Interview By: Ankita R. Kanabar

Just fresh from the success of ‘Stree’, Shraddha Kapoor is back with another film. She’s poised, and all things sweet every time you meet her. Here’s catching up with the charming lady for a quick chat about ‘Batti Gul Meter Chalu’…

‘Stree’ and ‘Batti Gul Meter Chalu’ coming back-to-back, both being so different…how happy are you?
Yes, I’ve had two back-to-back releases and infact, I have releases after a year. I’m excited that both the films are so varied and extremely special. ‘Stree’ being this first of its kind horror comedy and ‘BattiGul…’ being my first socially relevant film which I’m extremely proud of. I really wanted to be a part of a social film, something that would stimulate people, and their thinking. Cinema has the power to do that. Shree sir’s previous film as well, ‘Toilet’, made such a remarkable difference, and our country needs anything that can make a difference and cinema is one of those platforms. I’m really happy that I get to be a part of that as well.

How did you get into the zone of this film, and the world which Shree Narayan Singh creates, as we also saw in his previous film?
His world is a very desi world. It’s delightful to be a part of that. At the end of the day, if our film also touches the heartland, it’s a victory in itself. He has the ability to reach people into the smaller corners, and to top it all, it’s a very relevant subject and to top it all, he is saying it in an entertaining way. When you have all these traits coming together in a film, it’s great.

How did you zero down on the look for the film?
Definitely, our costume team worked on it. Neil has done the costumes, has worked hard and Shree sir is the captain of the ship so we all mutually decided how Lalita should come on-screen. We completely took the pointers from the person she is. By profession, she is a fashion designer who thinks she is the most amazing, but in reality she has such gawdy designs which you’ll understand in the film. She dresses up like she is a walking talking rainbow canvas. That was very interesting. We had added blue streaks to the hair and added a lot of colour to the eye liner and kajal so all staying true to what Lalita Nautiyal is.

You’ve come a long way, in terms of portraying characters on-screen, some which extremely displayed an emotional side, for instance, ‘Aashiqui 2’ which is still appreciated. Has portrayal of emotions, come more naturally with time?
I heavily rely on my directors, writers and I need to be shown the way by them. I feel like I’m someone who is extremely dependent on them, so if I’m able to do it nicely, then the credit goes to them. All those takes are okayed by them. Like for instance, Mohit Suri has such a distinctive way of capturing those emotions and I keep telling him, how do you do it?

"Evolution is natural for all of us as people"

Interestingly, even ‘Haseena’ – while the film didn’t do as well, somehow there’s been a lot of appreciation for how you performed…
So many people came and told me they saw it on television and loved it and nobody went to the theatres to watch it! I was like why? I’m glad that at least some people watched it. I think with every film, I hope that people go and watch it. But I completely surrender to the audience’s opinion. If they like something, they will watch, otherwise they won’t watch. I respect their opinion and I hope that in future, they do appreciate me as well.

In terms of challenge quotient, which role has been tough?
You know, sometimes people might feel that the emotional scenes must be tough or light-hearted scenes may be easy but it’s so different in each film. For example in ‘BattiGul..’ the biggest challenge was to get this particular trait right. My character Lalita is a little dismissive also. To just get that timing right was difficult, there’s a beat to that which you need to get right otherwise it wouldn’t be impactful. So, I think, there are different challenges in each film.

While you’ve become better as an actor with every film, what else has changed, personally, along the time?
I think, evolution is natural for all of us as people. I think I’m a lot more clear about what I really care about. Initially, you are scattered and grow up a little bit, realising what do you really want to focus more on.

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