Interview By: Ankita R. Kanabar

In a knee-length dress from her own collection ‘Imara’, and hair tied into a braid, Shraddha Kapoor looks like a doll while promoting her latest release ‘Baaghi’ at Sajid Nadiadwala’s office. But see her pulling off action in the film and you know that she isn’t just a pretty face. Her day is filled with a long list of activities and so multi-tasking comes to the rescue! She’s rushing somewhere for a meeting and so I hop into her car with her while we finish the interview on the go. Finally finding breather to bite into her sandwich, this Kapoor girl gets chatting about ‘Baaghi’, the feeling of being accepted and lots more….

“I feel it’s quite cathartic to be an actor”

Staying so cheerful on a long day full of promotions – is it just the love for what you do that keeps you going?

(Laughs) Yes I think it’s that. Promotions are crazy, it’s like a roller-coaster ride and there’s so much talking. You’re like going from one place to another. It’s pretty interesting but it gets tiring. At the end of the day, you’re like, where’s my bed!

Talking about ‘Baghi’, everyone’s raving about your look in the film ever since the promo came out, was it a conscious decision to make this film different?

Interestingly, this is my first film which I think has got all the Hindi film elements in it. There’s comedy, action, drama, romance, all of it in it. In fact, this is the first time I’ve got more typical Hindi film songs also so I guess it demanded that. It was awesome that Sabbir sir said he wants me to do action also. It was very challenging though because it was physically demanding to try and learn how to kick and punch in a very limited span of time. People go through years of training for that. To learn the perfect postures and everything was difficult and I had to give my best because I had very limited time to train. Also, my character Sia is tough and soft at the same time. She’s vulnerable but you cannot take panga with her. So, it was emotionally also demanding in the sense that the film also has certain lighter, emotional aspects.

Everyone has also appreciated your singing in ‘Sab Tera’….do you rehearse on a regular basis?

It was damn tough to sing that! I didn’t think I would be able to sing it because it is such a high pitch song for a female singer. But Sabbir sir felt that I should atleast try it.
Before I started shooting for ‘Rock On 2’, I did some voice modulation classes with Samatha Edwards for the film. She’s a phenomenal jazz singer in Bombay itself, but now I’ve not had the time to rehearse, because I’m in the middle of shooting for ‘Ok Jaanu’, and promoting ‘Baaghi’, but I sing in my bathroom or while getting ready and that really helps (laughs).

Do you imbibe traits of your character in the process of a film, or is it the vice-versa? Most of your characters have been vulnerable…

Yes they have been, and it just happened by chance. I feel it’s quite cathartic to be an actor because you get a channel to vent your emotions. If there’s something which is hurting you or making you happy, and you’re doing an emotional or happy scene, you have a mode to vent it out. And sometimes you get to deal with things you haven’t dealt with, for real. So, I really look forward to emotional scenes. On the other hand, every character I’ve played has become a part of who I am and it’s shaping what I’m becoming also. Be it Ayesha from ‘Ek Villain’ where I’ve taken on her quality to make a bucket-list or Arohi’s love for singing. ‘ABCD 2’ taught me to push myself as much as I can. That way you imbibe something from every character.

“Each time someone appreciates me, I feel like it’s a reminder to work harder, and become a better artist, singer, dancer, performer”

With debuts being so hyped these days, it might have taken immense security to start off with a film like ‘Teen Patti’ which wasn’t a quintessential Hindi cinema debut?

It’s quite unfortunate that it didn’t do well and people didn’t really go to see it. But I was very excited to play the role of this nerdy girl who comes into her own. I feel like there are no rules anymore. Sometimes a debut is over-hyped also and it still probably doesn’t do well. So you never know what might click.

How do you feel about being accepted in a manner that you’re getting these kind of films?

It’s nice to be accepted and see people’s excitement towards the effort that I’m trying to do something different. They’re appreciating that which gives you the strength that you’re glad you took this decision. The endeavour is to try and do something different with each film and also try and be a part of different kinds of films. I was very happy to be a part of ‘Haider’, or to have done films like ‘ABCD 2’, ‘Ek Villain’, ‘Aashiqui 2’ and now my forthcoming films are ‘Rock On 2’, ‘Ok Jaanu’ and ‘Half Girlfriend’. All of them are very different from each other. I feel really fortunate that I’ve gotten to work with so many different kind of directors. I enjoy trying to adapt myself and relate these emotions to my experiences in life as much as I can.

Of course, recently ‘Aashiqui 2’ completed three years, so it’s been a while…

I cannot believe that it’s been three years to that film, because it seems like I was shooting for it a just week ago or something. So much has changed so fast. My life changed on a Friday and in three years I’ve done about four films. A lot has changed.

But you haven’t really changed, have you?

The fact that my first two films didn’t do well, was like a reality check, failure gives you a sense of grounding. That being said, who knows if my forthcoming films will do well. I can just hope for them to do well.

How overwhelming is the love from the audience? How does it feel being chased by so many?

Very overwhelming! I see that when we go to various places for promotions and people still remember me as Arohi. It’s amazing how the connection is so strong. I can feel that my characters have connected with the audience. Today we had a meet and greet and some of the people who were there got me these beautiful cards which they had made with their own hands for me. Every time I see something like that, I get overwhelmed. Every time someone tells me that they love my work, I’m touched. And each time someone appreciates me, I feel like it’s a reminder to work harder, keep trying and become a better artist, singer, dancer, performer and be a part of good films. I feel in every field and everything, there’s no end to improving and doing better than what you’ve done before. I just want to keep getting better with each film.

You go into such a deep thought every time you’re asked a question…
(smiles) Yes, it’s true. I think a lot.

But you don’t express as much. You hold back, don’t you?

I do. That’s because it’s a responsibility to be careful about what I’m saying. I might be thinking about 20 things in my head which I should not be saying. But that doesn’t mean that what I’m saying is not something I’m feeling. Just that it’s important to streamline your thoughts. I don’t know if I’m good at it, but I try and be as eloquent as I can, I want to be as coherent in my thinking and express myself.

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