In Bed With… Zoya Akhtar

Between the successes of Gully Boy and Made in Heaven, it’s been a busy and exciting year for film director and screenwriter Zoya Akhtar. With a career that requires her to regularly harness creative energy – her own and that of those she works with – how does she stay centred?

Below, she chats with Himêya about self care, pet peeves, and the importance of not bringing baggage to bed: 

Nighttime routine
I shower to make myself sleepy, and use a Bioderma cleanser every night to get Bombay off my face. 

Your version of counting sheep…
Reading!

Current bedtime reading
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney. When you’re shooting 14 hours a day, you don’t have the bandwidth to read, but I always keep a book in my bag.

Photo credit: Rema Chaudhary

 Bedroom pet peeves 
I don’t like wet towels or food lying around my bedroom. I wouldn’t want someone sweaty on my bed but I’ve always had dogs on it. 

You’re most comfortable sleeping in…
Pyjamas!

Morning routine 
I usually sleep for seven hours; I’m not much of a lounger. I start with yoga or exercise, or hot water and lemon, read, shower, have breakfast and check social media.

“I like my bed made. I’m fortunate to have staff in Bombay who make it the minute I’m out of my room. If I’m abroad renting an apartment, I make it every morning.”

 

Is your bedroom a screen-free zone?
I write on my laptop, so that comes to bed often. I don’t have a TV in my bedroom. 

The last film/show you watched in bed…
An episode of Big Little Lies.

Favourite nightcap
Green tea!

Photo credit: Rema Chaudhary

“I eat right, exercise, and drink lots of water. And I try to process my thoughts. I don’t like collecting baggage or taking it to bed.”

 

Bedroom objects that keep you grounded…
I have a jade statue by my bed that someone gave me for good health that travels with me wherever I go. A friend from Turkey gave me an evil eye which is always in my handbag.

Tips for a good night’s sleep
No caffeine before bed. A hot shower goes a long way. There’s also something to be said about a hard day’s work or workout. If all else fails, melatonin!

 
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