Alizeh Agnihotri, the daughter of Salman Khan‘s sister Alvira Khan and actor- filmmaker Atul Agnihotri, is all set to make her big screen debut with Farrey, a young adult drama directed by Jamtara fame Soumendra Padhi.
In this interview with indianexpress.com, Alizeh, 23, talks about how she grew up staying away from the limelight even after being born in a filmy family, and why she doesn’t have a PR machinery inviting the paparazzi to click her pictures every time she steps out of the gym or a restaurant.
Alizeh is not the glamourous young girl one would expect a ‘star- kid’ to be like, her choice to do Farrey as her debut is also unconventional. She says it was her personal choice to do something “unexpected” and focus on content in her first film because that’s what the audience are looking at right now.
She says, “It was a personal choice. In a business that is changing every day, it is so unpredictable, you have to do something very unexpected to breakthrough the clutter. So I am glad Farrey happened because it really fascinated me. I thought it was a different way to make a debut. Thanks to the family I come from, people are saying that I am making a big debut, but for me I am like a small part of this film with a lot of good actors, it was a great learning experience. It is a film that is based in a school, so it felt like I was going to school where I was being trained for acting. Even if it is a commercial film, I want my role to be interesting. But yes, I wanted to make a choice like this and I am glad I could actually go ahead with it.”
Does she feel the pressure of belonging to a film family and being Salman Khan’s niece? “Yes, of course. There is a lot of pressure. It is a very stressful situation, especially now that we have started promoting the film, until then I didn’t feel this pressure.”
She adds that she feels even more pressure when it comes to handling the paps. “I am not a star’s daughter, so they (paps) won’t come on their own, I would need to call them. So I rather do that when I have something to show and speak for myself. Now, I want to promote my movie, I want people to go and watch the movie, so I’ll do that. But earlier, just being associated with someone else, I didn’t feel like taking advantage of my family. We are very close and we all get along very well. Everyone in the family has made it on their own, from my grandfather (Salim Khan) to my uncles (Salman, Arbaaz, Sohail Khan), every one of them has found their niche and I know they would want the same for me. They have given me a lot of freedom and I am really glad that I got a lot of time before I joined this world.”
Alizen confesses that being under public scrutiny makes her nervous. “I am a very private person so I am not comfortable being recorded all the time. We are promoting the film right now so we all are looking good. But on a normal day, you look normal but actors are expected to look good every day. Because now people see stars on social media every day, so if they see someone in real, they would be like ‘I saw this person and she doesn’t look good, she’s not good looking’ but I am human so I can look normal. That’s one thing I am still not able to handle,” she says.
Talking about why she’s not comfortable being papped in her daily life, she says, “I don’t know how people look so good walking out of a gym because I won’t look like that. I wear whatever I feel comfortable in, I look very bad, and I leave like that only. It is very easy for me to be on set, in front of the camera, but not off set. I can be on set for hours, do photoshoots for as long as I have to, but when paparazzi comes, I don’t know what happens because there is no control, I am still getting used to that. I am very awkward.”