She assisted Mira Nair in The Namesake and Ang Lee in The Life Of Pi. And now young and pretty Delhi girl Nitya Mehra is all set to unleash her first independent directorial venture on an unsuspecting world.
So what is this strange story where the male protagonist Jai (Sidharth Malhotra) begins to age fast?
Says Nitya mysteriously, "You will have to wait for the film to come out. I am glad the trailer has whetted people curiosity. When I decided to turn director I wanted to make sure I didn't fall into the trap of doing the usual boy meets girl story. I wanted to do a love story that would move the audience and make them think."
Nitya cast Sidharth Malhotra first. "I wanted to get the casting of my male protagonist in place first. I chose Sidharth Malhotra because of the warmth and mystery in his eyes. I had seen him in Hansee Toh Phansee ….There is a thehrao (stability) in his personality and an earnest warmth. About the aging, I was never bothered whether he would look 40 or 45 or 50. I knew the makeup guys would take care of the age. I needed someone who would convey a certain warmth. With Katrina also, the good looks were an asset. I had only seen her in two films Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Raajneeti and liked her performance in both. But there is a quality of mystery about her. No one really knows the real Katrina. I wanted to tap that mystery."
So is there more of Nitya in Sidharth or Katrina? "I think there is a bit of me in all my characters in Baar Baar Dekho including Ram Kapoor. The Punjabi side of my personality is manifested in him."
Nitya has also worked with Anil Kapoor in 5 episodes of the series 24 "He is so inspiring. So is Farhan Akhtar with whom I've had the chance to work closely."
Nitya has never felt like a female director. "I am not making feminist statements through my films. Nor are my films going to be about women's empowerment. But I won't shy away from making a film with a female protagonist either.