An exclusive interview with the beautiful and brilliant actress Alfeeya on her lead role in award winning film Jihad
Alfeeya is a perfect combination of beauty with brains. For starters, she is tall and drop dead gorgeous with a body that will put any supermodel to shame. Her eyes twinkle with charm and immediately holds on to your attention. But then it is not just her beauty that is good about Alfeeya.
She is someone who has the talent and aura to attract your gaze with her innate acting talent, something that she has ably put on display in her upcoming film, Jihad. While many with Alfeeya’s beauty will run to grab glamorous characters in commercial masala potboilers, Alfeeya has chosen a film that will help her display her acting chops rather than her god-gifted looks.
As they say, fortune favours the brave, Alfeeya’s brilliant turn in Jihad in a de-glam avatar has won her rave reviews at many prestigious international film festivals where the movie was screened. She was the finalist in the ‘Best Actress’ category at Toronto International Hollywood Film Festival 2017 and Semi-finalist in the ‘Best Actress’ category at Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards 2017.
Alfeeya has earlier also won the NRI Achievers BEST DEBUTANT ACTRESS Award and NATIONAL AWARD for Marketing Excellence as the ‘Young Achiever of the Year’2017 presented by Times Network. None other than Prabhudheva has appreciated Alfeeya. Apart from these achievements, Alfeeya has also managed top cricketers like Harbhajan Singh and others while she was working with a sports talent management company. In an exclusive tete-a-tete with Bollywoodwallah.com, Alfeeya spoke about her acting dreams, Jihad and future projects.
Tell us, how did you step into the glamour world?
It was the age of 15 when I thought of becoming an actress and for me getting into the modelling industry first was like a stepping stone to achieve my dream as an actress. So one evening I went for an audition that was being held which was Pantaloons Miss India South. There I met Prasad Bidappa who was the judge. He is the one who launched Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma in the modelling industry. He chose me as one of the finalists and I got launched in the modelling industry. I thereafter started doing ramp shows for Kingfisher and other prestigious brands. But I also had to continue with my studies as I come from an academic family. So I continued with my studies and in my free time continued doing ramps. Once I was done studying, I came down to Mumbai as this is the headquarters of the glamour world. Here I realized that I needed preparation to begin as an actor and also a plan B. So I got into digital marketing and started my own digital media business and set up a company in Dubai. After some time when I had regular inflow of income, I got into acting. I first did an advance course with Actor Prepares. Here I was trained by Chandramohan sir who is from NSD. After the acting course lots of offers came my way but nothing was exciting enough. Eventually this film Jihad happened and I feel in love with the script.
Why did you chose Jihad?
Jihad is not masala film. It is a realistic drama more like parallel cinema. It excited me because I realised this film would give me the chance to explore my talent and both my producer Hyder Kazmi and director Rakesh Parmar were looking for a talented actress. They offered me the role of Bhavna who is a Kashmiri Pandit. She has been widowed after her husband was shot dead by terrorists. How she survives and takes care of her family even while she is pregnant is what you will get to see in the film. The role was intense, challenging and a complex one to portray. My director told me that he doesn’t need an actress for the film but a heroine. I am happy that I got to play a deglam role.
Was it challenging to play a deglam avatar?
Yes. It was challenging to play a deglam role. It is easier to play a chirpy, sexy and glamorous avatar. I however like getting into the skin of the character which is real. For this role, I had to undergo training to speak in Hindi and Kashmiri accent.
You have a great face that is apt for commercial cinema. Are you open to doing commercial films?
I have never said no to commercial movies. I am open to doing anything provided the script is interesting. Be it realistic or commercial, script or subject should be good. It should be something that challenges me as an artist. The script matters the most for me.
Who inspires you as an actor?
I have two favourites. Amitabh Bachchan simply because he is a very good actor. I love the way he acts, his personality and the way he carries himself. He is such an inspirational figure. The best thing about him is even today he doesn’t take his acting career for granted. He is so punctual and comes on time. I look up to that qualities. Among actress it is the eternal Rekha I look up to. She is a great actress and the ultimate diva. There is no one like her.
What about the Khans? Who do you like among the three of them?
I like all three of them. I also like Irrfan Khan. He was simply great in Hindi Medium.
Tell us about your singing talents?
I have always had an inclination towards singing. So to fine tune my skills I took lessons in western classical. I am a trained western vocalist. I am also planning to come out with my English solo soon.
What are your future plans?
As far as cinema goes, I am now busy with Jihad which is doing the rounds of many film festivals and we have been getting rave reviews. I am also currently reading scripts and will very soon lock in on my next film. I believe in quality over quantity and want to give my fans characters, roles and stories that they will remember forever.