The Cool Mom Neha Dhupia

#NoFilterNeha & How Love Rules the Roost in Her Life

Two novel roles of her life define her perfectly. As a co-producer with #NoFilterNeha, her celebrity podcast show, and as a mother to Mehr– her adorable angel. Both elucidate her lastest achievements and excitement! Here is a light-hearted conversation between TLJ Cheif Consulting Editor Dr. Neha Miglani and the newest, coolest mom of Mumbai Neha Dhupia who talks about her work, life, daughter and herself.

She doesn’t want this to sound like a “romanticizing and a perfect interview”! True to the name of her show #NoFilterNeha, she is frank; she says what she feels and feels what she says! That’s Neha Dhupia for you. 

Flashback to 2017- her last film stint. It wasn’t just the string of awards as the best supporting actress for her role as Maria in Tumhari Sullu (starring Vidya Balan) but the love that she got from the audience that made her feel richer as an actress.

Behind her acting achievements and career, for many of you who may have forgotten that she is a beauty pageant holder- here is a reminder- Neha is a former Miss India (2002) and a Miss Universe finalist (2002) and ever since she ventured into acting- she has been a heartthrob actress and a focal point of attention in the media!

“Working with Vidya Balan has been a tremendous learning. She is a fine actress and being with her on sets was a great experience,” says Neha.

So what is most enjoyable- being an actor, entrepreneur or producer? “Acting is most certainly close to my heart and my favourite,” she retorts.

Her roles in Phas Gaye Obama (2010), Ek Chalis Ki Last Local (2007), Mithya (2008) and many other have all being critically acclaimed. “There is something that pulls me to acting. The craziness and love for cinema draws me towards it and I feel I belong here,” she adds.     

On being asked about her signature style, Neha says “Sheath, Effortless and Relaxed”.

Being an instinctive actor of following technical profess, what works better for Neha? “Well, I am an instinctive actor. I understand the background and then go by my instincts,” she says.

Her show #NoFilterNeha has given her opportunity to explore much more about her talents, she feels. “The feel of the audience, the R&D involved in the show, it’s a good team effort and there is so much to learn and grow.”

And challenges do come along. “As the co-producer of the show there are many technical glitches and thus many learnings. One becomes more empathetic. I am glad I got to start up this show,” she adds.

“There are so many emotions pent up after being a mother, and I would love to do more acting to positively vent them out.”

What are the rare things that she finds hard to handle emotionally? “Being away from my baby and family make it emotionally tough for me,” she responds.

Does she try too hard to look good (especially after delivering a baby)? “I work towards being fit but I have never been that person who will push too hard unnecessarily. It is a rewarding journey and ever since Mehr was eight months, I began my fitness regime.”

What does beauty mean to her? “I do not pay too much importance to a person’s looks. How well a person talks and the warmth he or she exudes makes much more difference.”

Two resilient things that define Neha’s personality are- first that she is a pragmatic person and believes in no filters! You must have judged this from her conversation by now. Perhaps that is what inspired the name of her chat show #NoFilterNeha. And Second, “Love” is the strongest emotion and principle in her life and she really values it over everything else!

“Love for me is right on the top,” says Neha, when asked about her opinion on love.

Defining the first instance when she saw her daughter, Neha recalls, “That moment was an ‘Oh My God’ experience, when I first held Mehr in my arms. That moment really has no comparison. When she was kept on me, she had a big cry and I had a big cry! Love is the only word that can describe that moment. The entire family was waiting outside for her and for us.”

“Life has changed forever and for the better,” she opines on being a mother.  It is hard to define motherhood in measured words, she says. “It is rewarding, it is amazing how one human can make another realize so many things. The moments with her are lovable, specially the wake-up hug!” 

So how would she want to bring up her daughter? “I would want her (Mehr) to be sincere, honest and loving. Being a good human is most important,” she says. “Her name itself means God’s blessing. Her name is inspired by the words of her grand-father who always says Guru Mehr Kare (May the Guru shower his blessing) and Mehr thus arrived!”

So is Neha an over-protective mother? “Not at all,” she is quick to reply.

“We let her play in the park; she was swimming when she was three month old. She danced in the rain when it first rained in Mumbai after she arrived. There is no pressure we would ever like to put on her or keep her under. Flowing and naturally growing in love is how we would like to bring her up,” adds Neha. However, she adds that after leading 17 years of her life as a public figure, she would certainly “go out of way” to keep her daughter’s privacy.

After Mehr’s arrival, Neha concurs that nothing has changed between Angad (her husband) and her! “What changed was that Angad got to know how much his mother loves him! For me, it was always a warm and lovable relationship with my mother.”

The “free-time” is now lesser she believes! “Angad and me do watch movies together and combine it with date night. During our shoot days, we make sure one of us is at home and takes care of Mehr. So it is fun- devoting time to her and shuttling between work and home.”

One being asked about that one she loves the most about Angad, she responds, “He lives more from the heart. I love this quality about him.” And one thing she doesn’t like about him- “Well, he can eat the same dish for the whole month and maybe more. How could someone not get bored of the same food?” she wonders. It’s a “battle” with him literally, she quips! So does Neha recommend marriage to her friends? Pat came the reply, “100% for sure!” 

Neha, in a Nutshell!

Fondest memory of film career – First film as debut actress!
Make-up regime- Minimal with blusher and mascara
Work-out routine– Very strengthnous, yoga, running
On your speed dial- Husband, mother, father, driver, trainer, manager
Favourite Food- Sushie
Spirit animal- Horse!
Style icon- Cate Blanchett
Tips for young mothers- Don’t starve and give one hour to yourself
Role you wish to do- A sports biopic
Favourite holiday destination- Maldives
What makes you laugh?-  Husband
Go-to-outfit – White shirt, blue jeans
Latest obsession- Gadgets
Most treasured item in wardrobe- Wedding dupatta
Your spiritual thoughts- I am religious!
Future projects– A new TV show


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