Life as an actor is relatively easy. You do a shot then go sit down in a chair, while the crew runs helter-skelter prepping for the next shot,” says Jharana Thapa, who has been an actor in the Nepali film industry for the past two decades, “But now that I have moved behind the camera, I understand just how difficult direction really is.”Thapa is now set to re-launch her career as a director, with the release of her debut venture, A Mero Hajur 2. A first-look trailer of the romantic-comedy movie dropped on Sunday, amid a function held in the Capital.
In a conversation with the Post about the movie Thapa said that the project was a natural and organic progression for her, albeit a product of ageism that is prevalent not just in the Nepali movie industry, but industries around the world. “I’ve been acting for 20 years but there comes a point in every actor’s life where lead roles in new movies dry up. New actors emerge and old ones get pushed to the sidelines. I went through a similar experience, but wanted to keep contributing to this industry that I have become so attached to. That is why I have ventured into direction,” she said.
But now that she has, Thapa—who forayed into acting with the 1996-hit Daijo—says that the role of a director is exponentially more difficult than that of an actor. “As an actor, you’re concerned with your own role and craft, but the director is the team leader for the entire project. It is not enough that you do your job well, you also have to ensure that everyone else does theirs too,” she said. “While the film is in the scripting process, everything looks rosy. But when you go out on location, there are so many variables you need to account for. Not everything goes according to plan.”
According to Thapa, A Mero Hajur 2—which stars Salin Man Baniya and Samragyee RL Shah in lead roles—is a simple love story with a simple plot that a lot of people will be able to relate to. Written by Samipya Timalsena, the film also features actors Salon Basnet, Amber Subedi, Suman Poudel, Buddhi Tamang and Wilson Bikram Rai, among others.When asked if A Mero Hajur 2 is a one-off project or if she intends to make a career out of directing, Thapa said, “I have other offers on the table and a few scripts that I am looking into. But first, I want to see how the audience reacts to this debut project before I dive into it with both feet.”A Mero Hajur 2 will hit theaters on September 1.