MUMBAI: Dressed casually in her dimly-lit room, Sonam Kapoor gently sipped from her cup of coffee as BusinessOfCinema approached her for the interview. It was raining outside, and at such a moment, one wouldn’t want to do anything but laze around. Unfortunately, the actress hasn’t had that privilege. Her fierce portrayal of Zoya in ‘Raanjhanaa’ will be followed by a minuscule role in ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, and these two films have kept her busy with promotions. “I would like to take some time off,” she says, during the interview.
She may be a fashion-diva in real life, but her onscreen portrayals have been generally that of a girl-next-door, with a few exceptions in movies such as Aisha. As Sonam Kapoor explains that this is not on purpose, we also talk about ‘Raanjhanaa’, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, her directors, and her thoughts about launching her own fashion line.
BOC: Why did you choose to work in ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ especially since the movie is about Milkha Singh and concentrating solely on his life?
Sonam: Honestly, Prasoon Joshi has written a most amazing script. And Rakeysh Mehra is one director you would want to work with over and over again. The cherry on top was Farhan Akhtar, who I am a huge fan of. Because he’s such an incredible director, actor, singer, lyricist… What else does he do? He’s like a master of all trades.
BOC: After ‘Raanjhanaa’, do you think your life and career has changed?
Sonam: I’m really happy but I haven’t been able to digest anything because I’ve been working so much. Being successful is amazing, but I did ‘Raanjhanaa’ for the experience of it and when the filming stopped, I felt like my goal had been achieved. I loved working with Aanand L Rai. He’s my favourite director.
BOC: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is the first director with whom you’ve worked with twice. How different was it working with him over the two films?
Sonam: Nothing. Delhi 6 was his last film. It felt like I came on the same set with a different actor because everybody was the same – the sound recordist, the cinematographer, everybody was the same. For me, working with Rakeysh Mehra is a homecoming. It’s my happy place. And I needed a little respite after ‘Raanjhanaa’. Zoya was such a difficult role, in terms of emotion, it was a little taxing, even though I had a great time working on that film. The character that I am playing in ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ is like a dream. It came at the perfect time in my life.
BOC: Can you talk about your role in ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’?
Sonam: I have a special appearance in the film. It’s a very small, tiny role. It’s not a difficult role, there’s no graph. She’s just a pure, pretty girl who this man falls in love with and he wants to change because of this girl. I think it’s going to be an iconic film and I wanted to be a part of it.
BOC: Sonam, you’re, unlike many other actresses, working with actors your age.
Sonam: But that’s not my fault. (laughing)
BOC: Is that a conscious decision?
Sonam: I’m not answering this one. (laughs) I don’t know. See, for me it’s not about the actor who I work with. It’s always the role and the director. So I have never consciously said I have to work with this actor. I mean, that’s a very wrong way of choosing a film. I’m not judging anybody who does films like that. That’s their decision in life.
BOC: In most of your films, you have the sweet, pretty, girl-next-door look, while offscreen, whether it’s at Cannes, or Vogue magazine, you’re this fashionista, this diva. The roles where you have got critical acclaim too, have been deglam ones. Is it conscious?
Sonam: No, it’s not a conscious decision. But honestly, I think with every film, I change my look. I will play a Sakina, a Bittu, an Aayat or Naina, a Simran, an Aisha, a Zoya. Not Sonam Kapoor 1, Sonam Kapoor 2, Sonam Kapoor 3. I wear clothes according to my character. And in real life, I wear clothes according to what I feel. And I like to wear crazy clothes.
In ‘Raanjhanaa’ too, Zoya wasn’t a deglam girl. She was the hot girl. Only in the second half was she mourning, she was dead, she wouldn’t wear kajal and come out. So yes, the character grows, she wasn’t deglam, she still looks good. Deglam is when you’re really looking awful. She’s glamorous and pretty. As long as I’m looking good, I’m still glamorous, ok?
BOC: Do you ever think of launching your own fashion line?
Sonam: If I do a fashion line, it’ll be for normal girls who find brands expensive, who like to shop at Colaba Causeway or at Santacruz Market. I want to do fashionable, reasonable clothes, which we’d wear in Bombay, in India where you can only wear organic fabrics, only wear certain things. But right now, honestly, I don’t have the time to do it.
BOC: You’re currently working with Nupur Asthana (Yashraj’s Untitled next) and have worked with Rajshree Ojha (Aisha) when it comes to female directors. Which directors are better to work with, male or female?
Sonam: I love working with Nupur. I had an ok experience with Rajshree… Only a man would ask this question. Women journalists are better. (laughs) I hate that question. I think if you’re a good director, you’re a good director. If you’re a bad director, you’re a bad director, no matter what sex you are.
BOC: But do you think Bollywood is still male dominated? Is it changing?
Sonam: It is changing, but very slowly for my liking. I think India has to progress a lot faster.
BOC: And are you getting to do the kind of roles you would like to do?
Sonam: Very few. Very few of them.
[colored_box color=”eg. blue, green, grey, red, yellow”]Rapid Fire:
BOC: You read a lot, so any favourite book?
Sonam: It’s very difficult for me to choose. Well, I don’t know! (laughs) I honestly don’t. It keeps changing.
BOC: If you had to portray a real-life personality on screen, who would you choose?
Sonam: I think it’s up to the director to decide these things. But right now, I don’t know. Someone with a lot of conflicts, a lot of desires, a great character arc, someone interesting, someone flawed, someone difficult.
BOC: What else besides acting?
Sonam: I want to try writing and directing in the future but I’m too young and not intelligent enough right now. [/colored_box]