She is one of the hottest glamdolls to have set the Indian big screen afire. She is a Persian by descent and one of the few foreign babes to have taken Bollywood by storm. And her recent appearances in popular web series have sent the Indian viewers crazy. She spent her lock down days with her parents, who are settled in Germany. And now she’s is back to Mumbai to sprinkle the glamour, all over.
Meet Elnaaz Norouzi (born 9 July 1992) is an Iranian actress and model who works in the Indian film industry. She plays Zoya in Netflix India’s first original show Sacred Games. She has also appeared with Guru Randhawa in his music video for his Made in India. And was aso seen doin a cameo in Abhay thriller series.
She grew up in Germany mastering German, English, French and now she speaks fluent Hindi too, Urdu and Punjabi. Before she started acting , she has been working for more than 10 Years as a very successful international Model for brands like Dior, Lacoste and Le Coq Sportive to name a few. She has theatre training of one Year from Germany and has done several acting workshops in India. Elnaaz had also be seen in the Second Part of Sacred Games in 2019.
Born in Tehran, Iran. shortly after she was born, she with her parents moved to Hannover, Germany, with her entire family. She started modelling when she was about 14 years old, going to school and managing shoots on the weekends became her everyday life. Till the age of 19, she travelled in Asia and Europe. Once she finished school she decided to move to India.
She has endorsed in India brands such as Thums Up, Titan Raga, Myntra, Canon, Samsung, Being Human, Fiama Di Wills, Le Coq Sportif and Dior. She made her debut in Pakistan and the Punjabi film industry through Maan Jao Naa and Khido Khundi respectively.
“I am so glad to be back. There are multiple projects lined up and I can’t wait to get back on the sets. I had a great time in Spain and Germany. I learned as much as I could — be it cooking, gardening, or other things,” Elnaaz said.
Proud of her German upbringing and her native country Iran’s culture, she tells us how difficult it was learning Hindi for her and adapting to Mumbai’s lifestyle.
I always wanted to become an actor. It was a childhood dream that came true. I decided that I should work in Bollywood because I was always so fascinated by the films and their music. In pursuit of it, I did theatre for some time in Germany to hone my skills and finally, I decided that it is the right time to enter the industry.
Q. How difficult was it to adapt in Mumbai after spending time in Germany and Iran?
A. Honestly speaking, it was extremely tough, it is a different world altogether and a different culture for me. It takes years for an outsider to adapt but I feel now it’s just like home for me. I feel very close to India, at least in my heart.
The German and Indian cultures are very different but Iranian and Indian cultures are somewhat closer. So, I learned things quickly.
Q. Do tell us about your learning process of Indian sensibilities and learning Hindi.
A. Learning Hindi was a tough thing. All the languages I have ever learnt in my life were professionally taught with rules and here I was left with answers like – there is no rule. They said it is the way it is and you just have to know how to build the sentence. That is when I realised I need to do this myself, so mostly I learned Hindi by myself and realised that there actually are rules! So, now I can read write and speak in Hindi.
Q. Do you think because of penetration of platforms like Netflix, actors get an equal chance of recognition as their film counterparts?
A. Yes. In fact, I feel that because of the reach that Netflix has, some actors might be more known in other countries than if they’d just do a Hindi film. Obviously, a film’s reach is also huge but never on such an international level as Netflix. And if the Netflix film or series is a huge hit, then it can’t even be compared to any film. This is my feeling.
How do you see the portrayal of women in “Sacred Games”?
I do like their representation, we have a raw agent who is good at what she does. We have Kanta bai who is so strong as well as uncompromising. Zoya is being portrayed as a self-made woman.
It was also a great experience working with Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap. I had two amazing directors guiding me and teaching me at every stage and helping me throughout this journey. For the second season, I am very excited to working with Neeraj (Ghaywan) Sir, wondering how it will be to be directed by him.
PALLAB BOSE is a Career Coach, Motivational Speaker, Soft Skills Trainer, Podcaster, Blogger, Show Director & Show/Webinar Host. He regularly writes articles and blogs on Soft skills, Motivation, Careers, Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle, Bollywood & Hollywood Movies, Supermodels,Travel, History, Food etc.