Some things happen due to a happy meet of luck and coincidence. How else can you explain Zoya Zayed Khan, a true blue Pathani based in Mumbai, playing a Pakistani doctor in her debut Malayalam film 1971: Beyond Borders directed by Major Ravi. And Zoya has a very special reason for opening her innings with this movie. “Though I am from Mumbai, I began my career years back from Kerala and have been settled in Kochi for the past eight years with family. I took tuitions to learn Malayalam and have taken efforts to learn the local language. I began anchoring for Kairali channel and my first modelling assignment was for a leading textile store in Kerala.”
I even took part in two beauty pageants and acted in a serial. I like to try my hand at everything and one of my serials will commence shortly,” says Zoya, in surprising chaste Malayalam. Zoya has been commuting between Kerala and Mumbai and it is her work that necessitated her to have a base in Kochi. It was her acquaintance with Major Ravi and a promise from him that she would be cast as a North Indian that at last saw fruition after an audition.
Shedding more light on her role, she says, “I play a traditional Pakistani doctor with no makeup and unfortunately, though I would have loved to speak Malayalam dialogues, I have only Hindi dialogues in the movie. Actually Malayalam is a very easy language to master and since I already had tuitions, I had no problems at all. Major Ravi sir also complimented my skills in Malayalam and he is very comfortable to work with though I was nervous.”
The actor does not have any combination scenes with Mohanlal but she is acting opposite Bollywood actor Arunoday Singh. She says that all the characters have equal importance in this war film as the name suggests. Short films are already in Zoya’s kitty and she has a festival film coming up. Also on the cards is a music album with a Punjabi rapper Akash. She adds, “I have also been approached for a Malayalam film and I am considering it. I would like to concentrate on Malayalam films”