EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH TANIA ZAETTA
Fellow P2k members & (Non Members) at long last I’ve got of my backside & did a interview!!
I was waiting for the right subject to come along & it did in the form of International Superstar Tania Zaetta!
So in true paparazzi fashion I got hold of her at Heathrow Airport while she was waiting to catch a flight back to India.
Tony: Tania first of all thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us.
Tony: Your Australian-Italian right? Which part is which?
Tania: Well My Dad Is Italian & My Mum is Australian, so I have the best of both worlds! Including a good Olive complexion which sort of helps with all my work in India.
Tony: How did you get in to the Bollywood Scene?
Tania: I suppose it was because one of my TV shows “Who Dares Wins” has aired in over 100 countries in the past 13 years. They say it was the first ever reality TV show, I’d take people of the streets, offer them a ‘dare’ then train them up to do these amazing huge life changing stunts.
If they couldn’t do it then, the ‘dare’ would come back to me and I’d have a go at it. Some of the things I’ve done include jumping off a 17 story building, swimming with a great white shark, climbing ladders under flying helicopters & loads of other crazy stuff.
The show was so popular in India and South East Asia that the Tv network in India invited us in to make a new series just for their market.
The show was called ‘Extreme Dhamaka’ and was broadcast all over the world on the AXN network.
Tony: Who inspires you in Bollywood?
Tania: Well it’s a little hard to say, as I’ve only been based in Mumbai for a year & a half, I don’t think I have anyone in particular, but I would have to say I admire Rani Mukerji for her acting ability which I think is amazing.
Ashwaria Rai for her screen presence & dancing.
Also Salman Khan, the people love him (he happens to be my neighbor in Mumbai as well.)
Tony: What do you think will be your main challenge for you in Bollywood?
Tania: I think the language barrier is probably my biggest dilemma as I don’t speak Hindi, but I’m working on that as we speak with a private tutor.
I’m also quite lucky that my producers write the films in English, It helps me no ends. Also the Heat and humidity is a killer for me when I’m filming outdoors all day.
Tony: What was working on Salaam Namaste like?
Tania: Amazing! It was the first ever Hindi / Bollywood film shot entirely in OZ so it was wonderful to be part of it.
Saif & Preity were great as well and I made some great friends out of working on that film.
I got to be their host, taking them out to some restaurants & bars, generally showing them around my country.
All the Indian cast and crew really enjoyed filming in Australia.
I’ve worked really hard for a very long time to get where I am today so to be able to be one of the first foreigners to really conquer Bollywood in back to back films is an amazing feeling.
I’m from a small town in the outback of Oz, so I wasn’t really bred into my chosen career but it does feel very special to know that you may have made a difference somewhere.
Tony: What was your role in Bunty aur Bubli about?
Tania: My role in Bunty aur Bubli was a fabulous role that set up most of the storyline for the 2nd half of the film.
My character wanted to get married in the Taj Mahal & was asking my fiancé in the film to buy it for me. He got conned out of a large amount of money by Abhishek & Rani. Very funny stuff.
It’s amazing as people still think it was me, not my character trying to buy the Taj Mahal for real. So when locals see me, they bust out laughing saying SHE was the one that was trying to buy the Taj Mahal!
Tony: What projects are you currently working at the moment?
Tania: I have just completed a new film called Mr. Black. Mr. White which star Arshad Warsi & Sunil Shetty, I still host a lot of various Tv shows around the world which keep me very busy, and now I’m doing a guest role as celebrity guest in the title song for new film, “Dil Apna Punjabi” starring Harbhajan Maan.
Tony: Can you understand / speak Hindi or Punjabi.
Tania: Well I paid a private tutor for 30 lessons in Hindi, I’ve only taken 3 so far, not had time to go back & carry on with them.
As for Punjabi, I can’t speak it, but was told if I could make round Roti’s, every Punjabi boy’s mums would love me!
Tony: Why did you agree to do an item number in a Punjabi film?
Tania: Dreaded word that is, “Item”, I agreed to do it because it was a fab song and the timing was right for me.
I’ve already acted in 3 Bollywood films so I’ve earnt my credibility as an actress and know I won’t be labeled ‘an item girl’.
Also because of Harbhajan Maan.
He’s a well know international singer & film actor so it’s a wonderful stepping stone to hopefully win the hearts of the Punjabi’s.
The songs in the film are fabulous, Tips music & films the producers of the film have a good track record as well.
