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…

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…

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.


Photo credit: Rema Chaudhary

“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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