Elnaaz Norouzi on Shooting Hollywood Film Kandahar with Gerard Butler: We're Very Similar, Both Crazy | Exc – News18

By: Titas Chowdhury
Last Updated: September 08, 2022, 12:07 IST
Mumbai, India
Elnaaz Norouzi talks about the love she has been getting for Israeli series Tehran and shooting with Gerard Butler for Kandahar.
Actor Elnaaz Norouzi started her acting career with a Pakistani film titled Maan Jao Na in 2018. But it was the Hindi thriller web series Sacred Games that proved to be a game-changer in her career. After appearing in a handful of more web shows, she made her international debut with the second season of the International Emmy Award winning Israeli series, Tehran. And now, she has jetted off to Los Angeles, USA, to shoot for her maiden Hollywood film, Kandahar, an action thriller set against the backdrop of Afghanistan, produced by and starring Gerard Butler.
In an exclusive conversation with News18, Norouzi opens up on her international stint and aiming to straddle both Hollywood and Bollywood with ease in the coming years. Excerpts:
Is there a plan to shift base to the US?
If I do get more work in the US, it would always make sense to have a base there. But I don’t know what the future may bring. I’m concentrating on what I’ve in my hand right now.
You’ve been shooting with Gerard Butler. How is that experience proving to be?
Being a part of such a big movie which has Gerard Butler makes me feel really good. I’ve always been a huge fan of his. I used to watch all of his movies. I never thought that I would be in one of his films. It’s a great pleasure working with him. He’s a fantastic human being. He’s super fun and we’re very similar, we’re both crazy. Having said that, I was nervous to be a part of such a huge production.
Going forward, how do you plan on striking a balance between Hindi cinema and Hollywood?
As of now, I don’t have that much going on in Hollywood but I hope that one day, there will be so much happening in that industry that I’ve to somehow strike a balance between both. When that happy day comes, I’m sure that I’ll find a way. These are good problems to have, for sure (laughs).
With more and more Indian artistes working in Hollywood, do you think colour-blind casting has become a dominant phenomenon?
What has been happening in the entertainment industry, in general, is that people are now looking at actors who aren’t necessarily Indian or only white, in that sense, too. It has become really good for all of us. As for Western cinema, people from different cultural backgrounds are now playing big parts in Hollywood films and shows. Arabs and now Indians are also a part of these productions. Bridgerton is a good example. Indians played a big part in an Israeli series like Tehran. It’s going really well. The stories are also so well written that they’re actually working. I’m happy that it’s happening.
Would you say that your stint in Hollywood is helping you earn more credibility in India too?
Yes, I think so! Jugjugg Jeeyo came at around the same time as Tehran. I did a guest appearance in the former. Everyone saw me and came up to me and complemented my performance. But I remember more people in our industry talking to me about Tehran. They were proud of me for being a part of an international project. I’m glad that they appreciated me for working hard and getting into international cinema as well. We all know that it’s not easy, especially for me, who’s an outsider. Getting into Bollywood wasn’t easy either.
A pertinent topic of conversation related to Indian actors working in Hollywood projects is that they are often seen in blink-and-miss appearances. Are you comfortable with a smaller screen time?
There are several actors out there in the world and many of them sometimes audition for a particular role from different parts of the globe. If anyone makes it to a Hollywood film even for a small role like a cameo or a guest appearance, it already means that they’ve achieved a lot. Tehran won an International Emmy Award in the category of the best drama series. I had a guest role in it but it was a huge deal for me. For me, screen length doesn’t matter. I ask myself if people have remembered me. If the answer is yes, then I think I’ve done my job well.
Do you have an agent in LA now considering every kind of acting assignment there is routed through them?
I’ve my agents and managers in LA and I’ve had them since before the pandemic. They’ve been the best that I’ve ever had. They’ve believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself and thought that I wasn’t good enough. They got me both Tehran and Kandahar. They’ve been with me all throughout my journey and I love them. I’ve auditioned for both. And obviously, it’s my hard work that has resulted in me doing those projects but I truly feel that it’s very important to have a great team. I would like to believe that I’ve the best team in LA. ​
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Titas Chowdhury, senior sub-editor at News18, lives for and writes about cinema and 90s music. Interviewing celebrities, writing about latest trends iRead More
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