WORLD OF INDIAN CINEMA WAS ALWAYS INTRIGUING
For Anjala Zaveri, acting was never part of the plan, as her parents weren’t keen on her having a career in films
Offers have started coming in for me, but they are not very exciting for me to come back. I don’t want to burn myself out doing similar stuff. ANJALA ZAVERI, Actor
he had to compete for her first role, literally! Anjala Zaveri being cast opposite actor Akshaye Khanna in Himalay Putra (1997), their debut film, was the result of a talent hunt across countries, in search of a fresh face.
Born and raised in England, the actor, who belongs to a conservative Gujarati family, has always been mesmerised by the glitz and glam of showbiz. “We’ve watched a lot of films on video cassettes bought from a small Pakistani shop. The world of cinema was always intriguing,” says the 49-yearold, who was spotted by Vinod Khanna when she was 16. The late actor was in search of a female artiste in England to cast opposite his son, Akshaye.
At that point, Zaveri was an aspiring model, and hence, had got a photoshoot done. But, she didn’t have the height required to be a runway model, and instead, sent her pictures to Khanna. “I landed my first interview with him. Some 16-17 models had turned up, I was the only one with my father! I was so nervous during the interview that I kept my mouth shut! It was a 10-day competition... I handed over some more pictures, and later, got a callback from Vinod Khanna, saying ‘Please get Anjala’s passport ready, we are taking her to India’. Within a month or two, I left. My mum came with me,” she recalls.
However, her family wasn’t too keen on her joining films. “Even if I was going to be chaperoned by a parent, they had preconceived notions in their head,” she reveals.
Soon after Himalay Putra released, she got busy with Tamil and Telugu films, as a result of which Hindi projects took a backseat. “After Himalay Putra, I went home for a two-month break. When I returned to India, I got signed on for Tamil and Telugu films. Majority of my time was in Hyderabad and
Chennai, and Hindi films happened in the middle of that,” says the actor, who has also starred in Betaabi (1997) as well as Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya (1998).
Zaveri is married to actor Tarun Raj Arora, best known for playing Anshuman in Jab We Met (2007). And, offers have again started coming her way, given that her husband is in the limelight. “He did a few Hindi films, took a step back and got into hospitality. I don’t know if it is luck, but he is also doing South films now! Offers have started coming to me too, but not very exciting,” she says.