Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Dilshad Patel : I can play anyone

Dilshad Patel is one hell of a performer. With a cheerful laugh she says, "I can play anybody you want, between 22 and 26 years. I would call that my screen age." Patel, the latest entrant into Bollywood has a scrumptious role in Sooni Taraporewala’s Little Zizou. She plays the daughter of Boman Irani who gets involved in a love triangle between the two men in the movie.

Dilshad plays the daughter of Boman Irani in Little Zizou

Talking about her experiences on the setsand divulging secrets about the Parsi community to which most of the star cast belongs(Boman Irani, Sohrab Ardeshir, Cyrus Broacha, Mahabanoo Modi-Kotwal and John Abraham, the latter who is half-Parsi) she says, "You know how it is like with Parsis. You throw a few Parsis in a room and it becomes a madhouse. The sets were like a madhouse."

Interestingly, while Little Zizou is Dilshad’s first Bollywood venture, she already has some significant experience in world cinema, and Dilshad admits she owes it to having decided to study acting in New York.

A product of New York Film Academy, she says, "Acting might come naturally to a person, but you need to be thorough with your techniques." Not only did it help her land a role in a Lebanese film by director Mo Rida titled Desaturised, but also gave her a meaty part. Dilshad played an Arab woman in the film that depicted the plight of Arab women post 9/11.

She has also acted in a Hollywood project starring veteran theatre actors like Sir Peter O’ Toole. The period film titled One Night With The King that was Hollywood’s version of the Bible was shot in Jodhpur. She says, "Working on the sets of a Hollywood movie is so different. Everybody is very humble. You don’t feel intimidated at all while you act out your scene beside a veteran."

Did you know?
Patel’s love for dance took her to Brazil where she specialised in Latin American styles. When her acting lessons took her to New York, she continued to dance with Karla Singh, Mumbai’s famous American-origin choreographer and theatre actress.