Zoya Akhtar is a fine storyteller who has been ahead of her times with films Luck By Chance, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Dil Dhadakne Do. The filmmaker is now all set to rule the box office with her film Gully Boy which releases this Thursday. Often accused of showcasing the lives of upper-class people on celluloid, Gully Boy tells the story of a struggling rapper and has been shot extensively in the bylanes of Dharavi. While it may appear very challenging, Zoya is full of praises for people residing in Dharavi for allowing the crew to work peacefully.
Zoya says, “I had the best shooting experience in Dharavi. People are so cooperative and busy with their work that they don’t have time to be star struck. We shot for 45 days and it was a respectful experience. People were polite and cooperative. They have seen so many shootings there that they are used to that culture.” Zoya has earlier worked with Ranveer Singh in Dil Dhadakne Do but with Alia, it was her first time and the filmmaker can’t stop gushing about her lead actress. “She is a delight to work with. She is one actor who has chased me to do my homework. She is possibly the easiest actor I have worked with,” says Zoya. Interestingly, Zoya, who had kickstarted her career in 2009 with Luck By Chance, has completed 10 years in the industry. Commenting on lessons she has learnt in this decade, she says, “I have learnt not to ignore instincts. While making a film, when your gut feels that you are going wrong, please take that seriously. You also have to have a strong crew, so I handpick my crew and I re
spect them. And even if it’s a two-liner, please pick your actor, don’t get anyone randomly.”
The last year has been dull for the stars, especially the Khans but Zoya believes the star system is here to stay. “Just because 2018 didn’t belong to the stars, it doesn’t mean that the star system will vanish. The Khans can’t be touched and I respect them for their body of work. As far as the theatrical experience is concerned, I will be highly disappointed if that goes away. I have grown up watching films in theatres so that community experience should never go,” says Zoya.