Javed was sceptical when Zoya was making ‘Gully Boy’

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Zoya Akhtar, who is looking forward to her next directorial The Archies, has collaborated with her father, veteran writer Javed Akhtar on several films.

At a recent event, Javed praised Zoya’s work across all her films and noted that every film of hers is unique. He also added that he was particularly sceptical when Zoya was making Gully Boy as he believed that she knew nothing about that world, considering she comes from an affluent background.

Speaking to Aaj Tak, Javed said, “When she was making Gully Boy, I was thinking how is she going to make it? You live on Bandstand, you travel to the UK, US for vacation, what would you know about slums? This is what I thought in my heart. Of course, I couldn’t dare to say anything. But when I saw the film, I thought that she had lived in slums all her life. She had swallowed the culture of slums. She knew every detail of characters, their relationships.”

Zoya’s 2019 film Gully Boy starred Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt in lead roles and came after the release of her films like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Dil Dhadakne Do, during which she had earned a reputation for making films about ‘rich people’. However, her work in Gully Boy received a lot of acclaim and helped her get rid of this notion. In fact, Javed added that while most filmmakers stick to their formula of making a particular kind of film, Zoya makes a different film every single time.

Javed, who has himself written some of the most popular Hindi films of all time with Salim Khan, praised Zoya’s work and said that characters in her film have a full-rounded personality and don’t just exist in the service of the story. “She is the first filmmaker whose characters have a third dimension. They are not just serving the story, they are actual people,” he said. He also mentioned that he is “very proud of Zoya.” Javed and Zoya have also collaborated on The Archies, which releases on Netflix on December 7.

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