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I have never used my friendships to demand a role in a film: Dia Mirza on not being a part of any camp in Bollywood – Times of India ►

Dia Mirza is looking forward to the New Year with a lot of excitement and hope. After trying to navigate her way through the industry for years, she feels it’s finally now that she is getting the kind of work that she has always wanted to do. After starring in films like Sanju and Thappad, and her web show, Dia feels this is the 2.0 version of her career. “Yes, it has been a new lease of life. I am determined to push through and let people know that there’s more that I have to offer. The kind of roles that are coming my way and the filmmakers engaging with me, is an indication that I have managed to turn the tide over,” she says. Having been a part of Bollywood for two decades, the actress has many friends in the industry. She, however, says that her friendships are not based on her work associations.

Dia says, “I made friends along the way with people who I have worked with and found common ground with. They are long-lasting friendships, but I have never used that access to demand a role in a film. I keep the work I do and my friendships apart.”

Talking about dealing with the disappointments that came with not bagging the kind of projects she desired to do, the actress shares, “My friends know that there have been phases when I have been frustrated with the lack of opportunities or not getting the kind of jobs that I was aspiring for.” She further adds, “Ageism is very much prevalent in our industry. The moment you hit 32-33, the kind of jobs you get and the nature of work starts changing. And there’s a lot you need to adapt to, but there are also things that you don’t want to accommodate or adjust to. You need to find your voice and say what you want to without trampling on the fragile egos around. I have never been a part of any camp. I am friends with many good people, and I benefit from their friendship in terms of being intellectually stimulated and learning more about the craft. I have never learnt to work the system, and I don’t think I ever would be able to do that.”

Right from the time Dia joined the industry, the focus has often been on her good looks. She agrees, and says, “It is an impediment. There were so many directors who I would have given an arm and leg to work with, but who haven’t cast me because they said, ‘She is so beautiful.’ And I would turn around and say, ‘No! Why?’” In the New Year, the actress looks forward to announcing new projects, both as an actor and a producer, and making her debut in Telugu films with Wild Dog. “The pandemic did slow down work, but there are a lot of exciting projects on the cards,” she signs off.

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