Friendship, laughter and gossip
Neha Dhupia, who is all set to host the third season of BFFs with Vogue on Colors Infinity premiering tonight, talks about the show, working mom guilt and how one must be brave enough to counter trolls
In her debut film Qayamat: City Under Threat, she emerged in a bikini from the water. Soon she went on to do bold and erotic films like Julie. And before everyone realised, she was seen as a ‘sex symbol’. If you remember the controversial statement, ‘Only Shah Rukh Khan and sex sell in Bollywood,’ you know who we are talking about.
Neha Dhupia, the former beauty queen, however, isn’t just a glamorous face. In the last one decade or so, she has successfully shed that image and has shown her acting prowess in films like Ek Chalis Ki Last Local, Raat Gayi Baat Gayi?, Phas Gaye Re Obama, Moh Maya Money, Kya Kool Hain Hum, Dasvidaniya, Tumhari Sulu and so on. She has been constantly reinventing herself by dabbling in different mediums like films, TV, webspace, and podcast. And now, she is all geared up to host the third season of BFFs with Vogue on Colors Infinity that premieres tonight. The promo of the show’s first episode, featuring Janhvi and Khushi Kapoor, is already a hit on social media.
“I hope people like it. It feels so good to get such kind of reaction. Everything you do, you want people to enjoy it — whether it is a film, TV show, a stage performance etc — you want the audience to love and appreciate the work you put out. This season is going to be a lot of fun. There are games, quizzes, and a lot of chatting. We had to change the game a little bit as we have a new set of BFFs this season, however, we’ve kept the basic concept and outline of the show the same. Some tweaks were made to make the show more relevant,” says Neha who has also been a gang leader on MTV Roadies, and has also conceptualised and hosted a Bollywood podcast called #NoFilterNeha on Saavn app.
This season on BFFs with Vogue, you’ll see celebs like Ayushmann Khurrana and Radhika Apte, Sania Mirza and Parineeti Chopra, Sonam Kapoor and Masaba Gupta, Kartik Aryan and Jacqueline Fernandez, Rajkummar Rao and Ishaan Khattar, and Sonali Bendre, Sussanne Khan and Gayatri Oberoi, and several others. “I love conversations and meeting people. Since I already know a lot of people from the industry and some of them are friends, I thought it would be very interesting to chat them up. Celebs in real life are simple people with simple stories, we tend to make them larger than they are. It is a way to celebrate their friendship and conversations. It is a cool show and I hope people watch and enjoy it,” says Neha who confesses that when her show is compared with Koffee With Karan, it is like the biggest compliment for her. But Neha doesn’t ask her guests anything too personal or controversial, and if they choose not to answer a particular question, she doesn’t push them further.
Neha, who is married to actor Angad Bedi, seems to have been balancing motherhood and work like a pro. “It is extremely satisfying to come back home to see my cute little daughter always ready to give me a hug. I am still feeding her. I have had to travel a lot because of work, but I think she is a supergirl. She’s just five months old and she’s already travelled 15 cities and two countries. It is fascinating to see her grow. She completes me. But one thing that I have to deal with is the working mom guilt. I am still coming to terms with it,” she says.
Neha says that she’s become more sensitive after childbirth. “I am a mentor for a beauty pageant, a gang leader on Roadies. When I see these young kids, I see my daughter’s reflection in them — I feel she could be my daughter. When Mehr grows older and no matter what she wants to be, I am going to support her wholeheartedly. After becoming a mother I have become a lot more sensitive and emotional towards everyone. My dad always told me he saw my face in other kids, and now I see Mehr’s face in them,” says an emotional Neha.
Neha, who has often been body shamed for her postpartum weight gain and trolled on social media, says it is hard for women. “If you face it, you are brave but to give it back to them, you need to be more brave. Nobody has the authority to tell you what their idea of perfection/ beauty is. For me, every man and woman is beautiful, it is their journey and story, and others don’t have any idea what s/he is going through. An outsider has no right to pass barb at others. The world is a beautiful place, let’s be kind to each other,” says Neha who wants to encourage her daughter to ‘exercise her voice’.
Talking of social media and its downsides, she says, “Social media is a deadpool of humanity. It is a great place to put yourself out, but there’s also a dark side to it where everyone is toxic and unhappy and taking it out on each other.”
ST READER SERVICE
Watch BFFs with Vogue every Saturday at 9 pm on Colors Infinity