Bollywood: Lights, camera, direct!

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By HT

Mumbai, July 6 -- Acting in films takes up a lot of time, but there are a number of actors who are now foraying into direction while continuing with their acting careers. 

Actor Tannishtha Chatterjee is making her directorial debut with a film starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Kangana Ranaut will soon step behind the camera for Teju. 

Recently, Sonam K Ahuja also said she plans to make a film in a couple of years, and even Sushant Singh Rajput will reportedly helm a space film.

But what's drawing actors towards direction? Actor Shreyas Talpade, who made his directorial debut last year with the Hindi remake of the Marathi film, Poshter Boyz, says direction lets actors channel their creativity. 

"As an actor, you come across certain stories that you want to tell yourself. I found an interesting story and I wanted to tell it in my own way. Direction is a process of evolution for an actor. There probably comes a point when you want to branch out and experience something new. It's great to be the captain of your ship and be involved in every aspect of the film," he says.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh feels that direction is the next step for actors who are creatively involved, which is why so many of them decide to go behind the camera. 

"When an actor is involved in what is happening on the sets of their film, they feel that they should tell a story, direct a story. For a creative person, that is the next step," he says.

Sometimes, direction may be a logical destination for actors who have worked in other capabilities on the sets. 

Amod Mehra, a trade analyst, says actors such as Sonam started off as assistant directors, so it is natural if they decide to direct films. "Several actors started as assistant directors. It is because they eventually want to direct films. They want to tell stories that are better than others'. And these days, it is not difficult to manage both your acting and directing careers," he says.

Tannishtha, on her part, feels that acting is easier when compared to direction. "Direction is a huge task," she says.

Actor Samir Soni, who also ventured into direction this year with My Birthday Song, says directing was one of the most satisfying creative experiences he's had. 

"After being an actor for 20 years, you always do what the director wants you to do whether you agree with them or not. It is always the director's call. In my case, my friends would often tell me that I should direct, because even when I would act, I'd see the scenes in totality and not just with respect to my character. So, I was completely involved with every aspect, be it music or the editing," he says.