“I HOPE I AM LUCKY FOR EVERYONE”
She did not care when they called her just a glamour figure, nor when she read about her imaginary break-ups and make-ups in the papers. Known for having her foot in the mouth usually, she turned out to be candid yet politically correct this time. As to the public perception of her being a rebel, she is busy being in her own skin. In the briefest interview of her career, Priyal Shah attempts to decipher what Sonam Kapoor really is about.
Cutting through the traffic signals that strangely decide to turn red when it was my turn to cross them, I finally reach the plush ‘Shringar’— the residence of the Kapoor bunch. While I twiddle my thumbs in the ‘interview room’ (one of the classiest ever), I bore witness to any cinema lover’s perfect fantasy. Stacked in the shelves were the best works of the mavericks — from Chaplin to Tarkovsky — staring back at me.
Moments later, dolled up in a polka tunic and tights, Sonam Kapoor entered through the heavy doors, apologetic for her never-ending telephonic interviews. I instantly got on to business, firing questions on her upcoming movie. “Dolly Ki Doli is looking great; I am quite excited about it. People are really enjoying the trailers and the songs. I play a role that of a con artist who has a fake family helping her con people. It’s an exciting role for someone like me because everybody sees me as this happy nice person, so to play someone you are not, is quite exciting.”
Dolly ki Doli is her second shot at comedy, after Khoobsurat. After a long spell of dramas, we wonder if there arose a sudden need to be a part of comedies. Sonam however blames it on the popular demand. She adds, “People like me doing more of comedy and so the directors vision me in such roles. Khoobsurat was a comedy; whereas Dolly Ki Doli is a dramedy — close to being a rom-com. This time I am not doing a slapstick comedy like I did in Khoobsurat.”
However, what remains common, is her track record of working with non-stars and introducing them to stardom. We saw that with Dhanush in Raanjhanaa, and then with Fawad Khan in Khoobsurat. Does that make her every promising newcomer’s lucky mascot? “I hope I am lucky for everyone. My name Sonam means lucky — the one who brings fortune.”
People like me doing more of comedy”
The conversation soon veers toward her upcoming movie, and her joy of working with the team. But as the clock ticks away, her answers turn crispier. Concerned for my cover story length, I sheepishly ask her about her curt answers, half expecting a denial. Sonam, fashionably owns it! “They are such cute small answers!” (giggles).
Not helping matters, I decide we rather talk about her rare presence at the award functions. “I got nominated a lot last year for Raanjhanaa, but I didn’t end up going for any award functions because I was shooting for Khoobsurat. I don’t have any idealistic or political agenda for not going to award functions.” Then why the absence? “Unfortunately I’ve always never been in town because the season of award functions, is the best time to shoot a film. It is winters, the weather is beautiful, the light is great and I hardly do films abroad. I do a lot of them in India. The first time when I got nominated for Saawariya, I was shooting for Delhi-6. And when I was nominated for Delhi-6, I was shooting for Aisha. I’ve only attended three award functions in the eight years of being in the industry.”
Okay, but keeping the issues of film schedule clashing with award dates apart, Sonam does take awards seriously. “Honestly, I’ve been nominated since my first film. It’s just that I have never actually attended the awards or received them. It has always been a nomination and I think that’s a great way to get people to take you seriously.” And that is one area Sonam’s career has struggled in. When she first came in, Sonam was just another star kid, then just a fashionista and now, slowly an actress. However, her presence in the many functions this year has raised a few more misunderstandings. “Since this year I had the time, I attended and people were like ‘oh you are nominated’, but hello! I was nominated way more last year than what I was this year. So it’s a matter of perception.”
The perception might be taking a turn this year with her much publicised project with Salman Khan. Anyway, my ‘usual’ questions had dried up, and so were Sonam’s rehearsed answers. “Salman Khan is so amazing and great to work with.” While being a Sooraj Barjatya film, her fans might be taken aback with her change from a glamazon to sati savitri. Sonam is uninhibited though. “Soorajji is such a treat to work with. It’s one of those dreams which you don’t believe are real and actually happening. Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is a typical Sooraj Barjatya film with an Indian girl with great values.”
But stepping into her eighth year in the industry, Sonam has already seen many phases. Right from being a style icon on the red carpet here to representing India in Cannes, Sonam also managed to silence her detractors when she was nominated for segments beyond clothes and glamour. “It feels amazing to get validation for the kind of work that I choose to do.” And was styling Arjun Kapoor for Tevar, one of her choices? “No, just once or twice I went to Arjun’s (Kapoor) house and told him what to wear and what not to, but it’s my sister Rhea Kapoor who has styled him for Tevar.”
And with her sister’s name cropping up in the conversation, topic of her production house was bound to come in. “Our next will be Battle For Bittora, directed by Shashanka Ghosh, while Fawad Khan and I play the leads,” she chirps. And it is the same Fawad Khan, who was her dinner date that night. Not intending to start any rumour here, Sonam is only catching up with her very fetching Pakistani munda, who was in town. “He is a friend more than anything else and I would love to work with him if I get a correct opportunity with a great script.”
I don’t think Sonam is running out of offers or scripts. By the look of it, she was running out of time. With a cordial goodbye, Sonam flashed her smile and ran off on her toes, fashionably, of course.
I don’t have any idealistic or political agenda for not going to award functions.”
... a still from
Dolly Ki Doli
... a still from Dolly Ki Doli