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South African Actress, Zakeeya Patel On Making It Big In Hollywood


South African actress Zakeeya Patel is taking her shot at a Hollywood career.

The actress, presenter and producer, who is best known for her roles in Isidingo; the movie, ‘Material’; the award-winning South African series ‘The Wild’ and ‘High Rollers’ (among many more) recently made the big move to Los Angeles.

Zakeeya Patel on moving to LA

Her goal is to make a massive success of her career there.

“Going to Hollywood has been my dream since I was a little little girl!” says Zakeeya. “As an actor I have always wanted to play in the biggest entertainment industry in the world.

“Every decision I have ever made has been in preparation for this move and the universe has conspired in my favour at every chance. No doubt there have been many uphill challenges but none of them have swayed me from my dream.”

She also says that the entertainment industry is in such an inclusive and diverse space right now.

 

“So what better time to take the leap?! There is a huge rise in female driven stories, the likes of Ava DuVernay and Shonda Rhimes are creating three-dimensional female characters of agency, whether the antagonist or protagonist…it’s just so so thrilling.

“The look of Hollywood is also changing – it’s not always the blonde skinny girl in the lead, if you look at big box office hits like Men In Black III and Joker you’ll see gorgeous women of colour as leads that don’t fall into the typical look of Hollywood.”

Zakeeya says that there are many roles she would love to play in the future – she would particularly love to dabble in intelligent comedy like The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.

“I would love to be a super villain or a superhero and definitely a Bond villain – actually why not Bond herself!’

And speaking about actors she would like to work with, she says Jim Carrey and Robin Williams really stand out.

“I grew up watching them and the choices that they made were unparalleled and genius! If you think about Jim Carrey playing Ace Ventura he literally spoke out of his butt – what an excellent choice to make – who thinks of that kind of thing! I think I spent a whole year talking out of my butt after that movie came out.”

Material 2

Zakeeya is also promoting SA film Material 2 that is set for a 2020 release. She initially played the role of Aisha Kaif in the first film that was released in 2012.

Material 2 is so special to me for so many different reasons; not only is it the first movie I did in the South African industry and my break into the industry, it is also the last thing I will be doing in the South African industry (for a while). My career has come full circle in such a beautiful way.”

With experience as an actor not only comes confidence, but an ability to really explore and play. She says that Craig Freimond, the director, gave her the chance to go wild with her character.

“We often ended up reigning it in, but having a director that let’s you run wild with your creative energy is quite exhilarating. Like the movie, all the characters have evolved.

“Aisha, even though still fun and playful, is not a little girl anymore, she’s studying medicine, she drives (and she even has a smartphone!) I think one of the most beautiful things about the movie is that it’s a story that everyone and anyone can relate to, no matter what culture, no matter what race or religion. It’s an international story of love: Love of comedy, Love of family and love of friends.”

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