Date of Birth: 9 December 1981,Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Height: 5’6″ or 1.68 m
Weight: 52 Kgs
Marital status: single
Former Boyfriend: Bunty Sachdev
Likes: chocolates and children
Favorite Perfume: Baby Doll by Ralph Lauren
Favorite food: Hyderabadi Biryani and Italian Pasta
Favourite films: Forest Gump and Schlinder’s List
Favourite Car: The Beetle
Her hero: Prince William and Tom Cruise
Occupation: bollywood actress
Debut Film: Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein
Languages: hindi, english, urdu, bengali and telugu
Kabhi Bhi Kahin Bhi
Naam Gum Jaayega
My Brother Nikhil
Tumsa Nahin Dekha
Kyun…! Ho Gaya Na
Pran Jaaye Par Shaan Na Jaaye
Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge
Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein
Dia was born in December 9, 1981 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. Her dad’s name was Frank Handrich, a German National, and an Interior Designer by profession, and her mom, Deepa, is Bengali-speaking. Deepa and Frank separated when Dia was 6, and Frank passed away three years later. Deepa then married Ahmed Mirza. The family lived in Khairatabad near Hyderabad and she completed her schooling in Vidyaranya High School and in Nasr School. Her step-father passed away during 2004.
She was introverted and unhappy as a child, and it was her parents, especially her mom, who instilled self-confidence and assisted her to break free from the barriers of low self-esteem.
At the age of 16, after completing her 10th standard, she got a job with Sriven Multi-Tech in Hyderabad. This job paved her way to modeling assignments with Lipton, Emami amongst others. With this exposure she was encouraged to participate in the 2000 Femina Miss India Beauty Pageant, which she did, came up the second runner-up and won three titles namely Femina Miss India-Pacific, Sony Viewer’s Choice Award, and Miss Beautiful Smile. She went on to be crowned Miss Asia-Pacific on December 2, 2000 at Manila, making her the second Indian to win this award after a gap of 29 years.
Dia wanted to complete her graduation in Arts by correspondence, but decided to postpone it as it was becoming difficult to juggle between the Miss Asia Pacific Competition, modeling assignments, traveling and training. She was assisted by Sabira Merchant on diction and etiquette; diet with Anjali Mukherjee; gymnasium and physical fitness with Talwalkars; clothes from Ritu Kumar and Hemant Trivedi; skin care with Dr. Jamuna Pai; and make-up and hair-care from Bharat and Doris Godambe.
Dia made her debut on the tinsel screen with ‘Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein’ during 2001, and thus was able to launch her career as an actress.
Her beautiful smile
Won the Miss Asia-Pacific contest in 2000 and is considered one of the most beautiful actresses in Indian cinema.
Born to a German father and a Bengali mother
Titles: Miss Beautiful Smile, The Sony Viewers Choice Award.
Her interests other than acting are reading, writing, and music.
“I have learned a lot in the film industry. There was a time when I told my mother let’s go. I did not want to continue to act. It was getting frustrating. I realized that the minute your film flops those producers who are keen to sign you make an excuse and back out at the last minute. You are dropped from the film. Sometimes the film is announced in a lavish way but does not take off. I got tired of all this and thought of seriously giving up my career once and for all. But then I realized that things were not so bad for me after all. Filmmakers respected me! Few have shown genuine interest to cast me in their films. And that is what has kept me going.”
About actor Salman Khan: “Once my mother fell unconscious. I called Salman since he stays close to my house. It was with his help that I was able to rush my mother to the hospital. The doctor later told us that had we not to got my mother admitted within those 15 minutes, she would have had very little chance of survival. I’m eternally grateful to Salman and will stand by him no matter what.”
What did you think when director Reema Kagti and Farhan Akhtar narrated the script of Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd.?
You know after Parineeta, I wondered if I would get to do some new and interesting cinema again. Then came Reema with this stunningly refreshing script in hand which was so different from the star-studded extravaganza I am usually offered. Reema had taken these six honeymooning couples on a package tour and put all their stories together in a mesmerizing narrative which was not larger than life to make it look foolish, yet not so close to real life to make it boring. It was just what the actor in me was looking for!
How did the idea of there being more than 12 actors in the film, including Shabana Azmi, Boman Irani, Kay Kay Menon, Raima Sen appeal to you?
The film was not about heroes and villains, about the good guys and the bad, but about a whole bunch of newly married people with stories woven around each couple’s love and relationship. The script was so path-breaking that I did not take me a minute to say yes. I have already done my share of main leads, am not an insecure actor to be intimidated by the presence of my co-stars.
What’s your take on your character in the film, Shilpa Shah the newly-wed Gujarati girl?
