Has it been easy for you as a female filmmaker in Bollywood?
Nothing worthy is easy, whether you are a male or a female. Challenges just keep coming to you and you have to handle them patiently. When I shot for my first film, ‘Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo’, there were hardly any women on the sets in any department. Now, when I am shooting for ‘Satyameva Jayate 2’, I see there are women in the camera handling team, costume team, and even the direction team. I feel very proud. It is not easy to be a filmmaker but it has nothing to do with my gender. Even when I had not really proved myself, nobody looked down on me. I have been treated with a lot of respect.
Are there any women filmmakers who inspire you and whose works you admire?
There are a lot of them–Zoya Akhtar, Farah Khan, Meghna Gulzar. They make really good films and I look up to them.
From being a model to becoming an actress to directing and producing films – what do you think of your journey so far?
My journey has been very different. When I packed my bags to come to Mumbai from Delhi, I did not know a soul here. I bagged my first film, ‘Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo’ on my own through an audition. When I moved here I had not planned on becoming an actress, a director or a producer. I think it all happened spontaneously. I am extremely hard working so my only intention was to learn and grow in my career. I am very happy and proud of my journey so far but I still have so much more to learn.
Were you always a movie buff?
I wasn’t. In fact, I hardly watched movies; I was very studious. That was my life in Delhi. My mother never really encouraged watching cinema also so much. We used to watch very limited movies. One of the first movies that I saw in the theatre was ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun’
How do you manage work and personal life?
I give my 100 per cent to everything I do in life so that I don’t have to look back and think maybe I didn’t work hard enough. Whether it is my child or work, I put in my full passion and energy. I think the more you put in, the more satisfied you are.
Tell us something about your upcoming projects.
My upcoming film, ‘Satyameva Jayate 2’ is releasing on May 12, 2021, on the occasion of Eid. It features John Abraham and has been directed by Milap Zaveri. I am very excited because I have been directing films before this, and this is my second acting stint after ‘Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo’. My audience love me in music videos and they are very excited to see me on screen again. I hope I do justice to my role and make everyone happy and proud of me.