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Mumtaz goes places

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Picture of grace Ferena Wazeir
Picture of grace Ferena Wazeir

It’s raining movie offers for Ferena Wazeir, the beauty in A.R. Rahman’s music video

She looks striking, with an old world aura around her. She personifies the serenity and beauty of the place she belongs to – Kashmir. If you have seen the video of the Taj Mahal anthem by A.R. Rahman, Ferena Wazeir as the legendary beauty Mumtaz Mahal would have definitely grabbed your attention.

“Owais Hussain, director of the video, was looking for someone with a marble-like complexion and a traditional look. He saw my profile and liked it. But at that point I refused, as I was busy with other music videos. But when he approached me again some time later, I couldn’t resist it. It is definitely an honour to play Mumtaz Mahal,” says Ferena. The 23 year old has also shot for a black and white video for Hariharan’s soon-to-be-released album.

Her hands are full with a Hollywood film under Oscar-winning director Danis Tanovic and a contract for three Hindi films with a corporate group. “I have been signed for the lead in the former, where I play a simple, traditional girl,” she says. She may have been born and brought up in Scotland, but Ferena believes she is as Indian as one can be. “I am well-versed in Urdu and Hindi.” But her ‘old world’ look has its disadvantages too. “I mostly end up getting calls from people making period films. It’s nice in a way but as an actress I want to do more.”

A self-confessed movie buff, Ferena is not only trained in Kathak but also in Tap Dance, Jazz and Ballet. Her journey into the world of glamour began while holidaying in the deserts of Rajasthan. Photographer Farrokh Chothia spotted her, and soon she was modelling for many known names. “I was still in school then, so I didn’t take up any movie offers. Now that I have finished my studies, I’ve decided to come back to India for good.”

She has worked under theatre stalwarts such as Alyque Padamsee and Satyadev Dubey, and has also learnt the nuances of acting from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, London. “When I came to India, I was told it was going to be a struggle to get good roles. But I have been lucky. I have got to work with the best .”

MANGALA RAMAMOORTHY

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