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Saawariya Spl: Ranbir will be a huge star, says Sonam

 
Rajeev Masand Reviews
 

  A star in the making, she’s one of the most talked about newcomers in Bollywood. She’s all set to storm the screen in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya. Her father is one of the most versatile actors in the film industry and there is reason to believe some of that has rubbed off on her. CNN-IBN Entertainment Editor Rajeev Masand chats with Sonam Kapoor.

Rajeev Masand: You were not always going to be an actress, were you? It was a happy accident?

Sonam Kapoor: A happy, most amazing accident. I hope it happens again and again. I always wanted to do something creative. According to my father and people who knew me really well, there was always an actor in me. Obviously Mr Bhansali saw that, and, here I am.

Rajeev Masand: I remember your dad saying you were a performer of a kid and he was just dreading the day you were going to announce, ‘I’m going to be an actress.’

Sonam Kapoor: I don’t know why he said that, because he always knew it. There was once a somber party happening at our house and I was this 12-year-old kid wearing a pink outfit and I came out, switched on the music and started dancing. So I think at that point my dad decided that she is an attention-seeking kid and she will become an actor.

Rajeev Masand: Did you grow up watching your dad’s movies?

Sonam Kapoor: Yes. Mr India is the best film a child can watch.

Rajeev Masand: I agree with you.

Sonam Kapoor: I have seen it 20 million times. Also Ram Lakhan, I love the jhatka-matkas. I love Madhuri Dixit. I love Tezaab too.

Rajeev Masand: Do you have a favourite performance?

Sonam Kapoor: Pukar, Eeshwar, Who Saat Din. I can’t choose, he’s different in everything. Like you said, he’s versatile.

Rajeev Masand: Did he sit you down and have a father-daughter chat when it was decided that ‘My daughter is going to be an actress’ ?

Sonam Kapoor: Yes he did. He calls me Giraffe. He said I want you know that what you’re doing is not all glamour; it’s a lot of hard work. It’s a combination of physical and mental labour. The reason why I’m letting you do it is because I know you’re capable but I want you to be aware of the hard work that goes into it.

Rajeev Masand: Your mother wasn’t too thrilled about it. Has she gotten used to it now?

Sonam Kapoor: Yes, she has gotten used to it. She wanted me to study, I’m still studying, go abroad, get married, get a nine to five job. She’s a banker’s daughter, studied economics. But that didn’t happen.

Rajeev Masand: You said you’re still studying.

Sonam Kapoor: Yes, I’m doing my BA through Bombay University correspondence in Political Science and Economics, what my mom wants me to do. Also, I love doing all that, I have studied History.
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Rajeev Masand: Smart girl, you’re keeping both parents happy.

Sonam Kapoor: Yes. I have to, I have to live in that house.

Rajeev Masand: You have younger brother. Did he and your friends rag you when it was decided you were going to act?

Sonam Kapoor: My sister Riya makes most fun of me. She is a great mimic. When she heard about it, she said ‘Too good, you can do full chameli roles.’ She calls me Champa. So they were all like, ‘You’re going to be singing and dancing and crying and making an emotional mess of yourself’.

Rajeev Masand: When the movie finally comes out, apart from Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who’s reaction are you dreading?

Sonam Kapoor: My brother Harsh’s reaction. He’s very correct in what he says. He’s a 17-year-old boy so he doesn’t care about my feelings. You know how brothers are, they are just like, you know, whatever, you suck. Brothers never praise so if he praises me, it’ll be like maybe I did something right. I know my mother and father will like me because they are biased but I want my brother to like me. I hope he does.

Rajeev Masand: So fingers crossed for that one. Few people know that Saawariya is not your first brush with Sanjay Leela Bhansali. You assisted him on the sets of Black. Ranbir said that was a very calculated move on his part because he eventually wanted to work with Sanjay as an actor. Was it a similar move on your part?

Sonam Kapoor: If I wanted to act with him, I would not have gone as a 90-kilo girl. I would have done my eyebrows, not worn glasses and at least groomed myself a little bit before going. That was not my intention, I was too young and I wanted to go to university but it was destiny or fate I don’t know but I wanted to work with him.

Rajeev Masand: So which film of his made you want to work with him?

