Zoya Akhtar made her directorial debut with 2009 film Luck By Chance, starring Farhan Akhtar and Konkana Sen Sharma in lead roles. She went on to direct some fabulous films, including Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) and Sheila Ki Jawani, a segment of Bombay Talkies (2013), and Dil Dhadakne Do (2015). Her last release, Gully Boy (2019), starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt has won love and appreciation from all corners. However, the director says that with time, she has stopped writing parts with actors in mind or associating a role to certain actors.
Speaking during a masterclass at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, Zoya pointed how she wishes to break the imagery that compel a writer to write parts with actors in mind and revealed that it took her seven years to make her first film (Luck By Chance) and six actors said no to it. "That film couldn’t be made on the budget with a certain leading man. Back then, there were no grey areas. Some were clear that they didn’t want to play a morally ambivalent part and others didn’t get it either. I have moved on from this notion that I can only cast one certain actor in a role," she said.
Furthermore, she stated that it was only Gully Boy, where she got a yes from all her actors in the first go. "I’m here to make films so now I’m not latched onto this association that I wrote this role for a particular actor," she signed off by saying.
Apart from films, Zoya has also helmed Amazon Prime web series Made in Heaven, backed by Excel Entertainment. Now she is looking to her short film, starring Vijay Varma and Janhvi Kapoor, in Netflix's upcoming anthology Ghost Stories.