Beautiful and enigmatic Dia Mirza is all set to make her digital debut with Kaafir. The ZEE5 original, also starring Mohit Raina, is bankrolled by Siddharth P Malhotra. The makers recently released the first look of the show piquing the interest of fans.
Dia, who is currently shooting for the series, spoke exclusively to indianexpress.com about her digital debut.
Here are excerpts from the conversation
Q. Tell us more about your web series Kaafir.
It is a very early stage to share much. Without revealing too much, I can tell you that it is based on true events. A story like this needs to be told. It is the most compelling, heart-rendering and beautiful story I have ever heard. I feel extremely lucky to play Kainaaz. The character and the places that it goes, I haven’t done that before.
Bhavani Iyer has written this series and it has been directed by Sonam Nair. It is an unfortunate statistic that in my almost two-decade career, it is only the second time that I have been directed by a woman. My producer is also a woman (Sapna Malhotra), so it is a special project. I share screen space with Mohit Raina, who is a much loved and extremely talented actor.
The series will stream on ZEE5 which has been one of the fastest growing Indian OTT platforms. The web has definitely helped open opportunities for artistes and storytellers. Siddharth and Bhavani have been trying to tell this story for 10 years. I feel it is a sign of good times that makers are being backed and empowered to tell such stories.
Q. Don’t you think it is not just the web but also the fact that the audience is now open to consuming experimental content?
Absolutely. And it has been so evident in the last two-five years. What was considered small budget films are doing phenomenal numbers. The content-driven films are no more just risk-taking projects. Also, credible talent is backing such films. The audience is not just evolving but appreciating good stories also.
— Dia Mirza (@deespeak) April 7, 2019
Q. Even with so much evolvement and stronger content, why do we see you in fewer projects?
That’s because there are few parts written for women of my age. It is sad but that is the harsh reality. I have been in this industry for 16-17 years now. And at this stage, I want to do something that completely compels me. I can’t be in a project just for the sake of it. Whenever there is a role that calls out to me, I will be there. But there are very few, and fewer are offered to actors my age.
Q. Your character in Sanju was much appreciated. Didn’t that lead to new roles coming your way?
Oh yes, I get offered a mother’s part more often (laughs). I am not complaining though.
Q. You also turned producer a few years back. Why not make a film where you can play a strong woman character?
In our first production (Love Breakups Zindagi), the director felt that I suited the part, so I was in it. Then in the second one (Bobby Jasoos), we had Vidya (Balan) play the lead because the role needed her. And I think she did a fabulous job. Launching a production house was not to empower me but empower the process of telling stories that we believed in. But yes, if there is a role that we collectively think suits me, I would be more than happy to do it.
Q. While many actors, at a point, take up judging opportunities on reality shows, we are yet to see you in one.
I have been offered a couple of shows but that is a space I have stayed away from. Even though it gives you lot of visibility, personally, I have been on the fence. I haven’t been convinced about most of them and the way it is conducted. And I really can’t work on anything grudgingly. For me, now work is more about love, passion and happiness.