Alizeh Agnihotri. (Image: DC)
Alizeh Agnihotri, from the new generation of the ‘Khan-dhan’, debuts with Farrey, set to release on November 24th. She talks to DC about the film, her uncle Salman Khan, Nanaji Salim Khan, and more.
As you wait for the release of your debut film, how do you feel?
It’s a very exciting time for me, as a young woman starting her professional journey. I’m being launched as a female protagonist. It’s a different film. I don’t think anybody has seen anything like this before.
We hear you were keen on holistic education. Can you tell us more?
My entire life has been about films, and I always knew I would work in films. But I wanted to enrich myself culturally and learn about the world, not just the film world I grew up in. So I decided to go to the UK to study. This has helped me in my profession as well.
You started preparing to enter films in 2018 we understand. What was your focus?
Though I handled the acting part well, I was very stiff at the start. My teachers told me, ‘your voice and face are perfect, but your body seems a bit stiff and shy’. Nadira Babbarji urged me to dance for on-screen confidence. I was lucky to be able to learn dancing from Sarojji (the late Saroj Khan) for a few days, but she wasn’t keeping too well, so her assistant taught me.
Apart from dance, did you learn anything from Saroj Khan?
I would keep saying ‘I am not confident.’ Masterji would say, ‘Confidence toh sab ke paas hota hai …jinko naachna nahi aata hai, woh log bhi confident hote hai.’ Not everybody can be a dancer. I still call myself a learner. I like to watch the background dancers.
Did your uncle, Salman Khan, visit your classes while you were being trained?
No, he didn’t attend my dance classes, but he was supportive. It’s crucial to work on my own journey. I aim to create my own legacy like my family. Salman respects this and watches without interference. (In support of his niece, Salman posted cryptic notes about the alphabet F on the day the teaser was released, before finally announcing the title – Farrey – in the evening.)
As a Bollywood ‘insider,’ do you think you will be received with open arms by all big production houses?
Thanks to Nana (Salim Khan), we’re in the Hindi film industry, but success isn’t guaranteed. I hope all will watch the film to judge my talent. We’re proud of our hard work, and it’s a unique debut.
Have you signed any more films?
I am waiting to see how my debut film Farrey does. I want my next film to be a completely different one, but nothing has been decided yet.