Actor Dia Mirza talks to Anushree Kandalkar about turning producer, her favourite film, dream role, and the topic closest to her heart —the environment
She stole hearts in her very first film, Rehna Hain Tere Dil Mein. And it wasn’t just the protragonist who fell in love with the coy and kind Reena, but also the audience. Mirza has brought life to many characters since, in movies like Dus, Cash, and Lage Raho Munna Bhai, where she portrays the role of a girl who does not want to deceive anyone to marry the man of her dreams and stands up to her father for it. In real life too, Mirza certainly stands up for what she believes in. As the UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador for India, she actively supports conscious environmentalism. Over to the actor-turned-humanitarian to learn how she balances her time.
You have a strong stand on women and their choices. Do you believe in equality of the genders? How long do you think it will take us to achieve it?
I am a feminist. I was raised a feminist in a feminist household. My parents, not even for an instance, let me believe that I was different from any of the boys in the house or around us. In fact, the first time I experienced gender inequality was in the workplace, when I realised that the men on the set were treated differently from the women. I think that equality is essential for growth and empowerment. If we hope for a better, safer, and balanced world, we need to offer both men and women an equal place and role at work and at home.
As an active spokesperson for social and environment causes, is there any message you want to give our readers?
The reason I took on environmental consciousness as actively as I did was because I think I worked so closely with children and cancer patients. While working with them, I realised that many of the problems that we deal with as a society are caused by the polluted environment we live in. Everything is polluted, whether it’s the air we breathe, the water we drink, or the food we eat. It’s essential that we become conscious of the fact that the ambition to do great things in life can only be fulfilled if one has the health to do it. It’s important that we protect the health of the environment, because at the end, we have only one planet to live on and if we don’t care for it, we suffer. In terms of environmental consciousness, there’s been an extraordinary shift in the last five years. This is because people across the world from mainstream society, film personalities, among others, have taken up the cause. They have a voice that can transcend all barriers and create a social impact. It's great that these personalities are also making environmentalism an integral part of their identity.
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