Zaira Wasim, a 15-year-old girl from Kashmir is playing the role of wrestler daughter of actor Aamir Khan in the upcoming movie ‘Dangal’.
A student of missionary school in Srinagar, Zaira plays the childhood of Geeta Phogat, the Commonwealth gold medalist wrestler.
“The experience has been life-changing,” Zaira said. “I was a normal teenager with a lot of anxiety but have been able to overcome that in the past six months,” she told Hindustan Times.
However, her journey to Bollywood was not easy as her family didn’t allow her to go to Mumbai. She got the go-ahead after her aunt supported her decision and convinced her parents to give her a chance to realise her dreams.
“Like other Kashmiri parents, mine were concerned about what the people would say. But my aunt handled the situation well.”
The brave and talented girl’s decision to play a role in the movie was not received positively on the social media. But she said during this, Aamir Khan and the rest of the team, supported her.
Zaira didn’t pay any attention to such things as she realized that she is not doing anything wrong which she should be ashamed off.
The 15-year old girl handled the situation very well and told people that she is playing a beautiful role in the film which is about the dignity and empowerment of women.
To work with superstar who is known as Mr. Perfectionist was not an easy task. She worked day and night to do justice with her role. She took the rigorous training in wrestling, body-building and swimming.
She also suffered injuries during the training, but she learnt to bear the pain.
Zaira’s only regret is cutting down of her hair which was necessary for her role.
She has all praise for her co-star. “The first day of shooting wasn’t difficult as I had met Khan before. The day I met him first, he never had the air of a star and that made me comfortable.”
Daughter of a banker father and a teacher mother, Zaira was selected from among hundreds of girls who auditioned for the role.
She was spotted by the casting crew as she had featured in an advertisement for a cell phone.
“I got a call for the role in April. It was a big decision for the family as Bollywood is not really looked up to in our society.”
Following an audition with 19,000 girls, she managed to grab one of two top slots for the movie.
Now, Zaira talks about positivity which she believed is the biggest gift from her Bollywood stint. But acting, she says, was never in her mind.
“I have grown up aimless and will continue to be like that,” she says. “I am just going with the flow and embracing whatever comes to me, good or bad.”
Undoubtedly, Zaira has shown the way to thousands of people to let their children realise and pursue their dreams.