Sonam Kapoor: Devdas. I saw Khamoshi and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and I loved them. But when I saw Devdas I thought it was filmmaking at its best. Every time I see it, I see something different. It’s so beautifully adorned. I love anything beautiful. Firstly, the characters are flawed and to have them in such a fantastical way, it makes such great cinema and drama. The red, oh, I just love drama. I was like, ‘I just want to be with this man, somewhere, even in the vicinity.’ Rani (Mukherji) had come to see me in Singapore on holiday and she told me she was doing Black. She’s a great family friend and my favourite actor. So I told her I want to meet him and work with him. Then I came bag from Singapore and told my dad I want to work with him and asked him to make the call, be Anil Kapoor for once. So he did it and he was shocked that I wanted to work with him. So I assisted him and the first day I went to him, he told me, ‘You should be an actor.’

Rajeev Masand: You didn’t think so.

Sonam Kapoor: No. But I said if you think I should be an actor then yes. I think he’s the first person who saw me. All my friends are still shocked that I’m an actor. But he’s the one who truly sees me as I am.
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Rajeev Masand: What kind of preparation did you put in once it was decided you were going to act in the film? Apparently you were not happy with the way you looked?

Sonam Kapoor: That’s a delicate way of putting it. Sir always said ‘You’re very beautiful, you look like an Ajanta painting, you’re fat and nice and sweet.’ But I realized I cannot be 90 kilos and face the camera because it’s not aesthetically nice for a heroine to be that fat. so I said I better lose weight if I’m doing his film, I owe him that much. So I lost the weight, did my eyebrows, took care of my skin. I took dance classes, diction classes, acting classes, everything. It was fun to learn all that, it wasn’t like going to school.

Rajeev Masand: When you found out that your co-star was going to be Ranbir, a childhood friend and a co-assistant from Black, was it comforting?

Sonam Kapoor: Yes because Ranbir is a childhood friend and one of my best friends. There’s a comfort level that’s always been there. So there was no competition. I know he’s going to be a huge star so maybe I can get some mileage out of that too. So if the movie does well and he’s going to be a huge star, maybe something will happen for me also.

Rajeev Masand: Was it strange sitting in those vanity vans, the same ones you used to knock on when as an assistant for the star to come out?

Sonam Kapoor: Yes, the first time I was in one, I was like, ‘Daddy, I have my own vanity van’, so it was quite cool. Firstly, I have never been on a set, the only van I have been on is my dad’s and that’s always outside my house. So it’s not a novelty. But having my own make-up van was so exciting and cool.

Rajeev Masand: Very few people know you are a bookish girl, aren’t you?

Sonam Kapoor: Yes, I like books a lot. When I was younger I finished Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Enid Blyton rather than playing with dolls or going out. My friends hate that about me. But I love reading and movies because you can be in another world. I’m a nerd.

Rajeev Masand: What are you reading right now?

Sonam Kapoor: Inside The Kingdom, it’s a book about Carmen Bin Laden, she’s Osama Bin Laden’s sister-in-law. It’s about how she got out of the Bin Laden clan and how 9/11 affected her life.
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Rajeev Masand: At the other end of the other extreme you also love sports.

Sonam Kapoor: Yes, I love playing squash because of my dad, basketball because of my height and I’m good at it. I love exercising and working out.

Rajeev Masand: You used to play basketball with Ranbir.

Sonam Kapoor: Yes, I was the only girl playing at the club.

Rajeev Masand: So you are not the typical girlie girl. You don’t like pink or dolls. You don’t spend hours looking at yourself in the mirror, I’m told.

Sonam Kapoor: Well, yes, I don’t like looking into the mirror much but I like taking care of myself. I love shopping. I love clothes, shoes, bags and jewellery.

Rajeev Masand: So you are a high maintenance daughter.

Sonam Kapoor: Not really. I can buy a $15 dress but I can also beg my dad to buy a Chanel bag for me and he would think about it for three years and then maybe buy it for me. So I can be at both ends of the spectrum. It depends on my mood. I’m a girl but I also like doing things conventional girls may not like doing. But at this point I don’t think any girl is a typical girl.

Rajeev Masand: This is your first film and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You realize that whatever you do after this, this will be special.

Sonam Kapoor: Everyone asks me, what next, and I say, I have been taken care of till now, so after this will be the real test. Sir has taken care of everything and whatever I am now is because of Sanjay Leela Bhansali. It has nothing to do with me, he has guided me fully. So next time you interview me, if you want to, for my next movie and at that time if you ask me, maybe I would have put something of my own in that.

Rajeev Masand: All the best. Looking forward to doing that interview next time we meet hopefully happy riding on the success of Saawariya. Thank you for talking to us.

Sonam Kapoor: Thank you.

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