She is often described as the epitome of charm in the industry. Passionate about social work and true to her motives, we catch up with Bollywood’s eternal beauty DIA MIRZA.
Q. Every actor has their own story, what has brought you all the way here?
Ans. I think my story is about self-discovery, seeking opportunities, learning from them and evolving through them. It’s really a story of a girl from Hyderabad who wanted to see the world and meet all kinds of people and be creative and that’s my story.
Q. What was the biggest milestone of your career so far?
Ans. I’d note several events in my life as a milestone, but the big one that really changed my life would have been winning the Femina Miss India title in 2000 and then, of course, winning the international pageant. And I think the fact that India won 3 major international pageants that year, really made my win into so much more than perhaps what it would have been otherwise. Post that, I’d consider the most important one in the recent past that was being appointed as the United Nations’ environment goodwill ambassador.
Q. You are known for your social work. Tell us about a cause you support and why?
Ans. I consider a healthy lifestyle as the most important aspect and unfortunately, we’re all prey to our deteriorating and degrading environment. It is really impacting human health and progress which is why my primary focus is on educating the youth about environmental consciousness. I love children and nothing bothers me more than to know that children too fall prey to the vicious environmental conditions and are suffering not just in India but across the world.
Q. Your last film was in 2011. Are you planning to move away from acting?
Ans. I haven’t consciously moved away from acting. I’ve become more discerning about my choices also because I think I ventured into the production aspect at a very young age and I’m really enjoying the experience. We’re working on some great content for web series- and I think what I enjoy most about being behind the camera is the fact that I can explore so much more with kind of content that we create and present. Having said that, I’ve just finished Sanjay Dutt’s biopic where I play Manyata. The movie will be releasing soon and quite of few of others are scheduled. I’ve been seemingly not taking up more roles as I was in my early 20s. It’s hard to ignore the fact that actresses weren’t offered weighty characters post the 35 mark and being married filtered it further. The industry would practice this trajectory towards the actresses strangely and unfortunately. But we do notice the scenario changing in the past couple of years for something better because it’s really about the choices that we make and the work that we choose to do that’s going to change the narrative. So more power to Anushka and Kareena and all the other women who will choose to marry and continue to work well past their mid-30s, including myself.
Q. What’s your first memory of fashion?
Ans. My first memory of fashion is growing up seeing my mother dress up for parties. I’ll never forget how awe-stricken I would be by her beauty and her elegance. Even now when I look at some of her pictures, I’m just stunned at how gorgeous she was and the way she carried herself. She was very meticulous, graceful and sourced hand woven sarees from across the country. She had one of the most beautiful saree collections and I think that’s really my initial exposure to fashion. It started at home and I remember asking my mother what is fashion and she said fashion is a reflection of what the world is feeling. It’s reflected in the colours, in the mood, in the design and the style. But it is really about what the world is feeling, what the people are feeling like.
Q. Who has been the greatest influence on your own style? What do you like splurging on the most?
Ans. I’ve had very varied influences. I’ve been inspired by some incredible craftsmanship and designs. But I think what really inspires my style is how I’m feeling. I think fashion and style have so much to do with how you define your own story and what it is that you want to express through what you wear.
Q. This is your second shoot with us and hopefully many more. Tell us about this association.
Ans. I love shooting with Pernia. She is one of the most vibrant, enthusiastic, and has the most beautiful energy to work with. Its just so much fun facing the camera under her fashion directions. And she somehow transforms me each time. We’ve done such interesting looks together. Even today’s beauty shoot was just extraordinary. Every look felt so effortless to move into but still, it redefined me in so many ways. And I think that’s really the whole point, right? To kind of explore and go to places you’ve never been before and discover “Hey, I’m that as well” and I think that’s what Pernia does for me. She makes me see myself in ways I’ve never seen myself before.
Let’s do a quick round of rapid fire on this note!
Q. Define your style in one word.
Q. A character you enjoyed playing the most?
Ans. Naina in Love Breakups Zindagi.
Q. Biggest fear?
Ans. Losing my mother
Q. Your annoying habit?
Ans. I have an OCD
Q. Favourite holiday?
Ans. You know I’ve travelled the world but nothing beats Goa, I keep going back there.
Q. If not an actress, you would be?
Ans. An activist. And I’m an actor-activist so I guess I’m doing both.
Q. Biggest fashion faux pas according to you?
Ans. Wearing or doing something that is not you. Being uncomfortable in what you’re wearing is a faux pas.
Q. If you were stranded on a desert island what three items would you take with you?
Ans. A book, water and food.
Q. Favourite co-star?
Ans. I have a few but I think what I have experienced as an actor with Ranbir Kapoor has been unparalleled. So much to learn from him.
Q. Ultimate style icon?
Ans. Grace Kelly
Q. Five things that are always in your bag?
Ans. My mobile phone, house keys, wallet, hand sanitiser, and lip balm.