Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar, who has The Archies and the second season of Made in Heaven lined up for release revealed that she once had to sternly tell a cameraman that she was the boss when the technicians on set kept turning to her brother Farhan Akhtar for directions.
Talking about her childhood, Zoya told The Hindu, "I got onto a set very early, when I was 19-20 years old, as an assistant director. I come from a place where there was no concept of superior-inferior agenda; my brother and I were brought up completely equally. I was not conditioned to a gender bias, nor did I have any prior experience of sexism. When I entered the room, I was equal in my head, and in my demeanour."
She added that people knew her family so she 'didn't deal with any form of harassment'.
She opened up about her experience on the sets of her directorial debut Luck By Chance, "When I started directing ( Luck By Chance), my brother was my lead actor, and he was an established filmmaker already. So, I had certain technicians ask him if the shot was okay, and he had to be like, she is the director. I had taken a Steadicam operator to the side and said, ‘I don’t think we can work together if you won’t speak to me.’ And he (the cameraman) responded saying, ‘But you’re like my sister.’ I said, ‘I’m not your sister, I’m your boss!’"
Zoya added that they later became friends because the conversation didn't have any 'angst' involved.
The filmmaker also talked about LGBTQIA+ representation in Indian content and said, "Of course, including the LGBTQIA+ community into your workspace will open your mind up. In any kind of work — let’s take a business like mine — where we are telling stories for a vast mass, the more diversity that we have, the more people we reach. The more points of views and perspectives we have, the more people we will connect to."
About her latest venture The Archies, Zoya said that she's a little nervous because the characters are 'iconic and globally loved,' adding, "I have to make sure the film stokes the nostalgia of a generation that grew up on the comic, and yet resonates with young adults today."