m always happy to interview Nneha Dhupia because it ffeels less like work, and more lilike being paid to kickback with good company. She is sharp, unnervingly lucid and full of good humour. So just what is the source of all her powers?
“As I get older, being happy and content is my ambition,” she says. “Everything I do comes from that one decision.” And the sea-change the new attitude has brought is plain to see. Where once it was important just to be in the running even if it meant hitching herself to dodgy films she didn’t believe in, now “what feels instinctively right” has taken precedence. “It’s simple—if I’m going to work, I should not have to force myself out of bed.”
Neha is slowly ratcheting up a modest but meaningful body of work. With memorable characters like the salty-tongued Munni Gangster from Phasgayereobama, to Hitler’s paramour, Eva Braun, in Gandhi to Hitler, and currently a stylish news channel honcho who is ‘like Betty Draper meets Sharon Stone’ in her upcoming film, Rush, she is establishing herself as a dependable actor always game for trying new things. With signature candour, she adds, “And sometimes the work speaks volumes for my ability, and sometimes it stays silent. I’ve just got to focus on doing what intrigues me.”
Her need to stay excited and keep things fun reflects squarely in her sartorial choices. Polka dots, colour blocks, kimonos, sheers, pussy bows, structured sheaths and all things straight-up androgynous—you name it, and she’s rocked it. “I detest ‘same old’,” she says. “Anything that’s not run-of-the-mill, I’ll try.” But shoes are her one true love, she wants to make very clear. “Shoes over clothes any day. I decide my shoes before I decide my clothes,” she laughs.
While she’s scaling Best Dressed Lists and being lauded for her keen style and impeccable taste, the former