For any film, the casting
is very important. For this story, we needed
a 14-15 year-old girl. You won’t usually find
such talent in this industry. There aren’t any 14-15 year-old actors. You have to look for them. And in this story,
the girl is the central character. So, she is the most important. It was imperative that we cast her right. And then one day Aamir sir called me
and said we’ve just auditioned a girl… called Zaira… for Dangal. I’m definitely casting her in Dangal.
You should also test her. I think she’s right for your film,
according to me. – What’s your name?
– Zaira Wasim. – Zaira, can you tell me about yourself? – How old are you?
What do you do? I’m 14 years old.
I’m from Kashmir. I’m a student.
I’m in the 9th grade. That’s it. Just promise me. Mom, please.
– Alright. I promise. Promise. – Are you happy? Yes. – Shall I go and finish my work?
– Go. Immediately, I called up Aamir sir. And I said, “Please sir,
don’t cast her in Dangal.” “Don’t cast her in Dangal.” He said, “Why? What happened?”,
I said, “Sir, she’s perfect for us.” You’ll get a lot of girls for Dangal. He said, “Are you mad?
I can’t do that.” We’ve found her. Nitesh has liked her. And we’re going ahead with her. If you like her… you wait. Let Dangal get made first. Make your film after that. I said, “No, sir!” I said, “We’ve to do this film right now.
Everything’s ready.” I mean, we’ve got our location. We have everyone’s dates. I was really excited to make this film
and I didn’t want to stop myself. But, I knew that I would never ever
find a better Insia. She auditioned so well for Insia… that we felt she was perfect
and we couldn’t cast anyone else. Dangal was… physically more challenging. But, Secret Superstar was mentally
and emotionally more challenging. When I was taken on board…
the first thing that came to me was that Insia writes her own songs. She also sings so well. She also plays the guitar. I obviously can’t learn to sing. I didn’t need to write the lyrics either. But… the two things I had
that I could experiment with… and that I had to work on…
was acting… and the guitar. She will have to learn
the guitar chords to the songs. She’s in for a challenge. I can’t understand anything. Sir, this is very confusing. The C, it’s just one note behind
that you need to go… You don’t want to swap the fingers. So, this guy takes over this note. Nothing else changes.
Only these two… Okay. So, we start from the…
– From C. You’re playing C, basically. Yeah! We were full of doubt. Will she be able to do it? Or will we have to cheat a lot?
Will she be able to play the chords right or not? To play in sync, is very tough. She has worked very hard. It’s not that she’s acting how to play. She’s actually learnt how to play.
So that it doesn’t look unreal.♪ My dearest mom. ♪♪ She’s my dearest… my mom! ♪The intensity and passion
that came through in her performance… was not just in her singing,
but overall as a performer… as an actor. She’s amazing! Nothing’s impossible for this girl. She can do anything.♪ Will someone tell me,
who am I? ♪I would go to her daily
to rehearse the song. So we would not miss out on anything. Shall we do this? Will you lipsync on this song with me? I’ll sing… you play the guitar and… I end up voicing it.
– That’s okay. It’s okay.
– Alright. Start.
– Don’t laugh.♪ Should I live my truth?
Or remain silent? ♪♪ Should I bear my soul?
Or break my heart? ♪♪ Should I cross all boundaries?
Or rein myself in? ♪♪ Should I keep fighting?
Or just give up? ♪Aamir sir helped a lot. He used to make things
clear for me. What I knew subconsciously,
I have to do things this way… He would make it crystal clear…
“This is what you have to do.” Firstly, in the take,
she has to follow the breathing. Second, you have to follow the projection. The singer has sung…
“Your love!” and if you simply mime it, it won’t match. So, you have to project…
as much as she’s projecting.♪ I dance wild and free… ♪When Meghna was singing
‘Nachdi Phira’ in the studio, Zaira was part of that.
She saw how she was singing. Then, she went into the studio
and sang it with her. So, Zaira really studied Meghna
as a singer in order to be able
to pull off this character.♪ I dance wild and free… ♪Before every practice session, I used to ask her to sing
at least twice. At first, I would observe
her breathing pattern. The second time, I would notice
how she sang, see her hand movements. When do her eyes close.
How she was singing. After that, I mimicked her
for a month and then…♪ I dance wild and free,
adorned in you, my love. ♪♪ I dance wild and free,
resonating with you, my love. ♪