Calling the shots

Calling the shots

She made her directorial debut in television with the popular show ‘Hip Hip Hurray’ in the late 90s. There has been no looking back for director Nupur Asthana since then.
With shows like ‘Mahi Way’, ‘Kyun Hota Hai Pyaar’ and ‘Time Bomb’ and offbeat films like ‘Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge’ and ‘Bewakoofiyaan’ to her credit, she has slowly carved a niche for herself in her competitive profession.

In a conversation with Surupasree Sarmmah, Nupur gets candid about her journey in the industry, her love for food and more.

How did you think of venturing into the industry as the director of a teen show?
I started my career by assisting filmmaker Ketan Mehta for three-and-a-half-years, post which I thought of branching out and working independently. That’s when I started thinking of what I, as an audience, would like to watch on television. Being an admirer of Enid Blyton as a child, and with my growing interest in school-based stories, I wanted to see that world on screen. I was very young when I made ‘Hip Hip Hurray’.

How did films come your way?
I always wanted to make films, but at that time, I was somehow stuck in a situation where I actually started believing that directing films is not my cup of tea. However, in the midst of all this, I got a call from Yash Raj Films one day, wherein Aditya Chopra offered me a three-project contract. That’s how ‘Mahi Way’ happened and that paved the way for my first film ‘Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge’ and then ‘Bewakoofiyaan’.

Your journey in the industry so far...
It has been quite tough. Our industry is like cricket; one needs to prove themselves in every game and you can’t really relax. Nevertheless, it has been a fun journey.

An important lesson learnt as part of the profession…
Hardwork and persistence is the key to making it where you want to be.

Three must-haves when you are on a set…
Punctuality, discipline and focus. That aside, I think about food a lot when I am shooting. When I am driving for a shoot, I keep thinking of what I am going to have for breakfast. After a good shot, I think of lunch. I love ‘tandoori chicken’ and ‘khichdi’ and I drink a lot of green tea on the set too.

One of your favourite places where you have shot…
Panchgani is a beautiful place and I feel at home whenever I am shooting in Pune.

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