Divya Khosla Kumar is one of the renowned Bollywood actress, producer and director. She started her career as a model from Delhi and came to Mumbai in the age of just 17 for better opportunities. Within short span of time, she got to work in director Anil Sharma’s ‘Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo’ (2004). Later on, she directed Hindi movies like ‘Yaariyan’ (2014) followed by ‘Sanam Re’ (2016). She has also featured in some music videos and done many modelling assignments too. In the year 2005, she got married to Bhushan Kumar, the chairman and managing director of India’s one of the most lovable music label and production house, T-Series. In a candid chat with Yogesh Mishra, she spoke about her role in Satyameva Jayate-2, working experience with director Milap Milan Zaveri, view point on having multiple music directors in a single film and many more…
You started your acting career with 'Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo' in 2004 and now playing a powerful role in ‘Satyameva Jayate-2’. What difference do you feel between then and now?
When I shifted to Mumbai, I was just 17 years kid. That time I was modelling in Delhi. I came to this city (Mumbai) because there were less opportunities in Delhi city. When I came to Mumbai, my intention was not to become an actor or director but fortunately within six months I got an opportunity to work with 'Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo'. That was a big film. When I was working with that film, I felt myself very young and raw. I am a creative person basically. I loved working behind the camera so, I started learning cinematography and direction as well. Subsequently, I directed ‘Yaariyan’ followed by ‘Sanam Re’. That time my destiny did not allow me to work as an actor but I think the real opportunity has come now. I think, this is my start as an actor. That time I was very young and not connected to the industry well. After directing 'Sanam Re' in 2016, I decided not to direct films and started looking for acting opportunities. Since then, I was praying and looking to figure out some good roles for myself. Finally in 2019, Milap Zaveri approached me for this film (Satyameva Jayate -2). I told Milap that I want to do a strong role only because that's a most important thing for me now. If I am doing then, it must be a strong role.
Do you feel any pressure while working since you are (T-Series) also one of the producers of the film Satyameva Jayate-2?
I got this acting opportunity because Milap wanted me to be part of this. He called me and offered this role. Actual production house of Satyameva Jayate -2 is Emmay Entertainment. It’s a joint venture of T-Series. As a woman, I’m trying to chart out my career path separately from what T-Series is doing. I think, I should be held accountable and responsible individual because that will do justice with me and my talent. Even whatever films I directed, I did it solely on my own.
There were three heroes in your first movie 'Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo' and also in 'Satyameva Jayate-2. Both are very strong director. How do you look at that angle?
When you step into a film, I think, the most important thing is that you step into that director's world. Means, I have entered now into Milap Zaveri world. He has a vision about my character Vidya. When I entered into this film, I trusted him fully. I just follow the director.
A director (You) is directed by a director (Milap Zaveri). Did a director inside you allow you to follow your input too?
Both mindsets are totally different. I used to have a totally different mindset during acting and direction. While doing direction, you have so many responsibilities of all the departments but as an actor you have comparatively less responsibilities. I think, you can't perform well as an actor if you don't believe in your director.
Your role in ‘Satyameva Jayate-2’ seems to be very powerful. Any comment?
The way Milap wanted me to present, I'm happy and fully satisfied with my part. Milap has given me very impactful scenes. He has given me a chance where I have an opportunity to prove myself. Yes, it is very powerful role.
You are wife of one of the most powerful persons of the Hindi film industry. As an actor how easy or tough you feel when you get an acting opportunity from other than your production house?
I think, people do feel reluctant because in 2016 when I decided to continue my career in acting, I did not get any opportunity and I kept on waiting for three years. I thank God that finally I got this film (Satyameva Jayate-2). I think people are little reluctant in approaching me but this film will change the things and filmmakers will start approaching me because now I have given myself solely into acting.
You belong to the T-Series family. Do you feel any pressure while working on set as an actor?
No. I don't feel any pressure. I go there as a creative person. Even when I was a director, I never used to go on set with such pressure. I think I can't work in pressure because I am a creative person and I am here to learn and grow. I don't think that your background should give any pressure to your work.
Being from one of the most powerful family of the Hindi film industry, don't you think as an actor you have more responsibilities of giving the best to the audience?
I recently did a music video that did really very well. As an actor it is exciting for me. Audience connects me, be it my directorial film ‘Yariyaan’ or even the movies I have been part as an actress. I am thankful to the audience for their consistent connects with me.
Are you involved in the decision making of T-Series movies?
If I am part of that production then team takes my feedback but we have a strategy not to discuss work at home. Right now, I am not working in office. Now I am focused on my acting career only.
During Gulshan Kumar ji's time, there was a boom of devotional songs and movies but now that era is gone. What changes can we expect, if he was still with us?
He was a genius. I was not fortunate enough to meet him but whatever I have heard about him, I think, if he was still with us, I think, many more amazing things could have happened.
Earlier there used to be a single music director for all the songs of a film but now approx four to five different music directors are there in the same film. Do you agree to the concept of having multiple music director for the same film?
I think, there are specialised music directors for romantic songs and tragic songs etc. Similarly, there are various singers and choreographers for each song. So, I think it's completely fine to have multiple music directors for the same movie.
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