Zealous, zany Zoa

Free-spirited

Zoa Morani

She is netting in rich accolades for playing the pivotal role of a Parsi girl, Jehaan, in Zee5’s latest popular web series, Akoori. Actress Zoa Morani is in a happy zone, proving that she is a rare combination of startling looks and superb talent, post her silver screen outings in superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s production Always Kabhi Kabhi (she is dubbed as SRK’s discovery), and filmmaker Bhushan Kumar’s Bhaag Johnny.

Akoori is an interesting story that centres around a dysfunctional Parsi family, with the slow drama unfolding when a sudden tragedy compels them to bury their own personal differences and huddle together to combat the challenge life throws up out of the blue at them,” shares Zoa, the lilt in her voice evident as we settle down to chat over a cup of coffee. The series brags of a superlative, stalwart cast with theatre biggies including Lillete Dubey, Darshan Zariwala, Shadab Kamal and Adi Irani holding court.

Going de-glam

Zoa Morani has many reasons to smile. “In purSuit of magic” reads the description on her instagram handle (with over 60,000 followers). Recently, she appeared in a de-glam avatar in another web series Yeh Crazy Dil by Adeep Rais that was shot in the midst of the Mumbai humdrum. A slice of real life drama, which also saw Zoa attending preparatory workshops as well as lopping her treasured locks by a good six inches for the role.

Beautiful and petite, Zoa is the daughter of film producer Karim Morani, who also owns one of Bollywood’s biggest event management companies, Cineyug Entertainment. She debuted with film director Roshan Abbas’s Always Kabhi Kabhi (a Red Chillies production) and has great memories of her maiden film. “It has been one of the most beautiful experiences of my life, something that I am forever grateful for and absolutely cherish every day,” she says, in recollection of the days of the first time she faced the camera.

Before her debut on the silver screen, Zoa worked as assistant director on filmmaker Farah Khan’s blockbuster Om Shanti Om, and was even assistant director on filmmaker Raj Kumar Santoshi’s movie Halla Bol as well. She has walked the ramp for Lakme Fashion Week and India International Jewellery Week as well. Cut to Akoori in 2018. Zoa absolutely lived with the script for two months, preparing for her role through workshops, improvisations, dialogue rendition...

Winsome

“I would read the entire story every single morning, virtually inhaling the world of Akoori and lived it out totally in my own imagination... familiarising myelf with Jehaan and her upheavals,” she shares on prodding about the preparation she did for her winsome rendition of Jehaan.

After her second movie Bhaag Johnny (directed by filmmaker Vikram Bhatt starring Kunal Khemu and Mandana Karimi) failed to do well, Zoa simply disappeared from the film scene.

“Honestly, the movie offers that I was getting were hardly anything to write home about. So I dipped into theatre to work on my skills and this project simply fell into my lap,” she says.

Of course, the dynamics of the movie screening business have undergone a radical upheaval with the arrival and consequent popularity of web series with avid film audiences across the globe. That made her delve into the web series. “ I am actually thankful to the web world as now there are so many opportunities to narrate different stories, experiment with newer genres and take on meatier, radical roles for us actors to perform,” she says. 

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Zealous, zany Zoa

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