Behind the camera

Behind the camera

Paakhi A Tyrewala, Bollywood actor-turned director, started acting as a child artiste in movies, theatre and television serials.


She is known for her performances in movies like 'Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai' and 'Jhoota Hi Sahi'. 
Her first directorial venture is a short film titled 'Kajal', which has garnered a lot of appreciation from film enthusiasts.


In an interview with Surupasree Sarmmah, Paakhi talks about her journey in the industry.  

You started acting as a child artiste in movies, serials and theatre, how did the interest in acting come about?

It was because of my mother. She was a very well-renowned and respected theatre actor. She lived for theatre. And whenever the team needed a child actor, they would look someone in the group or ask my mother. Those days, child actors were not abused as they are today. I ended up in plays and movies like that.  

You have worked both behind the camera and in front of it. How different are the two worlds?

For me, they are different on a  personal level. Firstly, I am more comfortable behind the camera. The pressure of looking good and constantly being perfect get to me. I wish acting was not only about looks but unfortunately, it is. Secondly, I don't expose my soul as an actor. It is a huge task for me to completely  open up to the audience. However, as a director, I don't shy away from pouring my experiences in my writing and direction. Having said that, as far as two careers are concerned, I feel it is very challenging to be a director, just because of the amount of work one has to put in. Like I keep saying, direction is not only about creativity but about people management.  

Why didn't we see you in more movies after 'Jhootha Hi Sahi'?

I keep getting offers as an actor very often but, I am pretty clear as of now that I don't want to get into acting.  

Your short film 'Kajal' has got good reviews. How do you feel?

The concept of the film itself was so powerful that I knew that it is going to be recognised for what it is. But, we didn't think that it will win so many awards and appreciation. It feels fabulous to see that your audience understands what you want to say. 'Kajal' is entertaining but at the same time sends out a strong message. The story is relevant in today's time because women being bullied, harassed and abused has become a serious concern. And it feels great that  even before the '#MeToo' campaign, people were reacting to 'Kajal' so strongly.  

How did you get the idea for 'Kajal'?  

The idea was  to be honest,  abetted. However, I was clear that I wanted to make something about women, not in a way to show how women need to be saved but how women should take a stand for themselves. And of course, I made the film with that idea.  

Your favourite film...

I have many. 'Léon: The Professional', 'Fifth Element', 'Godfather' and 'Munna Bhai M.B.B.S'.  

An actor you would like to work with...


Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Priyanka 


A director whose work you admire...

Raju Hirani is on the top of my list. And so are Soojit Sircar and Vishal Bhardwaj.  

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