultures getting mixed in cinema. “We should do some cross-cultural and start composing music with Moroccan beats. I’m a fan of mixing cultures together. Even I would like to do an Arabic music video with a lot of Indian touches,” she said.
Nora became known after participating in the ninth season of Bigg Boss. She was also a part of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa season 9. Ask Nora whether she regrets any part of doing reality shows which brought out her real self on the screens, she said, “I started from there. If it wasn’t that, then people would just dismiss me or think ‘oh she is just another foreigner or someone trying to be in Bollywood’ but people really connected with my story.”
And how much has her Hindi improved post Bigg Boss? “Bigg Boss was the first time I was exposed to a situation where I had to only speak in Hindi. Prior to that, I was learning, but never practising. People don’t like to speak in Hindi in Mumbai. But after that, it became a habit. You know that fear of speaking a language that people will laugh at you, or make fun of you, that fear started to fade away,” Nora shared.
Nora, who will also be shaking a leg with Rajkummar Rao in Stree, is slowly making her way into Bollywood. She has already done songs in films like Baahubali: The Beginning, Kick 2 and Rocky Handsome.
“For last 2-3 years I’ve been testing the waters, seeing where I fit in, and what works for me. And now I feel the doors are opening up for me. If you get that chance, then you mark your territory in the industry. You need that one thing that would keep you there. I want to act, I want to take up good roles. I just need people in the industry to trust my talent and give me that opportunity and then I will prove myself,” she signed off.