Sonam Kapoor was in London in February and the fashionista took time out of her busy schedule to chat with Cineworld Cinemas Bollywood editor and BBC London and West Midlands Indian cinema expert, Ashanti Omkar. There to promote her current release Bewakoofiyaan, the actress also talked about the remake of the Hrishikesh Mukherjee 1980 classic Khoobsurat and so much more. Check out what she had to say in highlights from their interview.
Chatting about Bewakoofiyaan, which also stars Ayushmann Khurrana and Rishi Kapoor, Sonam called it a “slice of life” film that has real characters people can relate too.
Sonam was excited about the role in the film written by Habib Faisal (Dooni Chaar, Band Baaja Baaraat and Ishaqzaade) and working with director Nupur Asthana. “Nupur Asthana – she made this really cute, simple nice film called Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge. I liked her work and I liked the script, so I decided to do this film.”
One of the things that drew her to the role in Bewakoofiyaan was that it was a chance to play someone completely different from Zoya in Raanjhanaa. “It was a modern girl who had simple problems, as opposed to really difficult problems. Her issues were about getting married, money, getting to her job on time, getting home before curfew. It was nice to actually have real girl problems, which weren’t like death defying ones (laughs).”
The actress certainly has played the gamut of characters and emotions with performances in the dramas Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Raanjhanaa, and now the lighter funny genre of Bewakoofiyaan. So how does she prepare for her roles? “You know, with Raanjhanaa, I actually went out for 3 months and went to Delhi and did 3 plays. For Milkha, I sat with Mehra, I sat with Farhan and whoever I could, so I could figure out what this character has to actually be like and what this girl would look like and dress like, how she would behave, her language, etcetera, etcetera. For Bewakoofiyaan, it happened that my director’s sister is a banker and my grandfather was a banker. It was basically from what I’d experienced back at home and my chats with Nupur’s sister, about the dress code, for example. How you speak, how you behave and carry yourself, and you actually are a salesperson. But you come across as someone who is more responsible and not so sales-person-like, I think that’s the way to describe it. As an actor, you get to play a banker, a political leader, a doctor – it’s nice as you actually get to research different people in such a short span of time.“
Next is Disney’s remake of the iconic Khoobsurat, which originally starred Rekha, “Yes, I am going to be ‘her’”, she said, “Disney has decided that this is a pivotal film they are going to produce in India and that is going to release worldwide. They want to start their production in India with Khoobsurat, as it is everything Disney. It is wholesome, it has a message and it has characters who are loveable and real, and who teach you something. It has the values that Disney wants and my sister Rhea is co-producing it. We want to give children and young adults things that are aspirational, as opposed to vampires and werewolves.”
Having said that, she did reveal that movies with vampires and werewolves are her guilty pleasure, “I actually love them.”
The actress extensively prepared for her role as a physiotherapist in Khoobsurat, “I sat with several physiotherapists and with a sports scientist, who basically explained a lot of things about injuries and I did around 10-15 days. This made me understand the human body and how it works, and stuff like that.”
She was asked, ‘Is role-play something you enjoyed as a child?’ Smiling she answered, “Of course, didn’t everybody? I didn’t like Barbie dolls, so I used to have this over-active imagination and I used to pretend to be all these different things. My weird childhood fetishes seem to have come to life now, as an actor (smiles).”
Much to the delight of her fans, Sonam is very active on Instagram. What is cool is that her friends follow her too, “I love my friends. I think everybody knows my friends now (laughs), as it’s only like 5 of them on my Instagram all the time. It’s fun showing the audience that besides my acting, I have these friends and family and also these people who work with me, who are also my friends. My Instagram is filled with girls (laughs).”
She also talked two of the hotties of the moment Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor, “I’ve grown up with them and for me, I’m very proud of what they have achieved and what they are doing individually and together, with a film like Gunday. Gunday, I think, is a great change in the direction their careers are veering in.”
So what does Sonam Kapoor like to watch when she has a Hollywood movie night? “Recently, I watched Silver Linings Playbook, which I really liked. And films like Blue is the Warmest Colour, Lincoln – some come out a little later in Bombay. And the Leonardo De Caprio film, The Wolf of Wall Street I just saw recently. I enjoy these things and I had a special screening for The Wolf of Wall Street because there was like a weird edited version in Bombay and I wanted to see it unedited. I had called for a print, so I could watch it.”
About visiting and eating in London she said, “I love walking down the streets of London and I like Soho a lot – it’s changed and there is something really nice about the area. I can’t do Oxford Street anymore (laughs). Notting Hill and little quirky places – my friend stays there, so I enjoy it. I eat everywhere (laughs). It’s constantly changing, as there are so many restaurants in London to choose from.”
Finally we have a message to her fans: “Make it a good 2014, Work hard, watch my films (smiles)…”
Bewakoofiyaan is in theaters now!