Zaira Wasim is a popular Indian film actress who rose to nationwide prominence for her portrayal of Indian wrestler Geeta Phogat in the 2016 Hindi language film ‘Dangal’, which also marked her acting debut. Wasim was felicitated with a National Film Award in the category best supporting actress for her performance in the film which also went on to be the highest-grossing film of 2016. The film also holds the record of being the all-time highest-grossing film in India.
Before making her film debut, Wasim appeared in a few television commercials which include a Tata Sky television advertisement and a Microsoft Nokia Lumia cell-phone advertisement alongside actress Kangana Ranaut. Wasim is slated to appear in the lead role in the upcoming film ‘Secret Superstar’ which is also produced by acclaimed actor Aamir Khan, who also produced her debut film ‘Dangal’. Wasim is a protégé of Aamir Khan.
Zaira Wasim – Childhood photo
Early Life and Education
Wasim was born on 23 October 2000 in an affluent family in the city of Srinagar in Jammu & Kashmir state, India and is a native of Hawal region in Downtown Srinagar. She is the only daughter of her parents, father Zahid Wasim who serves as an executive manager at the Jammu and Kashmir Bank and mother Zarqa Wasim who works as a teacher. Wasim practices Islam and is of half Punjabi and half Kashmiri descent. She has one sibling, a brother named Zoraiz.
Wasim attended the St. Paul’s International Academy in Sonwar, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir and completed her matriculation in 2017 from the Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education. Wasim’s parents were initially opposed to her pursuing acting as a career, however they were convinced by her aunt as well as her school principal.
Zaira Wasim – Mother, Father and Brother (Pics)
Wasim appeared in a few advertisements for products like Tata Sky Television and Microsoft Nokia Lumia cell phones at the beginning of her career. She auditioned for the role Indian sportsperson and wrestler Geeta Phogat, (in her childhood years) in the Aamir Khan production ‘Dangal’ and was selected out of more than one thousand girls who auditioned for the part. Directed by Nitesh Tiwari, ‘Dangal’ is a biopic on the life of wrestler Mahaveer Singh Phogat who coaches his daughters to become international wrestlers. Wasim along with her co-stars Shivani Bhatnagar, Fatima Sana Sheikh and Sanya Malhotra underwent rigorous physical and mental training to play the role to perfection, learning to wrestle. The film, which released in December 2016 went on to become both, the highest grossing Indian film of the year as well as the all-time highest grossing Indian film.
Wasim received great critical review for her performance of the young Geeta Phogat and went on to win a National Film Award in the category ‘Best Supporting Actress’ in 2017. She was also felicitated with a Big Zee Entertainment Award in the category ‘Best Child Artiste’.
Wasim appeared in a second film by mentor Aamir Khan, titled ‘Secret Superstar’ in which portrays the titular character, the lead role of ‘Insia’, a young girl with the passion of becoming a singer, who keeps her identity hidden. Wasim shared screen space with Aamir Khan, who appeared in an extended cameo. The film met with a fantastic response, when it released on 19th October 2017.
Wasim became a target of social media trolling in March 2017 when she accepted the invitation to meet Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed in the wake of unprecedented unrest and the death of a militant which triggered anti-India protests, resulting in the death of over 90 people. She later apologized and claimed she was “not proud of what I am doing” and that she disliked being called a “role model”.
Wasim claims to have suffered from self-esteem issues and social anxiety before she embarked upon her career in acting. She says she is extremely shy and has only a handful of friends. Like her character in Secret Superstar, Wasim is also a guitar player and can play the instrument very well.
Zaira Khan – Pictures