Truth is much stranger than fiction and, often, much more powerful.
In America, we have so many movies and so much media about the Islamic world, the sub-continental world, but it’s not a conversation, it’s a monologue. It’s always from one point of view. ‘If we don’t tell our own stories, no one will tell them’ is my mantra.
It gave me a lot of pleasure and pride that 90 percent of the crew for ‘Monsoon Wedding,’ and most of my film, are women. We get the work done, you know, much lesser play of ego… And I really believe in harmony, I believe in working in a spirit of egolessness and that the...
Never take no for answer, and try to make films that turn you on.
Once 9/11 happened, people who looked like me and whose children looked like us and whose husbands looked of a community, really were made to feel quite the other, and I thought that was impossible in a city like New York but I myself was witness to that.
You’ve got to understand that in Bollywood, every actor is an instrument, and yet a human being. They come to the set with a set agenda, believing, ‘This is who I am, this is what I want, and no, I am not going to become that character you want me to.’
In our house we say ‘adolescence’ is a western word. We don’t believe in it.
You have to want to be in the company of those you’re making films about.
It’s only at this age that I can say the word ‘art’ without flinching.
Never treat anything you do as a stepping stone. Do it fully, and follow it completely.
Creative freedom is an imperative for me, but it doesn’t really exist in a Hollywood game.
Truth is more peculiar than fiction. Life is really a startling place.
Humility is not a trait I often associate with America.
I grew up thinking anything was possible simply because of seeing women in power – like, you know, running the country. Which is a thought that continues to give Americans indigestion… Direction is about having a vision, but the practice of being a director is a con game – a confidence game.
Every frame and every scene has to have an intention.
I often begin movies with music in my head; it’s a very important dimension to me. Not just the music itself, but how to use music in film: when and how and subtlety. I don’t like to be too sweet in my stories, and I like the abrasive clang, the contrasting of sounds and cultures.
I grew up in a small town in India, but through books I knew the world.
Every film is a political act; it’s how you see the world.
Marriage of attraction is a gamble anyway, so you might as well marry into a family that is similar to your own, and make that much less of an adjustment. But the ‘love marriage’, as it is called, is equally common in India now. But it would be interesting to do a comparison of what...