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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Neha Dhupia on her show No Filter Neha: For me, it isn’t about sensationalising a conversation

Actor-host Neha Dhupia on No Filter Neha Season 5, the USP of her podcast show, and how she managed to produce it while working from home.

Written by Mimansa Shekhar | New Delhi | Updated: September 1, 2020 9:05:57 am
neha dhupia no filter neha 5No Filter Neha Season 5 At Home Edition will have guests like Sourav Ganguly, Neena Gupta, Sonu Sood and Pankaj Tripathi. (Photo: PR Handout)

Actor Neha Dhupia is back with season 5 of her popular podcast No Filter Neha, this time with an at-home edition. The season premiered on audio streaming service JioSaavn recently, with Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan as the first guest.

This time, on No Filter Neha Season 5 At Home Edition, the audience can look forward to a guest list that includes cricketers Sourav Ganguly and Kapil Dev, actors Sonu Sood, Neena Gupta, Rana Daggubati, Pankaj Tripathi, and filmmaker Kabir Khan.

In a conversation with indianexpress.com, Neha Dhupia opened up about the USP of her podcast series and how she keeps the show relevant.

Here are excerpts from the conversation:

Q. What’s that one factor which keeps bringing you back to every new season of No Filter Neha?

There are multiple factors, but definitely, the prospect of a great conversation brings me back.

Q. And what do you think the audience likes about the show?

I think the audience likes the show because we bring out the human side of the celebrity in every conversation.

Q. Is it your personal rapport that helps stars get candid about their life, or do you have any other secret mantra?

It’s the environment that we create, to give them the feeling that it’s just them and me. I’ve always had conversations with people who either know me or people who I know. I was speaking with Sourav Ganguly and having a fangirl moment. I was speaking with Saif who’s been a friend for many years. One way or the other, we always know each other. So, the personal rapport, along with the creative environment, make it easy. Even when we would shoot in the studio, it would only be the two of us, not like 10 people on camera making the guests uncomfortable. There’s nothing wrong in being a journalist but I’m not trying to create news. I’m trying to get you a great conversation and a great story. For me, it isn’t about sensationalising a conversation, it is just about having a conversation.

Q. How do you think you’ve matured as a host in all these seasons?

Some conversations did make me nervous. There was a time when I was interviewing Karan Johar for the first time. You know he does Koffee With Karan, and he is Karan! Then there was Farah Khan, who’s got the gift of the gab, or Kapil Dev — whoever talks to them can get nervous. But when we get together, we get rolling and cracking. However, now, I’m definitely more comfortable. I know how to get into a situation or conversation that would interest the audience, and also how to get out of trouble. And then, for everything else, we have an editor.

Q. What has been your personal favourite episode this season?

I’ve always been a very big Sourav Ganguly fan. So that’s been my best. Apart from that, we waited for Saif for five years to come on our show. I’m looking forward to Pankaj Tripathi. Then there’s Neena Gupta and Kapil Dev. There are a bunch of people. Our guest list has always been wonderful.

Q. You worked from home. Was this season easier?

It’s been much harder actually, not because I’m home, but because I bring my office to home. There’s not cut-off point, you’re constantly working. Noise levels are high. You’re always trying to get time between your work and child. At the same time, you want to make sure that everything is precise, that your recordings happen in the afternoon, when the daughter is asleep. All the guests were so good, they turned things around and did it in that time. That way it’s been great, but I’m not a fan of work from home culture. I feel a house should be a house and an office should be an office.

Q. If you have to re-invite a guest, how do you keep the episode relevant?

Dhupia: We had Karan Johar back-to-back for three years and we made sure it was relevant. It’s kind of hard to give away trade secrets, but we try to make conversations which we’ve not had before.

Q. Five people from across the world you’d want to get on your show?

Dhupia: Meryl Streep, Barack Obama, Shah Rukh Khan, Roger Federer and Priyanka Chopra.

Read: Seven things Saif Ali Khan revealed on No Filter Neha Season 5 episode

Q. One aspect of Angad’s life you’ll want to explore if he’s called again?

What goes on in his head when I ask him to do something for me. Because he never does it, or takes so long! He’ll always do it last minute!

Q. Angad Bedi said since you come from an Army family, your review of Gunjan Saxena mattered the most to him. What do you have to say?

When I like something, he’s actually surprised. When I saw Gunjan, I saw my relationship with my father in Janhvi Kapoor and Pankaj Tripathi. I’ve grown up with the same value system. My dad too has always given me wings to fly. So I was bawling my eyes out for hours and hours, I loved the movie so much! But there are times when Angad does something and I just say – ‘okay!’ He says, ‘You don’t need to be that honest, I’ve worked really hard on it!’ But now he has accepted that I’m a brutally honest person.

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