After a successful modelling career, Elnaaz Norouzi made her debut with Sacred Games. The Iran-born actor is currently seen playing the mysterious lead in ZEE5’s Abhay.
The actor recently sat down for an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com. Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Q. What got you to sign Abhay?
The first of course being the script. It is based on real-life cases, making it quite exciting. Also, my character Natasha – it’s layered and diverse. As an actor, to play the role is like bettering my craft. And last but not the least, Kunal (Kemmu) is a great actor and I feel lucky to work with him.
Q. You debuted with Sacred Games, and now you are doing another crime show. Don’t you think comparisons will be drawn?
The background may be about crime but they have a completely different style. Abhay is based on real-life cases and Sacred Games was adapted from a book. Also, I was playing an actor in Sacred Games and now, I play an ex-cop. There is no similarity between the two shows.
Q. Being a foreigner, does the choice of roles get limited for you?
Oh yes, it gets limited a lot. And the biggest problem is that people think I cannot speak Hindi well. Also, I feel people need to see me acting and what all can I do before they offer me good roles. I really want to do comedy as I feel my timing is outstanding. There is enough time and I have a long way to go.
Q. Tell us how and when did you decide to join the Indian film industry?
It was a childhood dream, to be honest. This is what I really wanted to do. So I just packed my stuff, worked myself up and came here. I have been an ardent follower of Sridevi ji, Aishwarya Rai, Preity Zinta and even Shah Rukh Khan. I would have their posters all over my room. Back home, my parents are super proud of me. They have always been supportive of me in my time of struggle. Whenever I felt like giving up, they would push me and help me get back stronger.
Q. So how challenging was it to find a foothold in a new city?
Mumbai is very different from Germany. People take tea-breaks here after every 30-minutes (laughs). It took time to get used to it but now it feels like home. I have done theatre in Germany and I have a knack for languages, so it became a fun process. I know Persian, English, French. German, Hindi, Urdu and now even Punjabi. I have also been participating in a lot of acting workshops to better myself.
Q. Being a newcomer does working on the web help, as it reaches a global audience?
Of course, it does. I know there are people in America and other countries who have seen my work. My management has been getting emails from across and that is an amazing feeling. When you make good content, people want to consume it. With subtitles coming in, now we can even enjoy content in every language. It is an exciting phase and you know with each project, you will go places.