More than looking good, I focus on my acting skills & it sets me apart from other actresses: Elnaaz Norouzi

Born in Tehran, young actress and model Elnaaz Norouzi has had her share of struggles. She finally drew attention with the popular Neflix web series 'Sacred Games'

More than looking good, I focus on my acting skills & it sets me apart from other actresses: Elnaaz Norouzi

Kumar Raviraj Sinha

Born in Tehran, young actress and model Elnaaz Norouzi has had her share of struggles. She finally drew attention with the popular Neflix web series 'Sacred Games'. In this interview, she talks about her love for Hindi cinema, her sruggles and successes and her latest music video 'La La Love':

1. How do you see your journey from till now?

My journey has been beautiful, but also very bumpy, very hard. It's been just as it can be if you're trying to make it in Bollywood. Right. Not easy.

2. Your song LA LA Love has crossed 10 million plus views. How are you feeling about it?

I'm feeling amazing about it! You know, I've been holding on to La La for two years because I didn't want to get this song released during COVID. I wanted to wait for the right time, so now I've released it independently without a label. That’s why it is very special for me because I have released it on my own, I have produced it and all the things mostly have been done by me.

3. How did the idea La La Love come into being?

The idea came basically easy. I wanted to have a very peppy song, like a club song, a summer song that people can be happy listening to or dancing to. As you know, I have performed in songs in movies. So, I was thinking that, here, I have to dance on my own. So let's keep a drop in there where I can keep a crazy dance part. This is how drop came in place and this is how it all happened

4. You are a dancer, director, producer and actor. So who is Elnaaz Norouzi in real life and what would you prefer to be in reel life: dancer/actor/director/ producer? .

Oh yeah. I love to believe that I can do a lot of things. I don't like to limit myself to one thing, you know. I wanted to be an actor and do it well. I was modelling for ten years for big brands and I've travelled the world as a model. Then I came into acting. Now I'm singing and producing as well and I don't want to foray into just production or just direction and all, but if I can do it to an extent, like my music video and do it well, then I will do it. But yeah, I don't like to limit myself. If I think I am good in a particular work then I do it with all my efforts. If I think I can’t do it, then I can’t just for the sake of it. For example, I knew I can't choreograph well. I needed a very good choreographer. So I got Prince Gupta on board. You know, Prince has also choreographed Kala Sha Kala, so I loved working with him.

5. Did you want to become an actor since childhood?

Yes, since childhood I wanted to become an actor, I grew up watching Bollywood movies. I had made up my mind to work in Bollywood.

6. Did your family support you?

Yes, my parents are very supportive. Without their support it wouldn't have been possible. They have supported me right since the beginning.

7. You are from a non-Bollywood background. Can you share a little about your struggle in Hindi film industry?

Well, everyone knows that you if you are not from Bollywood, then it is difficult for you and I have also faced all the issues that people usually face. There are films that are being made and they already go to the Bollywood children, and I don't even have a chance to audition for them. So, I know this is the way it is and it's ok. The struggle is harder but I have choices too and it is ok.

8. When and how you did you get your first assignment in Bollywood?

Well, I don't know. I mean you cannot count Sacred Games as Bollywood as such but yeah there were Bollywood directors, but I can say, Sacred Games was my first breakthrough and I waited a lot before it. There were many projects which came to me, and I said No because my first project was very important for me. So I'm glad that I waited. I'm glad that I chose the right project. And it established me as an actor.

9. How do you think that you are different from other actresses of your generation?

I think one thing that is really strong with me is that I like to be seen as an actor and I like to act. I don't pay attention much to the fact that I need to look pretty or I need to look good, which I think the actresses here are more focused on. I'm more of an actor and that's what sets me apart.

10. What are your upcoming projects?

Made in Heaven Season 2 and Sangeen which is a thriller with Nawazuddin Siddiqui and I'm part of the Hollywood movie Kandahar, which is with Gerard Butler.

11. What is your dream character you want to play in future?

My dream character would be one who has layers. A character who comes across as a sweet person but then you suddenly find that he has a dual personality or may be someone psychotic; a character that brings out the actor in you or like an action character where there's a lot of action involved. I would love to do that as well.

12. Why Bollywood? why not Iranian film industry?

Because Bollywood was my dream. I always wanted to be a part of Bollywood. A lot of people ask me, you grew up in Germany, why wouldn’t you do Iranian movies. But I just wanted Bollywood. Bollywood was just ingrained in me!

13. Is your family also Bollywood fan?

Yes. Yes. And that's where it all started. Because my family used to watch movies like Sholay and stuff. And that's where the love for movies came from. I also used to watch those movies, and then I kept watching some more and my fascination and love for films became stronger.

14. If not an actor, what would you aspire to be?

No idea! I started with modelling at the age of 15 and I wanted to become an actor. I have never had Plan B but if not an actor, then maybe I would be a lawyer, but I don’t know. I always wanted to become an actor.

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