Bollywood opened up a whole new world for the Iranian-born actress Elnaaz Norouzi. She says her journey has had its fair share of ups and downs due to being a foreigner as she had to struggle to prove her mettle and be accepted into the industry.
In an interview with the actress, Sputnik attempted to explore how she coped with rejection and disappointment, which led to a phase of depression in her life, and how she survived through resilience.
Sputnik: After working in Sacred Games and season 2 of the Abhay web series, how do you see your experience in the Indian entertainment space so far?
Elnaaz Norouzi:It has been an enriching experience. In India my acting career started with just an understanding that I had to become a better actor and I started doing a lot of workshops, met different people and seized the opportunities that presented themselves. to me.
My beginnings with Sacred Games opened doors for me in the industry. This show is the best thing that has happened to me. I always say it wasn’t a conventional industry launch, but it was exactly what I needed to be accepted as an actor.
Sputnik: What difficulties did you encounter before your debut in Sacred Games?
Elnaaz Norouzi:I’ve been through times where I’ve lost two or three movies before they’ve even been made. My career was at a standstill and I didn’t know if I was going to find a job. People kept telling me I’m a foreigner so it’s gonna be tough. There was a time when I didn’t make enough money and couldn’t pay my rent, so I thought I had to leave. But I didn’t want to.
I went through a phase of depression before the Sacred Games. But I took the opportunity to show people who thought I couldn’t do it. It’s all about perseverance and not giving up.
Sputnik: You also shot for intimate scenes from your web series. Do you think web series and filmmakers use intimate and daring explicit scenes to titillate audiences and get as many eyes as possible?
Elnaaz Norouzi:There may be a few more intimate scenes on web shows, but I don’t think that’s self-explanatory. It could be the script’s request. I believe creators, directors and producers are taking the creative freedom to tell stories without fear of censorship in the online entertainment space.
It also depends on how you’re going to shoot an intimate scene. Will the manufacturers make it aesthetic or weird and uncomfortable? As an actor, I always make sure to choose directors and projects carefully and make sure that intimate scenes are not added forcefully or unnecessarily.
Sputnik: Do you think you were finally accepted to Bollywood?
Elnaaz Norouzi:To be honest, this is a very difficult battle and takes time. I came to a foreign country where I didn’t know anyone. Im from another culture, another language, so it’s hard. It will take time. I have found acceptance in many ways, which is what I work for. But there is always room for more, maybe things change now for foreigners and will get better. It is difficult to create your own space in any sector.
I always make sure I’m not just a pretty girl standing sideways or dancing.
Sputnik: What’s your take on the raging debate between Insider and Outsider in Bollywood?
Elnaaz Norouzi: Conflict between insiders and outsiders exists in Bollywood and I firmly believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity.
If you give everyone a level playing field, you won’t have an insider-outsider debate. If there are 10 films going on in a year, I will only have the chance to audition for two of them because the directors already decide on the casting without holding auditions for it. So I don’t even have the chance to prove that I could be right for the role.
What I’m just asking is to give foreigners a chance to prove themselves. You might be surprised. After all, we are all actors. If someone is doing a good job, it should be considered.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.