Dia Mirza on making digital acting debut with Zee5 show Kaafir: It's a role that happens once in a lifetime
Dia Mirza talks about how she got into the character of a Pakistani migrant, and her take on the seemingly unsolvable political issue of Kashmir.
Dia Mirza is all set to make her digital acting debut with Kaafir, a web series based on true events. Mirza dons the role of Kainaaz, a Pakistani who, along with her daughter, crosses the border to reach India, which leads to them being held as prisoners.
On preparing for her character
Talking about the preparation, Dia shares she was scared before the shooting but the role empowered her. "I think the character has empowered me. You know one is used to be able to go to places that you have never been to. What Kainaaz’s character and what her journey did to me was it took me to the innermost recesses of my heart. When I heard the script, I was like this has to be the most intense, liberating, most challenging part I have ever played. You know there are some benchmarks that you get in life like this, a role that happens once in a lifetime. So this is that for me. I was terrified before I started shooting as I had to feel my character. I have to feel it 100 percent. If I didn’t feel it, nobody will feel it. So the preparations and the fear was I had to find a way to feel it." Dia underwent extreme preparation, which scared her co-star Mohit Raina and director Sonam Nair. But since she wanted to be perfect, she did not back off.
On Kaafir's tough road to release
The script of Kaafir is written by Raazi writer Bhavani Iyer and it took eight years to see the light of the day. But Dia feels the show was destined to happen. "I don’t think we would have had the liberty and the luxury of investing the characters if it was made into a feature film. This is a story that needed time to develop. It was destined. Bhavani wrote the script in 2011. It’s taken eight years in waiting to tell the story. And I think there is serendipity; the reason why I guess the universe didn’t allow it to happen because it was meant to happen in this manner. It’s a joy to watch eight episodes. There are so many layers to it; the message that comes to you. The theme has so many sub-themes that connect with us and with the people, and I think that is only possible because it’s a web series," Mirza asserts.
On childhood memories of Kashmir
The series, though set in Kashmir, is shot in the beautiful locales of Himachal Pradesh. Dia shares her childhood memories related to Kashmir. "When I was in school, we used to have debates on political topics and whenever Kashmir would come up, it seemed like (I was) trembling. I can never forget my childhood memories. Whenever Kashmir was discussed, I couldn’t get it that why this conflict is not resolving. What is it that forces humans so much? The people of Kashmir haven’t felt freedom, even after living in such a beautiful place. They don’t know how to live without fear. It is against humanity. I don’t understand the concept of borders. I don’t understand the concept of boundaries. I don’t understand the concept of hate. See, these are the impressions that I have had and that I contributed too while I was playing the part.". The Parineeta actress further asserts that the ongoing conflict between the India and Pakistan over Kashmir will only solve with communication. The government has to do it willingly.
On her humanitarian work in Kashmir
Apart from films, Dia is well known for her humanitarian work, and active involvement in social and environmental issues. When Dia is quizzed about her contribution for the people of Kashmir she says, "We have been campaigning for the protection of wildlife and forest. The basic human security is connected with the environment. I will continue to work for the environment and children of the state."
On future digital projects
The actress has already made her digital debut as a producer with Mind The Malhotras. Soon, she will begin shooting for another Original web series, Moughals, directed by Nikkhil Advani. She says sge is pretty excited for the same as it will be her second collaboration with Kaafir writer Bhavani Iyer.
Kaafir is currently streaming on Zee5.
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