Shireen Mirza: FROM JAIPUR TO BOLLYWOOD
- JWB Post
- April 14, 2014
Basically there are 2 kinds of actors in India – Famous & Struggling. This is a story of one such brilliant actor who is trying to make her mark in the big B-town. Don’t think small town girls without any contacts can’t make it in the glam world. We spoke to Jaipur based actress Shireen Mirza about her life in the stereotyped ‘Film Industry’.
A graduate in English Honors and Dramatics from Maharani College. Always active in theatres, she has done a number of plays at Jawahar Kala Kendra. She is trained under NSD gurus like Daulat Vaid, Dinesh Khanna and Archana Shrivastava.
In 2008 she participated in beauty pageant Ms. Jaipur 2008. Though she didn’t win it, later she was named Ms. Personality and Ms. Beautiful Hair in her next beauty contest of Ms. Rajasthan Sundari. Subsequently, she won another contest Ms. Fashion India 2009.
Unlike others, she was always clear that she wants to be an actor. She shifted to Mumbai in 2010 and joined the acting institute of the famous Kishore Namit Kapoor. Fortune spelled, and she got an offer from a Hollywood film ‘Not Today’ which was based on Human Trafficking in India. There she played the main negative lead and was appreciated for her work. The movie was produced under Johny Lever line production, the camera was handled by Abe Martinez who is a Spiderman’s Director of Photography, Director Jon Van Dyke – and she got a chance to share the screen with the famous actor Cody Longo. The movie was released on 12th April 2012 abroad.
After this film, she got no good roles for almost 2 years. Moreover, she would hear comments about her height not matching the role, and also from people known to her that she is letting her family down by staying in another city for this kind of career. But she says – ‘My Father supported me throughout. This made me never give up and eventually my patience was rewarded. I got a call from Manish Gupta’s production.’ She has starred in movie ‘Main Nahin Anna’ as the lead opposite Prashant Narayanan of ‘Murder 2’ fame. This movie is releasing soon!
Her other achievements:
- News reporter’s role in Anil Kapoor’s TV show 24.
- Done an episode in ‘Chhoti si zindagi’ on Zee, ‘GuturGuu’ on Sony and also in CID.
- Hosted a show on Zee TV called ‘Apka sapna humara apna’.
- Starred in Hindi comedy film ‘Love Training’ with Rajpal Yadav & Shakti Kapoor.
Read the candid interview with the talented Shireen Mirza:
Team JWB: Tell us about your dreams.
SM: I would like to confess it proudly that I always wanted to be an actor. I remember when I was a 12 yrs old girl, I saw an award function on TV and I asked my mom -“Mom, can I be an actor”& she said Yes (without a pause). She might have thought that I’m a kid and was inspired by the glamour but since then it became my passion which led me towards fashion shows and then theatre and then films and TV. I love acting & to pursue it is my dream.
Team JWB: What were your family’s reactions when you decided to become an actress?
SM: It was little shocking for my parent at first because I was studious child who used to sit in front rows & wear long skirts at school. I would keep my hair oiled all the time and tie them neatly in a pony tail. Back then nobody expected that a geeky girl would ever want to be an actor in Bollywood and come to Bombay, and so my parent were shocked to. But then they supported me. For my 1st fashion participation, it was my father who went with me to buy a dress and evening gown. When a lot of people were losing hope in me including my siblings, he was the one who stood by my side and said that he is with me and that I should go ahead.
Team JWB: What do you find more challenging- Theatre, Movies or Television?
SM: I have never compared because it’s all a part of my job. Honestly my concern is to give my best shot in whatever I’m doing. So what if I am doing films and TV today, I love stage, that’s where my roots come from. Even today if I get a chance to perform on stage, I don’t’ miss it. I have learnt acting from there and it helped in groom myself.
Team JWB: You are one of the few artists of Jaipur who have acted not only in Bollywood but Hollywood films too. What differences do you find in both industries?
SM: The Hollywood project was a surprise for me at that very initial stage of my career. I was too young to understand the kind of people from Hollywood I was working with. They were all experienced names and world knows them. The kind of work, quality, technique, working schedules, etc were all amazing & swiftly handled. Though my work was appreciated, I knew that I wanted to go to Bollywood and act there. That’s when ‘Main nahin Anna’ came my way which I happily accepted. For me Bollywood is my Jaan.
Team JWB: What was your experience while working in Anil Kapoor’s famous serial “24”? Everyone loved you in your role!
SM: Thank you. Getting a role in’24’ is one of the best experiences. The casting team contacted me while I was in middle reading many other scripts. At first I didn’t believe. It was very enriching working with Neil Bhopalam, Anil Kapoor sir and the director Abhinav sir. ‘24’ show was more like a film shoot. The way they shot the series, their techniques and the production, everything was outstanding and no less than a film’s shoot. I totally enjoyed becoming a part of and getting the privileges by AK production.
After all these years the dream has come true. She is recently working with Balaji Telefilms’ ‘Yeh hai Mohabbatein’ to play a north Indian girl named ‘Simran’. The character is the most colourful, energetic, extrovert and upfront girl which Shireen is not in her real life. In her real life she is calm and composed and very peaceful. Her track starts from the 11th episode of this series. And the character will be coming up with several shades in the coming episodes.
Team JWB: Tell us about ‘Ye hai Mohabbatein’ serial on Star Plus which is getting great reviews. How does it feel to play the important role of Simmi (Simran)?
SM: We shoot 18-20 hours at a stretch sometimes.So basically it has become my life. But I enjoy this character and I am never tired. ‘Simmi’ is fun and I would like to give credit to my director Sandeep Sikand sir since he is responsible to give life to this character by helping me understand it. Often I laugh a lot while going through the screenplay as every time the writer has some surprise in store for ‘Simmi’. I’m getting so much love from Balaji productions and the recognition I’m getting is mind blowing. It feels amazing when people in market, mall or theatre come to me and call me ‘Simmi’ and appreciate my work. I put a lot of efforts in making this character lively as I learnt Punjabi accent by watching Punjabi cinema. I go through these specific online sites to learn crisp and delightful statements in Punjabi which I can use along with dressing styles of Punjabi women.
People’s appreciation is everything for an actor. Today as I am giving my interview, we are celebrating100 episodes of ‘Ye hain Mohabbatein’ and I’m sure one day we’ll celebrate its 1000 episodes too.
Team JWB: Congratulations! You have any message for readers of Jaipur Women Blog.
SM: Since Elections are coming, my message to the women of Jaipur Woman Blog is to ‘Go and Vote’. Women have 49% of the nation’s total voting power as women. So you vote is very important. In spite of my busy schedule, I’m coming to Jaipur to vote on 17th. Be a responsible citizen of India and Vote for right candidate.
By Ruby Khan,