I am very excited that the film is coming on television. The thing with small films is that a lot of people don’t watch it in the theatres. But a lot of people watch such films online, Netflix and our film did so well when it was aired on a DTH service,” says Zoya Hussain whose debut film Mukkabaaz is set to make its world television premiere on &pictures today at 8 pm.
The critically acclaimed sports drama, directed by Anurag Kashyap, also stars Vineet Kumar Singh, Jimmy Sheirgill, Ravi Kishan, among others.
While the film opened to a slow start, it picked up on word-of-mouth publicity and did good business at the box office. Zoya says that post the film’s success, people are much nicer to her. “I had met a lot of people but I did not have anything concrete to show for myself like a portfolio because I had worked in theatre. But now, they are a little more serious and know that I exist, which is good,” she says, adding, “Those who come to Mumbai to join some creative field like advertising, fashion etc have a clear path but those who get into the film industry do not have get a clear path.”
The actress is also happy that after playing a mute girl in Mukkabaaz, she is not being offered the same kind of roles. “Shockingly, I am being offered different kind of roles, and they are such strong characters. If that’s the trend, I am happy,” she says.
Before signing Anurag’s film, Zoya wanted to direct the Gangs of Wasseypur filmmaker in a movie based on Kamala Das’ short story, which Zoya still hopes will happen in the future. “I will definitely work on that but post Mukkabaaz I have been working non-stop. However, my ultimate aim in life is to get into other aspects of filmmaking. If you are creatively inclined, you need to have some kind of output. Sometimes it is writing and sometimes it is acting,” she says.
There were reports about Zoya signing Navdeep Singh’s next project, also starring Saif Ali Khan, but the actress refuses to comment on it.
Zoya has just finished working on Prabhu Soloman’s Haathi opposite Rana Daggubati and she is part of all the three versions of the film in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. “Kalki Koechlin is also part of it. Because I am doing all the three versions, it’s quite hectic but fun. It’s a different experience for me. Prabhu sir is a very intelligent man and it’s good to be around people who are good at their work,” she says.
Apart from Haathi, she is also a part of two Hindi projects.
Coming from a theatre background, she loves the stage but she’s unable to devote time to it because of her film commitments. “Even though theatre is gratifying and gives a fulfilling experience, it requires you to invest a month or two. You need a minimum of three to four hours of rehearsals every day and as the show comes closer you have to rehearse throughout the day. I wish, I could take up theatre but it’s not possible right now,” Zoya says before signing off.