She entered Bollywood with a bang, having being launched in one of the biggest film productions of the time, opposite one of the biggest superstars that not only Indian cinema, but also world cinema has ever seen. We're talking about Zareen Khan, who had debuted opposite none other than Salman Khan (like, it rarely gets bigger than that), in Veer. Though the film didn't fare as per expectations at the time of its release, it has grown on movie-buffs over the years. And with Zareen celebrating her birthday today, it's as good a time as any to walk down memory lane with her, and relive how an outsider, with no ties to the industry, had bagged such a big project as her launchpad in Bollywood.
Opening up about how she had landed Veer and why Salman Khan had decided to cast a debutante opposite himself in such a huge project, Zareen Khan said, "I was on Salman's film shoot. He was shooting for Yuvraj, I remember. And I was there as a fan or whatever you'd want to call it. And I had no idea that a conversation that was happening with me as a fan would change my life. I never ever thought that I'd be an actress. I had met Salman purely as a fan and we happened to start talking and he had asked me, 'Whether you have your pictures?' And me, like a dumb person, I started showing him pictures that I had on my newly acquired camera phone. And he said, 'No...no...no...not these. Do you have your portfolio pictures?' I was like, 'No!'"
Elaborating how Salman then got the ball rolling after which it was only a matter of passing the audition, Zareen added, "So, he (Salman) got it all done, and by evening, I got to know that they are thinking about me for the one of the biggest films being made at the time. Yes, I was asked to give an audition because the Director, Anil Sharma sir, wasn't really sure if I would be able to speak fluent Hindi. For that matter, even after Veer, for a very long time, people weren't sure if I am an Indian or if I speak Hindi and all those sorts of things. But, yeah...somehow I passed my auditions with flying colours and I became a part of this industry."
And as they say, the rest is history. Happy birthday, Zareen Khan. We hope that you're flooded with hit films that also recognize your talent, which, frankly speaking, has been criminally undervalued to date.
Stay tuned to BollywoodLife for the latest scoops and updates from Bollywood, Hollywood, South, TV and Web-Series.
Click to join us on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram. Also follow us on Facebook Messenger for latest updates.