I recall my five hours spent at Sonam Kapoor‘s Juhu bungalow during her Delhi 6 days. It was the first time I had met her. It was also my first time at her place. But at the back of my head, I did know that she had made a dream debut….which went wrong at the BO. And that happens to many, I’m sure. But what took me by surprise was the fact that a one film old actress became, almost overnight, one of the most in-demand interviewees on the planet. Obviously, the Saawariya and Delhi 6 phenomenon changed things quite a lot for her. If you programmed a computer to cobble together a movie out of every cinematic cliché – I Hate Luv Storys is pretty much what you would end up with. Today, Sonam is still the same I saw her the first time. She is beautiful in an evasive, interesting way. Her eyes are not that huge but knowing, her eyebrows are winged, her lips are fuller, and her expression is sharp and aware and absorbing. But more than this, Kapoor has enormous talent. Vast and uncompromised, it’s the most significant of her generation; but also the subtlest. Until very, very recently, her talent will be tested in 24 hours with her first ever attempt to do a rom-com. UK’s Harrow Observer columnist and Bollywood Hungama‘s London correspondent chats up with the girl in love, the girl madly in love with movies, the girl deeply in love with her talent and the girl who is hell bent on making her best friend believe that love exists.
Salwars to Shorts
(Laughs) Well, I didn’t wear shorts. I’ve played Sakina in Saawariya who is very different from Bittu in Delhi 6 and now I’m playing Simran in I Hate LUV Storys who is also very different from Aisha in Aisha. I don’t know what this hoo-haa has made about me for wearing salwar’s and now western outfits (laughs). I mean, those were the types of films which were offered to me. The progression of dresses in all my films has been slow and steady according to their culture and character.
Serious cinema to Rom-Com
Sonam wouldn’t have done that. I wouldn’t have played it reverse. Saawariya and Delhi 6 has really benefited me as an actor and not just as a random bimbet walking around the street selling shorts. You know what I mean? I think that is more important for the longevity in this industry to be known as an actor. If people want to see a lot of me in my sexy avatar, then they can flip the magazines on the shelf because that’s where they’ll find me in their state of mind.
First Love Story on celluloid
As far as my memory goes, the first film I saw which was a love story should be Mughal-E-Azam. I’ve also seen Gone with the Wind, Titanic and a few more when I was a kid.
Even if I find my love, I’ll never speak about him. But I can assure you of one thing, if I have met any person who doesn’t believe in romance and have gotten along with him, it has to be Imran Khan (laughs).
Romance in school / college
Romance in school and college used to be a lot fun. It was innocent. It was a lot to do with the ‘Rose Day’, ‘Valentine’s Day’, ‘Friendship Day’, and all. All these days were super cool and we used to go along giving roses, receiving some, exchanging cards, getting some, tying friendship bands, etc.
DDLJ, Pretty Woman, Noting Hill, etc
The way my character is written is so different from anything that you’ve seen. I’m not saying this to sound clichÃ©. I’m saying this because it’s like picking each and every character from different rom-com’s and using them on celluloid. So we’ve taken characteristics from all the actresses like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and Noting Hill, Meg Ryan from French Kiss, Kajol from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and DDLJ, Rani from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, etc. We’ve also been influenced by actresses who’ve done rom-com’s like Preity Zinta, Madhuri Dixit, Sridevi, etc. Punit told me to watch all their films and get inspired. He told me that I had to take everything seriously and that I was only going to talk clichÃ© in the film. It’s Imran who plays a different character, not me. I play the clichéd one.
Bhansali to Rakyesh to Punit
I don’t think there is anything which is different from all the directors that you’ve just mentioned, except that you know he is the boss and the captain of the ship (laughs). You go into the project believing in the film maker. I am a director’s actor and I’ll only work if a director makes me work according to what he wants in the film. Any success I get is because of my director and not because of me. I listen to my directors blindly.
Some do think that the roles I’ve portrayed in both my films, I Hate LUV Storys and Aisha, is the real me. I do like working in a romantic film. I am quite romantic that way. I am an idealistic too. But if people see me as a ‘real Sonam’ in I Hate LUV Storys, it works for me (laughs).