Plus we’re both tall & so we suit each other in the song!
Tony: A question I have been asked to be put forward to you, from Beef (a loyal Punjab2000 message board member) do you like bhangra, and have you heard of RDB, Panjabi MC or Jazzy B?
Tania: Well I’ve not heard of RDB, so sorry as for Panjabi MC, I’m sure everyone has heard of him. I’ve heard of Jazzy B, but don’t know any of his songs.
But I love the sound of Bhangra music.
One of the best nights I’ve had in India was seeing Jassi in concert.
It was amazing & he invited me to see his show because we were staying in the same hotel,
I dance the night away and learnt many new dance steps, actually more just dance movements with your shoulders.
Tony: You’ve had a wide range of TV roles Inc Who Dares Wins & the Indian version Extreme Dhamaka, Baywatch & a Fitness DVD.
You’ve already mentioned Extreme Dhamaka, so tell us about Baywatch.
Tania: I loved Baywatch!!
It was every Australian girls (and others I’m sure) dream to paid to be on the beach all day in the sun. (I even have a Red Baywatch outfit, which I nicked, LOL) . David Hasselhoff was a great person to work with & so were the rest of the casts.
Tony: What about the Fitness DVD “Box! With Tania”?
Tania: Basically as the title suggest it’s a fitness DVD, which is good for women to train to, to help them keep fit & get there stamina up etc.
It based on Kickboxing exercises, as I was introduced into Kickboxing by a friend of mine who was the Australian National Champion.
So I took it up. Overall I have I have being kickboxing for about 10 years or so now.
I spent 3 weeks at a Muay Thai Kickboxing training school in Thailand & learnt out there as well.
So for the DVD I teamed up with 2 world martial arts champions to launch my own series of kickboxing fitness videos, “Box! With Tania”.
The DVD is also getting launched in India as well shortly.
So it means I will have to do some promotional trips around India & I’m looking forward to it.
Tony: How did it feel to be described by FHM magazines “the best butt in the business??
Tania: Ahhh I can see you’ve done your research! There’s no escaping this title. It’s pretty cool I guess.
It’s certainly better than being called the worst butt in the business!
It’s kind weird though, often when people meet me I sense they’re kind of waiting for me to walk away to see if it’s true or not.
Tony: Your Favorite Bollywood actor / actress.
Tania: Well Rani Mukerji for her acting, Ashwaria Rai for her Eyes & her dancing skills.
Saif Ali Khan for his role in Salaam Namaste (he looked HOT)
And of course Amitabh Bachchan, he was also a big influence in me moving to Mumbai, and he also taught me to eat Pan.
Tony: What’s the main difference between working with Saif & Preity & Abhishek & Rani?
Tania: I got to spend a lot of time with Preity, so I think she & I have lot in common Inc dimples, but on the opposite side, plus both our surnames start with the letter Z
Rani is cool, but I didn’t get a chance to really get to know her.
Saif keeps himself to himself most of the time.
Abhishek is just a prankster; he was always pulling tricks on the sets, but has a lot of pressure because of who his Dad is.
Tony: Would you ever play a villain?
Well I’ve not given it any thought, but who knows, maybe 1 day, so let’s wait & see.
Tony: What’s next for you in the pipeline?
Tania: Well I’ve just signed with Sky 1 for a new series.
It’s a Action show called ‘Mission Implausible’, so I will be in the UK now over the summer filming that.
Tony: And final question from Beef, Are you single and can I have your number Please
(BEEF who is also RDB’s NO.1 fan)
Tania: Yes I’m single, so you can pass my number over to him.
Tony: Thank you once again Tania for taking time out, to talk to us.
Tania: No problem, I was glad to do it, + it helps kill the time in the departure lounge waiting for my flight.
Tania: Also here’s another exclusive for your site.
The Australian Prime Minister John Howard came to Indian recently to do the official announcement or handing over the commonwealth games to India for the 2010 games.
I was asked to be the official Australian citizen to greet him.
So I rang up one of my friends & said I need a saree!!!
So when I greeted him I was wearing a red saree, which he loved.
He said he’d just seen Salaam Namaste on the plane over & he loved the film. He mentioned how I’d helped bring Bollywood to Australia and each time Bollywood was mentioned in the Australian press, my name was right along side it which was a huge compliment for me who’s a little girl from the outback of Oz.
I love life; I love that you can do anything with a bit of hard work and if you put your mind to it..