Up close and personal
Neha Dhupia talks about how she loves chatting up her celebrity friends on the podcast
After successfully completing two seasons of No Filter Neha on the music app Saavn, the third season is already on a roll. Neha Dhupia’s transition from cinema to television and now to the podcast format has been beautiful, and she is completely in love with what she is doing right now.
“The journey has been absolutely wonderful. It was a journey which was long and hard and full of different experiences. But having said that, it has never come to an end and I really hope that it never does,” says the mom-to-be. Neha has been a part of MTV Roadies since 2016. Her personality as a gang leader on the show has been highly appreciated by her fans. “When I got a call from the team, I was really not sure if I could do it. It seemed pretty odd for me since I would see myself on television every Saturday. I am a huge fan of the show and I have always followed it, but I still wasn’t sure about being a part of it. But the team was 100 per cent sure about me coming on board. So I just went ahead with it. Now it’s been three years on the show and I hope the venture continues,” expresses the former Miss India Universe.
Neha was always keen on being a part of a talk show. She feels that the famous people of the film industry don’t really open up about their private life, all they talk about is their films and their profession. She conceptualised her show No Filter Neha as a platform for them to get candid and personal. “I am someone who loves talking to people and having meaningful conversations. I thought audio is a medium which still remains unexplored, so I went ahead with the podcast. It was such an amazing experience. Audiences are appreciating it and we are growing with every season,” says Neha.
On the personal front, she tied the knot with Angad Bedi in a traditional ceremony in the presence of close friends and family in May. Their wedding came as a surprise to their fans when both the actors shared pictures from their wedding ceremonies on Instagram. After three months of the wedding, she announced her pregnancy on social media which gave way to a lot of gossip about her conceiving before marriage. But Neha feels she doesn’t owe anyone any explanation.
“I really don’t care about what people say and think.. Those who are close to me, have given me their blessings and that's what matters. I am not going to let any sort of negativity affect me and my child. I don’t think I owe it to anyone to give an explanation about what is happening in my personal life and if I am sharing something publicly, it’s completely my choice,” she explains.
Coming back to the podcast, Neha has hosted a number of famous Bollywood celebrities there. Karan Johar has been a constant voice on the show and Neha feels that he isn’t just fun to talk to, but extremely supportive of her efforts too. For the upcoming season, Neha had to host her husband Angad Bedi which was challenging and fun at the same time. “I was extremely nervous when my husband was supposed to come for the podcast. I kept on asking my team whether I should behave like a wife or a host, and they kept telling me, ‘You have to be the host’. It was a fun experience. I came across some really surprising things about Angad which his friends told me while I was doing my research and it made me think ‘How did I marry this guy!’,” laughs Neha.
A huge fan of Shah Rukh Khan, she hopes to host him on her show one day. As a host, what advice would she give to her guests? “I have hosted No Filter Neha and BFF with Vogue and the advice I can pass on to people is to never forget to be yourself. You need to be yourself always and chat like nobody is watching you because that’s how you can be comfortable. As for my show, there’s literally nobody watching, only listening,” she says.
Weighing in on the ongoing #MeToo campaign in Bollywood which was sparked by Tanushree Dutta freshly accusing Nana Patekar of sexual assault, Neha expresses her disappointment and anger. “As a woman, I feel angry and furious. It has woken me up to the fact that there is so much already going on around us. I feel it is the biggest clean up act that our country will see and what disturbs me the most is that people are questioning the situation, thinking whether it was misinterpreted. I feel if women are coming out and sharing their story, then it has definitely happened no matter what! Stop questioning the credibility and support them. I am in full support of this campaign and whatever they need from me I will give my 100 per cent,” says Neha.