Competing with a thousand girls, Zaira never thought she would ever get a chance to land a role in the film. But luck was on her side, as she bagged the role of wrestler Geeta Phogat and got the chance to share screen space with Aamir. After completing shooting for six months in Mumbai, Zaira is now back in Srinagar.
“I was like new to the (showbiz) world and felt nervous when I was working with my co-actors on the sets”, said Zaira on the phone. “The experience has been so strong to change my life. Playing Geeta Phogat, the role demanded wrestling skills on my part. I had to go through rigorous physical and mental training,” added the 15-year-old Zaira, who is currently in Class 10.
Phogat is the first woman wrestler from India to have won the gold in the 55 kg freestyle category at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. In Dangal, Aamir plays wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, who trained his two daughters in the sport.
Zaira’s training included exhaustive morning sessions of running, swimming and wrestling. The training made her learn to overcome anxieties.