MUMBAI — She is now the wife of Bhushan Kumar, head honcho of India’s biggest music label as well as a leading production house, T-Series. Divya Khosla Kumar came to Mumbai long ago, was cast in Anil Sharma’s ensemble “Ab Tumhaare Hawaale Watan Sathiyo” (2004) and went off the acting radar since. She surfaced in “Yaariyan” (2013) as a director—scoring a hit, then made and acted in music videos, and also directed “Sanam Re.”
Milap Milan Zaveri then cast her in “Satyameva Jayate 2,” and now, Divya is looking at an acting career for the first time.
Excerpts from an interview:
Q: How did you return to films as an actress after a long absence of 17 years?
A: When I shifted to Mumbai, I was only a 17 year-old kid. I came here for better opportunities. I never came here with the idea of becoming anything specific, it was just that Mumbai offered so many more career opportunities than my hometown Delhi. But within six months, I auditioned for and got a big film—Anil Sharma’s “Ab Tumhaare Hawale Watan Sathiyo.” That was a huge thing for me. After that I went behind the scenes to learn editing, direction, cinematography—and then I directed many music videos and made my debut as director with the film “Yaariyan,” which did very well. My destiny has not given me an opportunity to show my mettle as an actor. So I think the real opportunity will start now as an actor! After “Sanam Re” I had made a strong decision to only be an actor. So from 2016 to 2019, I just waited and prayed!
Q: How was it working with another director?
A: The two mindsets are totally different. The responsibilities are totally different. You have to go into a director’s world with full faith. If I start directing an acting assignment even in my mind, I will not be able to even act! I can confidently say that when you see me in the film, you will not see me anything like what I am in real life. There are a lot of strong scenes and dialogues.
Q: As the wife of one of the most powerful men in showbiz, how daunting—or easy—is it to forge your own path like this?
A: I would just wish people see me individually. I do think people hesitate to approach me. And I hope that after this film people approach me as an individual.
Q: On the other hand, does your husband take your feedback on a song, or a video or film that he is making?
A: He does it if I am a part of the project as a co-producer, but now we have made it a policy not to discuss work at home! (Laughs) I am also not working in his office, where we did discuss these things sometimes.
Q: What makes you happier—acting or direction?
A: I think it is my passion for cinema that matters—a film set is where I am happiest. I am a creative person, so I cannot work under pressure in whatever I am doing. What is exciting for me is that audience is constantly connecting with my work.
Q: How do you look at the multi-composer trend in Hindi cinema? T-Series revived music in the late 1980s and the ‘done’ thing all along for decades was that one composer did all the varied songs needed in a film.
A: I think nowadays all music directors excel in a genre. Besides, if we can have multiple singers and choreographers in a film, why should we not have many composers? I think it is all fine.