“I was just walking about looking at camels when a guy asked if he could take my picture."
Hailing from Loharin, Kashmir, Feryna Wazheir is one of the most beautiful women in Bollywood. Born and raised in Scotland this apna lass has been into films from childhood.
She studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA). Nowadays, Feryna splits her time between Glasgow, Mumbai and London.
Her love of theatre and Bollywood was evident at a young age and led her to roles in amateur theatre.
Speaking about her love for of acting, Feryna, in an exclusive Gupshup with DESIblitz, says:
“As an actor, I like to work in everything, commercial, art house. They’re both different and beautiful in different ways.”
Wazier performed in the play The Vagina Monologues (1998) at the tender age of seventeen. Consisting of a varying number of monologues dealing with the aspect of female experience, from rape to orgasm.
It is a play directed by award-winning playwright Eve Ensier, embodying the vagina and a tool of female empowerment.
At university, Feryna studied film communication and cultural studies; this broadened her outlook on her chosen career path.
When Wazheir visited India, Pushkar, her only intention was to see the camel fair. But her compelling beauty caught the eye of top photographer, Farock Chotia.
Chotia kick started her career with high profile shoots in, Elle India, Seventeen and L’offciel. After this there was no looking back for Wazheir.
This led into an array of opportunities in advertisements and commercials. Just think if Wazheir hadn’t have gone to the camel fair she wouldn’t have been featured in top magazines and publications:
“I was just walking about looking at camels when a guy asked if he could take my picture. After that there was no looking back. I did shoots for clothing brands and magazines and I ended up on a 20 ft billboard as the face of India’s biggest jeweller. It was crazy.”
Her Bollywood debut was in 2010. Starring alongside Hema Malini and Rishi Kapoor in Sadiyaan. A film directed by Raj Kanwar covering the partition in India. Feryna was nominated ‘Best Debut Performance’ for her role at the Filmfare Awards 2011:
Speaking about when she secured the role, Feryna admitted: “I can’t quite believe I’m working alongside stars like Rishi Kapoor and Hema Malini who I idolised as a child. It’s a dream come true.”
Feryna acted in Ketan Metha’s Rang Rasiya (2008), a movie based on the 19th century Indian painter, Raja Ravi Varma’s life. The film won the Audience Award at London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) in 2011.
She was also appointed as the official Brand Ambassador for the London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) in 2012 and 2013.
Wazheir also did a short film in 2012, Khaana directed by LIFF’s creative director Cary Rajinder Sawhney. Feryna played a powerful role of an orthodox Muslim woman who loves fish and chips. Challenging the idea of British identity, the film won the renowned ‘Future Filmmaker Award 2012’ at the Palm Springs Short Film Festival 2012.
On talking about her acting inspirations, Feryna admits:
“Great actors that you watch on screen [inspire me]. Marion Cotillard, or Eva Green, Meryl Streep, Madhuri Dixit, Sridevi, Rekha.”
“I mean you get inspired by so many. And also you get inspired by people in everyday life as well because they are the characters you portray so different things inspire me.”
Wazheir has flowing chocolate brown hair and soft, fair skin. Unmistakably beautiful many have described her as an old world beauty. A famous Indian painter compared her to the Apsaras or heavenly creatures in ancient paintings. The late Yash Chopra, one of India’s top film makers, even said that she is ‘beauty, innocence and vulnerability personified’.
Bollywood came to Feryna but before all that she had a different plan. She never set out to become a Bollywood star and as a child, she dreamed of being a politician or a journalist.
Consequently, when she broke into the world of acting her father was not impressed. He always had her down for the next Jodie Foster.
Although when the first Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond admitted he was a Feryna fan her father came to realise what a big business Bollywood is:
“In a way it was my Dad’s fault that I went down the acting route as the pair of us used to sit up into the wee small hours watching Indian movies,” she says.
Wazheir is not only wonderfully talented young woman but also a charitable one. She has been active in many social causes that help disadvantaged people from a young age.
At just sixteen, during the school holidays, she went to East Africa for three months. She shot and presented a documentary on the Massai tribe and their cause. The documentary was aired on prime time KTN and KBC. At such a young age, a compassionate act of kindness.
Wazheir also walked the Graffiti ball charity show in 2008. The event held in London was raising money for street children.
In 2009, she starred in a two-minute film alongside Hurman Baweja. Titled Eco of Echoes, it was a provocative short film raising awareness about Global Warming. Directed by Dan Nalin it was shown at the Cannes Film Festival.
Wazheir’s streak of success in Bollywood is set to continue. The actress has recently signed a two film deal with iRock films. iRock films are a youth focused Indian studio. Siddartha M Jain, CEO of iRock said:
“Feryna has been cast in two iRock films and we will pitch her in fun, youth-centric and high concept edgy films, details for which we will be announcing soon.”
A multi-talented young woman with impeccable beauty. Feryna Wazheir looks set to make permanent place for herself in Bollywood.