• Saturday, August 20, 2022


Born in Iran, but made in India

Elnaaz Norouzi

By: Manju Chandran



MOVING to another country to pursue your dreams is challenging and more so if you are a female, but an increasing number of success stories have shown that even the most impossible dreams can come true.

Born in Iran and bought up in Germany, Elnaaz Norouzi is a rising star who is making an impressive mark in India. The model-turned-actress made her debut in Punjabi film Khido
Khundi and then announced herself internationally with a winning appearance in popular India-set Netflix drama Sacred Games.

The rising star also appeared in Guru Randhawa’s video for the song Made In India, which has over 446 million YouTube views and featured in advertisements for top brands. The
versatile performer is currently working on a south Indian film and has other projects on the way.

Eastern Eye caught up with Elnaaz to speak about her time in India, working on Sacred Games and fashion.

What first connected you to India?
My parents used to love Bollywood films and I started watching them too. That’s where it all started.

What made you want to go from modelling to acting?
I started modelling at the age of 14. I was super fascinated while watching actors play a
role and wanted to be able to do that myself one day. So the profession of acting was always my aim.

How did you feel landing a role in Sacred Games?
Well, at first, I just felt happy that I finally got something which I thought will be a good role to play. When Sacred Games became a huge success, I was just super proud to be
part of such a watershed in the history of entertainment.

What has been the most memorable aspect of working on Sacred Games?
I think the fact that I got to work with such brilliant directors and such outstanding actors has been the most memorable aspect.

What can we expect from you next?
I’m shooting for a Tamil film at the moment and I’ll start shooting a Bollywood
feature film in October.

Is the biggest challenge finding those great projects?
It truly is. Sometimes, I wonder if it’s the right decision to let go of a particular project because you never know when the next best comes by. Having said that, I’m happy with my choices. You have to believe in the script that you choose.

Have you made a master plan?
Everyone makes master plans, but nothing ever goes as planned. It’s good to have a goal that you work actively towards and stay focused.

Is working in the west on the radar for you?
I’m happy to work anywhere as long as I am acting and doing what I love to do. If I get a good project in the west I’ll go ahead with it, why not?

Do you have a dream role?
One of the reasons why I wanted to become an actor is that I wanted to know how and why people do the things they do. Being able to play a schizophrenic person must be super
hard, but amazing for an actor. One would have to do a lot of research and it’s certainly not easy. That would be great and challenging.

What has the experience of living in India been like?
It has been great and not without its ups and downs. There’s a lot to adjust, but it’s home now and I’m happy with it. It’s very different than any other country that I have lived in so far. It requires a lot of adjustment, but once you figure it out, it’s beautiful.

Tell us, which Indian qualities have you adopted?
Indians are tolerant, mellow and understanding. These are some of the things
that I learned after living here.

Who would you say has been the most interesting person you have met on your journey as a model and actress?
I’ve met quite a lot of interesting people on my journey. I wouldn’t be able to name just one.

You have eye-catching fashion, what are your big fashion inspirations?
I think, I just wear what makes me feel comfortable and nice. I don’t have any
major fashion inspiration. I just like to be me, that’s all.

Tell us, what is your favourite fashion accessory?
Watches and earrings.

What are your big passions away from work?
I love travelling, reading books and dancing. I guess I get to do all of this while being an actor, so I don’t really need to be away from work to be able to do all this.

If you could master something new what would it be?
Playing the guitar and riding a horse.

What inspires you?
I get inspired by taking risks; doing new things without knowing what’s awaiting me. I get inspired by watching people do what they do and how some have reached amazing heights
coming from nowhere. I think it’s inspiring to listen to the stories of people. Sometimes I hear such amazing stories and I wish I could make films on everyone’s lives.

Eastern Eye

Related Stories

Eastern Eye


Mrunal Thakur on Dhamaka, experience of working with Kartik Aaryan,…
Nushrratt Bharuccha on Chhorii, pressure of comparison with Lapachhapi, upcoming…
Abhimanyu Dassani on Meenakshi Sundareshwar, how his mom Bhagyashree reacted…