Nora Fatehi is Bollywood’s new favourite dancing sensation. The Moroccan-Canadian actor-dancer has been making inroads in the industry since 2015, having appeared in songs in a number of movies across film industries, including Rocky Handsome, Mr X and Baahubali: The Beginning, among others.
More recently she’s been seen in popular item songs like Stree‘s Kamariya, Satymeva Jayate‘s Dilbar and O Saki Saki in Nikkhil Advani‘s Batla House. The videos of the three songs have collectively garnered more than a billion views on Youtube. Outside of dancing, Fatehi has also had small roles in films like Bharat and will soon be seen in Remo D’Souza’s Street Dancer 3D starring Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor.
Since childhood, my dream was that I act, play characters and do films, but I was not allowed to voice that. One time I said that I wanted to act, and my dad looked at me and said “don’t ever say that again… If you want to do something in life, it better be a lawyer, doctor or teacher”. In school I did a lot of drama classes, a lot of theatre, those extracurricular activities we had in school in Canada.
But my family never knew. My dad thought I excelled as a student because I focussed on my studies, which I did. When I had come to India, it was to act and I just found myself dancing because they were the first opportunities that were coming. And I took them because in my head I’m like “I’m a performer, I’m an artist”, so I should do everything.
I think my first opportunity was an ad that I did in the first month I came to the country. That was a huge ad, it was for Dove. In my eyes, I said to myself “Nora, you’re a nobody here and you bagged something like this. That’s huge”. After that, I signed a film called Roar: Tigers of the Sundarbans. I signed another film, which was Prakash Jha’s film. There I was a supporting character and I worked with really great actors like Shilpa Shukla, Swanand Kirkire, Ninad Kamat. All these people are really great actors.