Having debuted with LSD: Love Sex and Dhokha (2010), actor Neha Chauhan says being in front of camera was never in her mind and she came to Mumbai to become a director. “I have heard about destiny but I have seen it play out in my life,” says the actor last seen as a political strategist in Maharani-2.
The youngster recalls, “When I shifted from Indore, I did not have any acting aspirations. In fact, never had the thought of being an actor! I have done a course in direction and came here to direct. In just a few months, I got an offer from Dibakar (Banerjee, director) to act, to which I said no! Then I got engaged with the same film’s casting and production process. Finally, I agreed to act and it turned out to be a cult film.”
She dabbled in direction in between. “I wrote and directed Letters to Dharavi (2011) which is based on a special mechanism that postmen adopt to distribute posts.”
Chauhan worked on multiple projects. “There was never a pause for me. I played lead in a Tamil film and Haryanvi film, did a Telugu film with ensemble cast, theatre with Pramod Pathak, commercials and a lot of web projects including Humorously Yours, It’s Not That Simple, Shaitani Haveli and Inside Edge. So, I was never without work but now due to the OTT boom it’s seen much. I just want to continue with the momentum.”
However, TV has never interested her. “Scripts that don’t have a start and end do not interest me and I know that I won’t be able to do justice to it so why get engaged unnecessarily and repent later! I agree that you earn a lot on TV but then money can’t be the only motivation.”
Her urge to direct has now started taking shape. “Currently, I am completely immersed in acting — mind, body and soul — but I am feeling the itch to direct again. I have written some short films so I will start with that and use my acting skills, experience of working with great directors like Satish Kaushik, Dibakar and Shubhash Kapoor. Probably, within a year’s time something will happen.”
She has a strong UP connection. “My father is from Bijnor and mother is from Moradabad. However, I was born in Nigeria and then moved to Faridabad and then most of my life in Indore. In 2019, I have shot for film Kaagaz in the Lucknow outskirts and I’m now shooting for another series (Moonlight) in the state capital.”
Besides, she will be seen in the next season of Rocket Boys once again.
“I am very satisfied with the kind of people I am getting to work with. My expectations are not much and with every project just try to raise the bar a bit. It’s a great feeling to be the person and stay with the character during the shoot days, she says.