‘MY AM­BI­TION IS TO GROW AS A HU­MAN BE­ING’

Sonam Kapoor wants to tell rel­e­vant stories through cinema

HT City - - FRONT PAGE - Prashant Singh prashant.singh@htlive.com

She is clearly on a roll. Sonam Kapoor’s last two re­leases — Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015) and Neerja (2016) — im­pressed crit­ics and au­di­ences alike, and her per­for­mance in Pad Man is also get­ting rave re­views now. A “happy and proud” ac­tor, Sonam main­tains that she’s “glad to be as­so­ci­ated with a film that dared to be dif­fer­ent”. We caught up with her about Pad Man, her ca­reer and more.

When you choose your films, do you al­ways aim to strike a bal­ance be­tween dif­fer­ent gen­res? Hon­estly, I don’t think about it a lot. I only want to do films with [right] peo­ple and tell rel­e­vant stories. Whether it is Pad Man, Veere Di Wed­ding, the San­jay Dutt biopic, or Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, I’m play­ing char­ac­ters that res­onate with me, and I hope they res­onate with au­di­ences, too, so that I can be proud of what I’m do­ing.

Every­body thinks that I took a gap af­ter Neerja, but I was shoot­ing for four films. For some strange rea­son, all of them are re­leas­ing this year.

Since your de­but film, Saawariya (2007), has your process of choos­ing films changed much? No­body re­mains the same for­ever. For me, it’s also im­por­tant to work with good peo­ple. I don’t want to be trau­ma­tised on a film set be­cause, at the end of the day, it’s just my job and not the end of my life. I’m very am­bi­tious about my craft and art but I’m also equally am­bi­tious about my growth as a hu­man be­ing, and that am­bi­tion over­rides my am­bi­tion to be a suc­cess­ful cinema artist. Pad Man is do­ing well com­mer­cially and your per­for­mance is also get­ting rave re­views. Is it the best thing that an ac­tor can ask for?

Rave re­views are a bonus, and I’m thank­ful for them. But the best thing an ac­tor can ask for is a good role and be­ing part of cinema that in­spires him or her to be bet­ter at the job.

I love it when every­thing — from the nar­ra­tion, script, tal­ented co-stars, and an ex­cit­ing role co­a­lesces into a film. In to­day’s times, con­tent drives cre­ative col­lab­o­ra­tions. I’m happy and proud to be as­so­ci­ated with a film that dared to be dif­fer­ent.

Although, I’m over­whelmed by the re­sponse to my per­for­mance, the credit goes to R Balki (di­rec­tor of Pad Man). What’s the best com­pli­ment you have re­ceived for your per­for­mance?

The best com­pli­ments have come from my con­tem­po­raries and di­rec­tors. A lot of them were kind enough to con­vey it through per­sonal mes­sages. And I’m su­per grate­ful for that.

Pad Man comes right af­ter Neerja and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Are you ex­cited about the va­ri­ety of roles that have also got you lots of praise?

Of course! It’s a huge boost for me to know that a cer­tain film­maker be­lieves in me or thinks that I can fit into his or her vi­sion. I’m grate­ful for the va­ri­ety that has been of­fered to me. In fact, I never took that for granted. Many feel that you, over the years, have be­come ef­fort­less with your per­for­mance… Thanks, but I don’t think I can call it ef­fort­less. Strik­ing an equa­tion with the cam­era didn’t come nat­u­rally to me. I worked on it and tried to pol­ish it with each film.

PHOTO: ISHAAN NAIR

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