Actress Zoya Hussain, who is playing the character of a mute girl in the upcoming film Mukkabaaz, says the speaking disability of her character is somewhere symbolic of the state of women in a patriarchal society.

Zoya, a newcomer, learnt sign language for the film. She says she treated her character Sunaina in a humane way rather than with sympathy.

“Though my character is mute, she is not seeking sympathy from anyone. She is a young, confident and self-sufficient girl who holds a strong opinion on everything. Her speaking disability is somewhere symbolic of women’s voice in our society, where women are not allowed to express their opinion in a patriarchal system,” Zoya said.

She says she had a great experience of learning sign language from Sangeeta Gala, who has worked in various films like Black, Barfi! and Shamitabh for training actors.

“During the whole process of learning it, I also interacted with many mute people and understood how severe the problem is. Since Sangeeta works with a lot of children who are deaf and dumb, I show how they suffer. Since their parents cannot teach them in any language and they struggle to express themselves from their very childhood, they harm themselves out of frustration. It is heartbreaking to see,” said Zoya.

Born and brought up in Delhi, Zoya worked as a theatre actress for quite some time before packing her bags for Mumbai to explore the medium of cinema.

According to her, theatre helped her to get the role in Mukkabaaz, directed by Anurag Kashyap.

“It is interesting that I used my body movement in a certain way to express my thoughts in the film because I am playing a mute character. In theatre, we have learnt the same — how to use our body language to express. So, I think my training in theatre actually helped me to act in this film,” said the actress.

Mukkabaaz is releasing on January 12.