Hitlist Web Awards | Made in Heaven creator Zoya Akhtar: Conflicts inspired by the lives of friends

Updated: Feb 28, 2020, 08:31 IST | Sonia Lulla | Mumbai

The frontrunner for Best Creator gong for Made in Heaven in the upcoming mid-day and Radio City Hitlist Web Awards, Zoya Akhtar says two Delhi weddings provided fodder for the show.

A still from Made in Heaven
A still from Made in Heaven

Zoya Akhtar believes that the blend of traditional practices and modern trends as seen in Indian weddings provides sufficient drama for the creation of a promising show. "You'll see rituals that are completely traditional, but everything is [uploaded on] Instagram. This massive clash of the modern generation with [practitioners of] traditional [rituals] is beautiful. It's a hotbed for drama," says the Made in Heaven co-creator, who has been nominated in the Best Creator and Best Writing categories at the upcoming mid-day and Radio City Hitlist Web Awards.

The consecutive weddings of two of her Delhi-based friends came as manna from heaven for Akhtar and co-creator Reema Kagti, who were in the process of developing the script. "We interviewed people, and attended the events. The conflicts depicted in the show were [inspired by things] that have happened to friends and family. The instances are drawn from real life, from what we read in newspapers. But the nuances — like the characterisation, the things people spent money on, or how they live — came from [that experience]."

Zoya Akhtar
Zoya Akhtar

The powerful tracks and wonderful visual imagery aside, Made in Heaven was an enjoyable watch owing to the beautifully cast actors. "We just lucked out," exclaims the director, knowing that it made leading lady Sobhita Dhulipala an overnight sensation. "We [were certain] we wanted some of them, like Arjun [Mathur], who Nitya [Mehra, co-director] and I knew. We put him on tape for Amazon [Prime Video], and they said, 'He's the one'."

As the vulnerable landlord, Vinay Pathak breathed life into one of the most poignant sub-plots of the show, earning a Best Supporting Actor nomination along the way. "We knew we needed a sensitive actor who could evoke a sense of sympathy in a story like this. Vinay is a genius. We didn't go to anybody else," says Akhtar.

Cast your vote for the Hitlist Web Awards

Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti have been nominated in the Best Creator category for Made in Heaven (Amazon Prime). The other nominees are:

. Raj-DK (The Family Man)
. Vikramaditya Motwane (Sacred Games S02)
. Biswa Kalyan Rath (Laakhon Mein Ek S02)
. Richie Mehta (Delhi Crime)

Made in Heaven enjoys seven nominations, including Best Series, Best Actor (Male), Best Actor (Female), Best Supporting Actor (Male), Best Supporting Actor (Female) and Best Writing.

There are 14 categories that the public can vote in. Log on to www.hitlistwebawards.com to cast your vote.

You can also vote via SMS. Send HITLIST <space> category name <space> your choice (a/b/c/d as on the website) to 57575.

Voting lines close on March 8.

More about Made in Heaven

. Designer Aparna Chandra and casting director Nandini Shrikent's weddings served as fodder for the show.
. The second season of the drama will have two additions to the cast.

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