I have played a variety of characters in my films, but what made Shilpa’s character so endearing to me was that it was so real to life. While Reema had gone into the details of the characterization of the guju girl who loved her Hindi cinema and bhel puri, designer Arjun Basin had designed the clothes exactly what a lower middle class Gujarati girl from Mumbai would wear. And the twist is that unlike the very docile girls from this community who are brought up thinking that husbands should be treated like God, she hates her husband!
What was your rapport with Ranvir Shorey who plays your husband in the film?
On reel he does the most despicable things for me to hate him, but off screen Ranvir is a riot! He made everyone laugh with his miming and jokes.
What about the other cast of “Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd”?
It could not been more perfect! Each character is strongly etched and will draw the audience attention. But my favorite track is that of Kay Kay and Raima Sen who play a Bengali couple from Kolkata. Theirs is an interestingly shaded plot with layers of emotion, and both the actors have taken it to a new level by their amazing performances.
Which was the most perfect couple of the lot?
Abhay Deol and Minissha Lamba who plays a Parsi couple is picture perfect.
They are childhood sweethearts and the made-for-each- other types. But on the sets they were the most tormented! To put across their compatibility, they had to be shown perfectly in tune with each other whether it was the way they swam together or the way they ate. We would all go hysterical when Reema would throw them back into the pool again and again to synchronize their swimming!
What is Reema’s forte as a director?
Oh, she is a master craftsman. She knows exactly what she wants and like any male director she holds the reins and no one can force her to do anything she does not want to. Even if the idea came from a veteran like Shabana Azmi or Boman Irani she would brush it aside curtly if she did not like it. The only time we felt she is a woman was when she would get hysterical and start yelling to get the attention of all the12 actors!
What are your expectations from “Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd”?
Very high! Not only has the film taken me to a new level as an actress, it is sure to redefine Bollywood and take Indian cinema to a new future.
Honeymoon Travels will break the boring monotony of our films, and make us proud!
Do your future plans include a honeymoon?
Noooo, but they do include films like Bits And Pieces with Rahul Bose, Sanjay Gupta’s Alibagh and Shootout at Lokhandwala!
Dia Mirza is keeping her fingers crossed for her film ACID FACTORY slated for October 9th release. During her breezy visit in Kolkata, she tells our correspondent that Bollywood is not easy to handle.
We heard you have literally put heart into ACID FACTORY…
In fact, why only heart? I put my heart, head, eyes, muscles…everything…in short, I put my entire being into ACID FACTORY. This film is really important for me.
Why? Just for the sake of box office?
Yes; but not only box office. For the first time I have tried to break away from my image of an all-virtuous Bollywood heroine and experimented with greyer shades.
|“Everyone thinks I am too sweet to bitch…”|
Don’t you think it’s a risk too early in your career?
I don’t think so. Bollywood is not easy to handle whether you are in the beginning or the middle of your career. As long as you can deliver the best, you are there. And to be there, you have to take risks of experimenting with different genres. As it is, a blue-blood actor must be able to handle all types of roles with equal expertise…be it a romantic one, or dancing around trees or playing a terrorist.
You worked really hard on your physique for ACID FACTORY…
Know what, I was not an original choice for this film. Producer-writer Sanjay Gupta always perceived me as someone who is all sweetness; in fact, everyone thinks I am too sweet to bitch or to play a bitch. So Sanjay was a bit unsure about casting me in the film, especially because it is one woman versus six men…she has to be strong and at par with the men. But I went mad for this role and worked out like crazy on my physique and looks, at the same time setting my mindset for this character. And finally, he was convinced. In fact, he was a little taken aback when he saw the change in the ‘sweet and angelic’ Dia (laughs).
You have done the stunts in the film yourself?
Yes. I didn’t take a body double. I did all the stunts myself. They were not easy; at times, really painful. But at the end of the day, I felt the six months of rigorous training and the entire struggle is worth enough.
Tell us about your hot look in the film.
Oh! For the first time in the 27 years of my life, I coloured my hair. I had to get a feminine yet toned body. The look is completely westernized. There are news that I have worn skimpiest outfits in the film. But this is not right. I haven’t shown my skin but strength in this film. But, honestly speaking, I fell in love with my outfits in the film, especially a red gown. Not only my look, but all the actors have been styled up so differently that they add a new edge to the film. We recently walked the ramp in Kolkata at a fashion show arranged in our ACID FACTORY outfits and the public response was terrific.
How was to be the Queen Bee among six men?
Queen Bee? Really! (Giggles) We were a pack of different people. While Dino (Morea) is a complete fun-pack, Aftab (Shivdasani) is a bit reserved. Danny Sir is an institution and I learnt a lot from him on the sets. Irrfan (Khan), Manoj (Bajpai) and Fardeen (Khan) and I jelled like buddies during the making of the film.