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Sonam Kapoor, Sushant Singh Rajput, Tannishtha Chatterjee put on the director’s hat

The urge to tell a story is running strong among today’s Bollywood actors, a lot of whom are turning to direction while keeping their acting careers alive. It’s a natural progressive for creative people, say analysts.

bollywood Updated: Jul 05, 2018 16:59 IST
Juhi Chakraborty
Juhi Chakraborty
Hindustan Times
Tannishtha Chatterjee,Kangana Ranaut,Sonam Kapoor
Bollywood actors like Sonam Kapoor, Sushant Singh Rajput, and Tannishtha Chatterjee are set to direct films.(Photos: Aalok Soni; Yogen Shah; and Sarang Gupta/HT)

Acting in films does take up a lot of time, but there are a number of Bollywood actors who are now branching out into direction as well while continuing with their acting assignments. Actor Tannishtha Chatterjee is making her directorial debut with a film that stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and so is Kangana Ranaut, who will step behind the camera for Teju. Recently, Sonam Kapoor also announced her plans to direct a film in a couple of years. And Sushant Singh Rajput will reportedly soon helm a science-fiction film set in the outer space.

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But what’s drawing actors towards direction? Actor Shreyas Talpade made his directorial debut last year with Poster Boys (the official remake of the Marathi film Poshter Boyz), in which he also acted. He says that actors are constantly looking to channel their creativity.

“As an actor, you do certain kinds of roles and during the journey, you come across certain stories that you want to tell yourself. I came across an interesting story and I wanted to tell it in my own way. Direction is a process of evolution for an actor. Probably there comes a point when you’re doing similar things and you want to branch out and experience something new as well. It’s a great feeling to be the captain of your ship and be involved with every aspect of the film,” says Shreyas.

Announcing her plans to turn director, Sonam recently said that she had found a couple of scripts and she would soon start work on them. “They are mostly ready, but it will still take a little time to work on them and finalise them. I think I’m going to do something [with regard to directing a film] in a year or two.”

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Actor Samir Soni also ventured into direction this year with My Birthday Song and Konkona Sen Sharma followed her mother Aparna Sen, also an actor-director, into the world of direction. Her debut directorial, A Death in the Gunj, was a winner.

In my case, my friends would always tell me that I should direct because even when I’d act in films, I’d see the scenes in totality and not just in respect of my character — Samir Soni, actor-director

Talking about directing, Samir says that it was one of the most satisfying creative experiences for him. “Being an actor for 20 years, you always do what the director wants you to do, whether you agree or not. It’s always the director’s call. In my case, my friends would always tell me that I should direct because even when I’d act in films, I’d see the scenes in totality and not just in respect of my character. So, I was completely involved with every aspect — be it music or editing,” he says.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh feels that direction is the next best step for actors who’re creatively involved in filmmaking. “When an actor is involved in what’s happening on the sets of their film, they automatically feel that they should tell a story, direct a story. For a creative person, that’s the next big step,” he says, adding that it might get difficult for working actors to juggle their dates. “They need to take on the additional responsibility. So, I guess if they’re comfortable, then I think things will fall in place.”

It’s a very big learning process, too. Tannishtha says of turning director, “Acting is easier compared to direction. Direction is a huge task.”

Trade analyst Amod Mehra says that actors like Sonam Kapoor started their careers as assistant director, so it’s a natural progression if they decide to direct films. “Several actors started as assistant directors in Bollywood. It’s because they eventually want to direct films,” he says. “They want to tell stories that are better than others’. And these days, it’s not difficult to manage both your acting and directing careers.”

First Published: Jul 05, 2018 16:58 IST