Tollywood hates wasting time: Zareen Khan on Telugu debut in Chanakya
Zareen Khan talks about debuting in Tollywood alongside Gopichand in Thiru's spy thriller
Zareen Khan is set to make her Telugu debut in Chanakya. Directed by Thiru, the espionage thriller is fronted by Gopichand and Mehreen Pirzada. The film was shot in Hyderabad and along the Indo-Pak borders in Rajasthan. Zareen had previously made a special appearance in the 2013 Tamil film, Naan Rajavaga Pogiren. With Chanakya, she makes her full-fledged foray in south.
We spoke to the actor about working in Telugu cinema, collaborating with Gopichand on his 26th film, her favorite Tollywood stars and her forthcoming projects. Edited excerpts…
Did you have to learn Telugu for the role? What are the other challenges of working in a new industry?
I did learn some basics of Telugu. Initially, it was difficult. I saw a lot of Telugu films and did my homework by writing and learning basic words and trying to frame sentences. I used to ask for my lines a day in advance and memorize the whole thing. I try to understand the meaning of every word so that I can emote well while delivering them.
Apart from the language, there weren’t any challenges. Tollywood is a disciplined industry. They hate wasting time and I admire that a lot.
How was it working with Gopichand? Is there a romantic angle between your characters?
About the characters, I can’t reveal much. But trust me it won’t disappoint the audience. Gopichand is my first co-star in Telugu. He is really kind and humble and helped me with the dialogues.
You shot in Rajasthan. How was the experience? Were there stunts involved?
We shot in Bikaner and Mandawa. Rajasthan is special for me since my first film, Veer, was also shot there. There were stunts involved but not for me.
Are you a fan of Telugu cinema? Any favourite actors, directors?
I watch Telugu movies with subtitles or Hindi dubbing. And who wouldn’t? The story, songs, dance and action makes it all a powerful entertainment package.
My favorite actor firstly would be Gopichand. Then there’s Mahesh Babu, Allu Arjun and Bahubali Prabhas. And Vijay Devarakonda.
My favorite directors are SS Rajamouli, Puri Jagannath, Srinivas, Sandeep Vanga and Thiru.
Your last Hindi release was 1921 (2018). Are you working on a new project?
I just completed a film named Hum Bhi Akele, Tum Bhi Akele which will release in February 2020.
We read about a footage misplacement issue on Hum Bhi Akele Tum Bhi Akele. A technician allegedly lost four-days' worth of shoot. What’s the status on that?
Yes, that is unfortunate. The producer is doing his best to sort it out.