Human director Mozez Singh on normalizing LGBTQ stories in Bollywood

Director Mozez Singh is a happy man at the moment. your show, Human, has been winning plaudits and receiving heavy word-of-mouth promotion. Mozez Singh comes from an inherited pharmaceutical family: his grandfather was the founder and chairman of Ranbaxy. Human focuses on everything that’s wrong with the medical fraternity and the egregious drug trials that are often conducted…and silenced. “Ishani (Banerjee) and I, my co-writer, spent a lot of time in Bhopal, Indore and Madhya Pradesh. We went and met many victims, activists and people from NGOs. Vipul Shah, who is also the co-director, thought of doing something about human drug trials, he called me into his office in February 2019 and gave me a movie script to read. He wanted me to direct and I read the script and the script didn’t work for me, but what worked for me was the whole human drug trial thing and the fact that he was talking about big pharma. I went back to him and told him I didn’t want to do this script, but I wanted to do something else in the world of human drug trials. And then I went back and started to conceptualize and started to imagine this whole world that is now the show. Human, and I wanted to be able to tell an LGBTQ story within that. Then I called Ishani and told her that I wanted her to do this with me and she loved it and that’s how it started, but the whole thing of doing something in the pharmaceutical industry was something that was actually very personal to me and I didn’t want to do it like, you just said, I didn’t want to overlook it at all,” he says in an exclusive conversation with movie fee.

mozez singh

The LGBTQ story that Mozez brought to Human it is a part of the show, but it is not the whole and the end. In a way, you have normalized it and not capitalized on this “angle” for clicks and views. The director says that this was a conscious decision. “Everyone makes such a fuss about the whole LGBTQ thing, right? And I think the only way the LGBTQ conversation is going to find equality in the world is if we don’t make a big deal out of it because it’s not a big deal: some people are born straight and some people are born gay or lesbian. or transgender or fluid or whatever. It’s such a private matter, it’s what you do in the privacy of your bedroom, it’s who you fall in love with… these are all very private things, right? I just wanted to be able to tell a story that had an LGBTQ angle and tell it in a very normal way. So my whole intention as a filmmaker and as a gay man is to be able to normalize LGBTQ conversation because only when it becomes normal conversation will it find the same place in the world as everything else,” he says.

Mozez is also full of praise for Shefali Shah, his lead actress. “Shefali just brought his A game to the table. I mean oh my god! If we think we wrote something powerful, where she took it, it was just another level. Sometimes I was doing shots with her, and Vipul Sir was doing her shots, so we’d sit in complete silence and watch what she was doing on camera… it was amazing and crazy because she’s completely on and off. . I mean, you say ‘cut’ and she’s telling a joke and she’s like ‘okay, I’m coming back’. Although she is so immersed in the character, she knows exactly how to get out of it. She’s like a consummate actress, she’s a consummate wife, she’s a consummate mother. I’ve seen her play all those roles now because we’ve been working closely together for almost two and a half years, right? And she’s there and she’s very involved in every part of it. But delivering in front of the camera is another level, really,” he says.

mozez singh

There’s been a lot of talk recently about how female characters are getting bigger, bolder, and better because female directors get a chance to tell stories. Does Mozez think more LGBTQ people should be allowed to tell the stories so we get better queer characters?

“I mean I want that to happen, I really want that to happen because first and foremost there are a lot of LGBTQ people in the film industry. Most of them choose not to talk about it, I’m not going to live my life that way because I want to say I’m very proud of who I am, whether I was gay, straight, whatever, it’s not relevant and I’m very proud of myself. himself as a human being. It would be amazing if more people came out and more people told their stories, and more people told their personal stories, and the more people talk about this and the more discussion and dialogue, the more normal the conversation becomes. The more it’s treated like something that’s like ‘oh! okay, whatever, let’s not talk about it’ or people feel apprehensive or uncomfortable talking about themselves, more will continue to be the case. It has to come from us. It has to come from us, no one else is going to be the standard bearer for us, we have to be our own standard bearers. So I really hope it happens. I really hope that happens,” he says.

Before signing off, he leaves a parting gift for all Human fans: Season 2 is on the way. “We have started our discussions to Human Season 2. I know everyone is wondering how, because everyone dies (laughs), right? We have a very interesting vision for how we’re going to make Season 2 a reality and I’ll tell you about that once things are more solid and locked down. But yes, season 2 will happen. That’s all I have to say,” he says.

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