Indian-American model Shazia Deen recently starred in a music video for the Marc Anthony song ‘Ahora QuiÃ©n.’ In cascading ringlets, silk scarf and trenchcoat, she’s dressed as an old-time starlet and looks like a million bucks. Watch the video.
Shazia was born in India, her father being part British and Punjabi and her mother born and raised in Delhi. She moved to California when she was three… she has gone on to make 15 national commercials and Ad campaigns for such major companies as Skechers, Kodak, Nike, Hanes, Payless, Diet Coke… She has been studying acting in Los Angeles for 4 years and has guest-starred on TV shows like the Andy Dick show… She has also just finished a two and a half year course in Ayurvedic medicine… [Link]
Deen may be part Anglo, but that jawline is classically Punjabi. From her demo reel, she also seems to have played Latina and Iraqi. Racial passing is actually more interesting in real life than the pixelated vacuity of the image biz. It’s part hidden talents, part undercover spook: The Bourne Identity, The Long Kiss Goodnight.
The postracial premise is interesting, I’ve lived it, meeting someone attractive who unexpectedly turns out to be desi… it’s the unfolding of hidden wings… Even funnier is when someone you meet seems fairly whitewashed, then, months later in the right context, totally busts out with a tender oldie from, say, Umrao Jaan, with flawless pronunciation and full-bore eyelash flutter. It’s a hell of a bender. [Link]
Passing was also one of the most fascinating things about Bollywood/Hollywood, a parody in two parts: a charming and very meta first half, a leaden and inept second. Casting the half-Polish Lisa Ray as Sue/Sunita, the non-desi desi, was clever on too many levels to parse. The flick proved men do make passes at a girl who passes.
Bolly/Holly also had that thrilling, swing version of ‘Mera Naam Chin Chin Choo’ and its shapeshifting singer. Sanjiv Wadhwani belts the filmi standard in a bad Amrikan accent, but he’s just playin’, dawg. He morphs into fluent Hindi and again into jazz vibrato. So hot. The song plays over the closing credits; Ã¼ber-grandma Dina Pathak and wrestler Killer Khalsa boogie with a drag queen (Ranjit Chowdhry) wrapped in geisha. I forgave the bad acting for this scene alone. Watch the clip.
‘Ahora QuiÃ©n’ (‘Now Who’) is on Marc Anthony’s Amar Sin Mentiras (To Love Without Lies), released last year. Anthony proves the market for elegiac cheese, like a fondue pit, is bottomless.