Divya Khosla talks about turning director with “Yaariyan”

Divya Khosla, who was first seen in the film Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo in 2004, has made her directorial debut with Yaariyan. The film which released last week is about college romance, friendship and relationships. Here she talks about the hard work she put in to make this film.

Excerpts from an interview:

After almost a ten-year break, how did you decide to return to the movie business?

I believe I had never really taken a break. First I was acting, when I worked with Akshay Kumar and Bobby Deol, then I got married to Bhushan (Kumar). Later I did a course in cinematography and learnt editing. I started directing music videos and advertisements. I have directed music videos for Adnan Sami, Pankaj Udhas and some others. I was constantly working and polishing my skills as a director and eventually I wanted to use my creativity to direct a film. It was when I felt confident enough about handling a big film set, and about myself, that I thought of pursuing Yaariyan as my first project.

As a director, whom do you take inspiration from?

There are a lot of directors I admire like Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Yash Chopra. I love how they are able to bring romance so beautifully out of their actors onscreen. Both of them know how to portray different human emotions rightly, and their sense of visualisation is huge, yet amazing. Even in Yaariyan, the shot taking is big, but the film has been made on a very modest budget.

How is being behind the camera different from being in front of it?

I think it’s very different, because in front of the camera, you are only concerned about your role, your character, your own characterisation. But as a director I was concerned about the whole cast, essentially making sure that everything went right, and the performances of all the actors were up to the mark. I had to see to the fact that their costumes were perfect, and that all the scenes came out correctly. A director is the ‘captain of the ship’, as the one who manages it all, on the whole, and makes certain that everything falls in place, perfectly, in time and budget.

After your career started with “Ab Tumhare Hawale Vatan Saathiyo”, why did you quit acting?

I don’t feel acting is the be-all and end-all of a woman’s life. For me my happiness is more important. I should feel comfortable and be happy in what I am doing. I am a very creative person and I actually get more of a high when my work is appreciated and acting is not my entire life. I believe a woman should think big and aim higher, because we are definitely more sensitive and more emotional than men are. A woman can surely become a better filmmaker just by the fact that she can understand human emotions better. And Yaariyan has a sensitivity which will touch you, and which shall be a woman’s touch.

Do you have any plans to return as an actor in films?

I don’t have any plans right now. I have just done a cameo in Yaariyan, for all my fans who have been encouraging me to act.