Favourite Movie: Titanic and Vaastav
Favourite Actors: Sunjay Dutt
Favourite Singers: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Moby
Favourite Songs: Old Madam Noorjehan songs
Favourite Book: Maut ka Manzar
Zara Sheikh has been one of the luckiest actresses in Lollywood as she had earned quite a name for herself even before her debut, Tere Piyar Main, was released. And by the time the movie hit cinema halls, she was already a star. Her stunning looks and polished style were refreshing and Zara had sufficient acting skills to please the audiences.
In no time she was flooded with offers, both acting and modelling which keep her pretty busy, leaving little time for other things. But the young lady makes sure life is not all work for her and there is some play and relaxation too. And one of the first things she likes to do whenever she gets the time is to watch a movie.
Yes, she is a complete movie buff. And she claims, “If I don’t watch at least two movies in a week, I don’t feel alive.” Whenever she finds time, she makes it a point to watch any movie that she can get hold of. But she is highly specific when it comes to naming her all-time favourite movies. She says that this is the way she is — very careful and selective in her choices.
The two genres of movies that she is extremely fond of are horror and romantic. From Hollywood, she cannot think of any blockbuster other than Titanic that is worthy of naming as her favourite. “It has romance and tragedy put it together in equal proportions and my heart goes out to the separated lovers every time I watch this classic.”
Although she didn’t name any other movie from Hollywood, but said that she loves watching any movie that stars Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie. Zara is also a fan of commercial Bollywood cinema. The lavish sets, exquisite costumes and melodious music appeals to her greatly.
“All these ingredients can be found in Sanjay Leela Bansali’s Devdas. It is a complete masterpiece if you look at it from the perspective of acting, music, story, et al,” she declares.
Other than this she also likes Sanjay Dutt’s performance in Vaastav. “His style and acting was the life of this film. I cannot imagine any other actor performing the role of a typical Mumbai gangster the way he did.” After noting that she is so fascinated by the charms of Indian cinema, we ask her the obvious question: Would she like to be a part of it any time soon?
“You see many actors (we know who she is talking about) have gone there and come back without making any sort of impact. I don’t want to do that. It is creating a bad impression for all of us here. In future, Indian moviemakers would think twice before casting any of our artists. This way whatever little respect we have right now will be simply lost. I will be twice as selective in Bollywood than I am in Lollywood.”
When it comes to music, she is all praise of the king of qawwali, the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. She thinks no one else is even close to him when it comes to creating timeless melodies. She thinks that his re-mix songs like Pya Ray are still better than any of the recent pop or filmi numbers. She only listens to Lata Mangeshkar’s old hits when it comes to old classical music. As far as the local pop music scene is concerned, she thinks that Fuzon is the best one around.
“Shafqat Amanat Ali is an artist in the complete sense of the word. He knows his art. Majority of other singers don’t have much to offer. All they do is shout, which anyone can do,” opines the lady.
She also thinks that String’s latest song, Zinda, which features Sanjay Dutt and John Abraham, is a breath of fresh air. “I think Strings is producing a lot better music now than it used to do before,” she discloses. She likes to listen to the very old tracks of Madam Noor Jehan and says, “I somehow only like the songs that she sang a long time back.”
Among the international musicians, she picks Moby as one of her favourite. “He is a versatile musician who gained recognition in the early 90s for his contribution to dance and techno music. His music has a lot of depth and he has a unique style of his own. He is a very moody person just like me, and the same is reflected in his music. Music comes naturally to him and he can add tunes to his lyrics in a matter of few minutes,” Zara states.
She also likes to listen to Eminem, Britney Spears, and Robbie Williams. From Bollywood, Sonu Nigam is the best singer according to her. “Do you see a pattern here? I only like artists who know their art. Sonu Nigam is one of them,” says the actress.
The recent bollywood hit, Right Here, Right Now, featuring Abhishek Bachchan, has also caught her attention.
When it comes to books, Zarah likes to read anything which is based on reality. “I don’t like fantasies and escapist stories that much. I like to read something that I can relate with my own life,” discloses the young actress.
One particular book that is very close to her heart is Maut Ka Manzar. She started reading this book when she was just 13 but could not finish it. She picked up from the same point again after few years and this time continued till the last page. “This book is about the Day of Judgment and life after death. I have felt totally engrossed in it although it used to get a little scary at times.
Other than this I am also very interested in reading about historical events and the great rulers who have shaped the history of the world. These days I am only reading scripts and am myself a part of many stories,” she says matter-of-factly.