Zareen Khan: People think I can't be more than eye-candy

Updated: Jan 29, 2020, 08:29 IST | Letty Mariam Abraham | Mumbai

Rueing that she has been restricted to glamorous roles in films, Zareen Khan hopes to change the perception with her travel show.

Zareen Khan
Zareen Khan

How often is it that one's passion and profession find a meeting ground? An avid traveller, Zareen Khan is thrilled that her maiden television show, Bollywood Trails, takes her to different pockets of the country as she explores iconic locales that served as settings for Hindi films. The actor talks about taking on a new role for the AXN venture, and why she is more than just a pretty face.

Edited excerpts from the interview.

Did you have TV offers coming your way before you signed up for this show?
I got several offers to be part of reality shows, Bigg Boss being one of them. But Bigg Boss is not my cup of tea. I am glad to debut on television with something that I enjoy doing. Travel is my passion and Bollywood is my profession. [The two elements] combine on this show, making it the perfect debut vehicle for me on TV. With this show, I got the opportunity to [travel to] some iconic locations that have been used in Bollywood films and heard so many behind-the-scenes stories from directors.

Was television always a part of your career plan?
I always dreamt of doing travel shows. I remember telling my sister about this during the shoot of 1921, in London, and now, it has come true. Imagine visiting some of the most gorgeous sites, relishing exquisite cuisines and being paid to do that! Another advantage of doing the show is that I will be able to reach a wider audience. People will get to see the real side of me.

Did you play an integral role in choosing the locations?
Unfortunately, I wasn't part of the research. The team had already decided the locales they wanted to go to, the directors they wanted to interview and the films they wanted to talk about. One of the reasons they got me on board was because I am an avid traveller. Also, I like driving in difficult terrain.

Were you aware of these hotspots before you shot for the series?
There are so many things I wasn't aware of. Through the series, I got to see the places in a new light. I know India more because of this [outing].

What is happening on the film front?
My upcoming release, Hum Bhi Akele, Tum Bhi Akele, was recently screened at the Rajasthan Film Festival and received great feedback. I will start shooting for a Punjabi film soon and have signed another horror movie. Besides this, I am making my web debut with a woman-oriented [series].

Your movie career hasn't panned out the way you would've liked it to. Why?
People in the industry have a different perception about me — they think I am not capable of doing performance-oriented roles, and can only be an eye-candy. I don't blame them [for thinking so since I have done glamorous roles]. But I can choose only from the offers that come my way. After Hum Bhi Akele, Tum Bhi Akele, I hope people's perceptions change and they realise that I am more than an eye-candy. I am making a conscious effort to pick content-driven projects.

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