Profile - Gurinder Chadha
- Paul Gallagher
- 31 July 2008
Name Gurinder Chadha
Born Nairobi, 1960
Background Born in Kenya but raised in England, Chadha began her career as a BBC news reporter, breaking into directing with the 1989 documentary I’m British But . . ., focusing on the life and culture of British-born Asians. Notions of ethnicity and identity remained central to Chadha’s concerns as she began making feature films, from debut Bhaji on the Beach (1993) through 2000’s LA-set What’s Cooking? to her commercial breakthrough Bend it Like Beckham in 2002, which also launched the mainstream careers of Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra (now part of the ER furniture). After her Austen/Bollywood mash-up Bride and Prejudice got a lukewarm reception in 2004, Chadha decamped to Hollywood for a time, where she was involved in initial development of movie adaptations for Dallas and I Dream of Jeannie.
What’s she up to now? Directing the subtly titled Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, the first in a possible series adapted from the fictional teenage diaries of Georgia Nicolson, by bestselling author Louise Rennison.
What she says about directing teenagers ‘Towards the end of the shoot me and Georgia Groome were both knackered, so we took to impersonating each other to keep going. In one scene in particular I needed her to be really stroppy, and she’d kind of blanked out, so I decided to revert to a 14-year-old to direct it, and I was like, “You’re not doing it right! I told you! You’re so unfair!”’
Interesting fact Chadha gave birth to twins between the pre-production and filming of Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.
Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging is out now on general release.