Mumbai, Debutante Zarine Khan doesn’t mind being compared to her “Veer” co-star Salman Khan’s girlfriend Katrina Kaif and says that the actress is so beautiful that even she couldn’t take her eyes off.
“Being compared to Katrina Kaif is a huge compliment for me because I feel she is very beautiful. When I am compared to her, I feel overwhelmed. I have met her a couple of times and she is so beautiful that even I couldn’t take my eyes off her,” Zarine told IANS.
“Being compared to her is always a delight. Personally speaking, when I see myself in the mirror, I find no similarities.”
Zarine, who is playing female lead with Salman in “Veer”, says that she wanted to be a doctor and that acting happened to her by chance.
“I was always a very brilliant student, but not a nerd type. I wanted to be a doctor. But I couldn’t continue my studies due to a financial crisis and the responsibility of my whole family fell on my shoulders. Acting happened by chance. Now I can be everything – a doctor, pilot, everything,” said Zarine.
“I was a struggling model and was looking for some kind of work to take care of my family. I was doing very small print ads now and then for saris to earn money to run my house. One day I was home surfing the net when I got a call from Mukta Arts. They called me on the sets of ‘Yuvvraaj’. There I met Salman.
“Salman is a huge actor and I am one of his great fans. I started talking to him like his fans would do. I had no clue that he was planning to take me in his film (‘Veer’). Finally, when I asked for his autograph, he said, ‘No sweetheart you will sign autograph for the world’. Later I got to know that he has selected me for this film,” she added.
Though Salman chose Zarine, she had to pass an audition test.
“They had auditioned lots of girls because the female lead has two different looks in the movie – one is Indian and other Western. Whoever they auditioned looked good in either of the looks, not both. Some had language problem too. They tried me and I was lucky enough to fit into both the characters and they signed me,” said Zarine.
“Veer” is directed by Anil Sharma and produced by Vijay Dalani and Sunil A. Lulla. The makers kept Zarine’s name secret for a long time.
“Even I got strict instructions to keep it a secret from friends and family. I was allowed to give some clue to my parents,” she said.
Asked why they were hiding her, she said: “I don’t know. I was too junior to question them why they are asking me to do so. I just did what they asked me to do.”
Set in colonial India, the film encapsulates a period when Britons enslaved India with their divide and rule policy and kings and nawabs fell for it, except for the Pindaris who preferred death to dishonour and fought till their last breath. Salman plays one of the bravest and strongest Pindari soldiers.
“It’s a love story set in the backdrop of a war for independence. I play a Rajasthani princess,” said Zarine.
Salman is known as an angry man, but Zarine got to know the caring and understanding side of his personality.
“I had heard that he is a very tough guy, he hardly speaks. But he spoke to me very nicely… may be because I met him first as a fan. In due course I realised whatever has been written about Salman is not true. He is so sweet. He has a heart of gold. He is a very genuine man.
“While shooting sometimes I couldn’t understand some parts of my role. I used to be scared that Salman would get angry. But he used to patiently explain how to go about it,” said Zarine.
She has already bagged a few offers but she hasn’t signed any as she is waiting for the release of “Veer” Jan 22.