Dear Maya director on signing Manisha Koirala: Needed someone who can be vulnerable and strong at the same time

Dear Maya director on signing Manisha Koirala: Needed someone who can be vulnerable and strong at the same time

Dear Maya director Sunaina speaks on why Manisha Koirala was her obvious choice for the title role, and whether she did justice to it or not.

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Manisha Koirala plays Maaya in Dear Maaya, the film’s trailer received good response among the audience.

Manisha Koirala has ruled our hearts for over two decades. From doing completely commercial films like Mann to entertaining us with intriguing stories like Bombay, Dil Se and others, Manisha proved her mettle early in her career. Now that the actor is set to make her big comeback to films post her battle with cancer, we all have eyes agog to see her on the big screen as soon as possible. We already know that she is prepping up to play the role of Nargis in Sanjay Dutt’s biopic, but recently, she shared a picture announcing the wrapping up of her upcoming project Dear Maya, which made us curious.

While Manisha’s hectic schedule is keeping her busy, we got hold of director Sunaina who spoke to and revealed much about the plot and how nobody other than Manisha could have pulled off the character.

We asked Sunaina if the film is an ode to any real person in her life, to which she denied and said, “The film is about two 16-year-old girls who play a prank on an older lady who has been hiding in her house for 20 years. That woman is Maya. These two girls are obsessed by her and they want to know the mystery around her. So, they keep an eye on the lady.”


“These girls pretend to be someone that they are not. They write love letters to Manisha. As a joke they say that they are in love with her, she starts taking them seriously,” Sunaina added.


On being asked how she found her Maya in Manisha, the director says, “I needed a strong actress and someone who can be vulnerable and strong at the same time. Who can be better than her? Looking at her body of work, one can safely say that no one else would have portrayed this role better than her. She has always done intriguing characters and has been up for unconventional roles. She was an obvious choice for me. I didn’t want anyone who is so glamorous that she becomes unbelievable and Manisha can effortlessly carry both the looks.”

During the conversation, Sunaina mentioned that the story is about growing up and realising what life is all about. She termed it as ‘coming off age’ – something that every director has or is trying his hands on. “I think we all are always coming off age, it is interesting. We are crossing or experiencing a graph at any age. The journey of growing up doesn’t get over. It is fascinating for filmmakers,” Sunaina explained.

Sunaina believes that making movies has become easier over time but having the liberty to release them is yet not there. Referring to Lipstick Under My Burkha, the director said it’s unfortunate for any filmmaker to not be able to show their films in their own country.

Also read | Manisha Koirala on playing Nargis Dutt in Sanjay Dutt biopic: I am revisiting cancer trauma 

“It’s disheartening for filmmakers that he or she cannot release the film in his or her own country. At the end of the day, I would like my country to watch the film first but the good part is that people are making noise. The filmmakers are coming together and speaking out. Previously, nobody got to know about it. Change is happening, but it’s taking a long time.”