Actress Dia Mirza might not be an active social worker, but she is voicing her opinions on various causes. She is associated with humanitarian projects and for all this the former beauty queen gives credit to Shabana Azmi, her role model.
"She is my role model not because she is an activist, but because she was the one who once told me to be a citizen of the country first and then a daughter and a mother. Hence, this is what I am following and have been trying my level best to give something back to society," Dia, who played Shabana's daughter in Tehzeeb, said in an interview.
"If my celebrity status helps in generating attention to the cause, then why not? If I feel for the cause, I do try to support it," added the 29-year-old, who was here for The Body Shop in India event. She has been named its brand ambassador.
In the past, she has worked extensively with the government of Andhra Pradesh to spread HIV awareness and prevent female foeticide. She is also involved with the Cancer Patients Aid Association and the Spastics Society of India.
She ventured into acting after modelling - she was the second runner-up at Femina Miss India in 2000 and went on winning Miss Asia Pacific in the same year. She made her Bollywood debut the next year with Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein and has worked in movies like Deewanapan, Dum, Dus and Cash, among others.
Dia has also launched production house Born Free Entertainment along with her friend and c0-star Zayed Khan and their first production, Love, Breakups and Zindagi, is almost 80 percent complete and features the actress in the lead role.
"We won't be following any genres, but will be more focused on making quality movies. We want to make movies that we have always believed in and I wish I was part of such cinema. Once the movie is released, you will see the quality and integrity," she said.
So, how was the experience of being a producer and an actor?
"Well, it is a very tiring experience because you are not just the actor, it is like your baby and you have to look into other aspects as well. But a lot of learning was involved. Hope you all like the movie," she said.
So, when will we get to hear the wedding bells?
"Not very soon," she replied.