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Zoya Akhtar: Comfort comes from having same values

Updated on: 15 March,2022 07:05 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Hiren Kotwani |

Backing Eternally Confused and Eager for Love, Zoya discusses reuniting with Rahul and Suchitra for series

Zoya Akhtar: Comfort comes from having same values

Rahul Bose and Suchitra Pillai in the series

Zoya Akhtar has been one of the early birds in Indian digital entertainment, giving us the nuanced Made in Heaven (2019). If the web series studied the many failings and hypocrisies of love, her upcoming show is a younger and lighter take on romance. Eternally Confused and Eager for Love, directed by Rahul Nair, traces the awkward Ray’s struggles in finding a partner despite a plethora of dating apps.

Considering the story hinged on Ray’s romantic misadventures, Akhtar — who, along with Reema Kagti, serves as the producer — says they auditioned extensively for the male lead, finally zeroing in on Vihaan Samat. “Finding Ray was key because he is the show. We needed someone endearing and attractive, but at the same time, he couldn’t be so attractive that [it would make you question] why he is in such a dilemma at all. He had to have a lot of heart, but had to make you feel as though he could be an ordinary boy. We weren’t getting [the right fit] until we found Vihaan,” she states.

The Netflix series also features Rahul Bose and Suchitra Pillai, who are all too familiar with Akhtar’s brand of stories. Bose previously teamed up with her on Dil Dhadakne Do (2015), while Pillai played an interesting part in Farhan Akhtar’s directorial debut Dil Chahta Hai (2001). “I tend to repeat working with the same cast or crew,” admits Akhtar. “Aside from the fact that they are talented, there is a comfort that comes out of having synchronisation, having the same values, and the same kind of humour. It makes going to work enjoyable.”

Jim Sarbh has bagged a fascinating role — he is the voice behind Wiz, Ray’s guiding light in the series. Point out that the audience may expect a star to serve as the narrator, like Aamir Khan did in Dil Dhadakne Do, and the director disagrees. “[That line of thinking] is the same as those who feel that an A-list star is must for a box-office [hit]. With OTT offerings, you don’t have to decide [your cast] based on how many eyeballs they will grab. It’s based on whether they fit the part or not. Jim is perfect for the role,” says Nair.

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