Suchitra Krishnamoorthi has charmed us over the years with her acting and singing talents. Meanwhile, Shekhar Kapur has impressed viewers in India and across the world with his memorable films. Their daughter, Kaveri Kapur, who turned 22 on August 4, is all set to debut with Kunal Kohli’s film Bobby Aur Rishi Ki Love Story, opposite Vardhan Puri. Being the child of such talented personalities, a lot of expectations are pinned on her. And she has already proved her worth as a singer and lyricist in her music videos. In the video of her song ‘Smell Of The Rain’, directed by none other than Shekhar Kapur, her acting is impressive, hinting that she can have a great run as an actor.
EXCLUSIVE: Suchitra Krishnamoorthi’s daughter Kaveri Kapur talks about debuting with Kunal Kohli’s Bobby Aur Rishi Ki Love Story; opens up on why she rejected Aamir Khan’s Secret Superstar
Bollywood Hungama exclusively spoke to Kaveri Kapur about her journey till now, her future plans and of course about Suchitra Krishnamoorthi and Shekhar Kapur.
How did you manage to land the part of the lead actress in the debut film, Bobby Aur Rishi Ki Love Story?
This happened in late 2020 or early 2021. I had never considered acting. Growing up, I was very shy. My parents pushed me into drama when I was really young. At that time, I was very scared and not comfortable being in front of the camera. As I grew up, I became less and less shy. I realized that it’s not an inherent part of my personality and that it’s something I had developed. I met Kunal (director Kunal Kohli) in Mauritius in 2018 and he thought I was very funny! He asked me to audition for a show. That ended up falling through. He said that he’ll still like to work with me. So, he sent me the script of the film. I loved it and that’s how it all started.
You were studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA while shooting for Bobby Aur Rishi Ki Love Story. How did you balance both?
I took some time off from school. I had to get my exams done early as I was doing a summer semester. So I flew directly from Boston to the UK to shoot for the film.
Speaking of Berklee College of Music in Boston, could you tell us what made you take admission into this institution?
As a kid, I always wanted to get into Berklee. I just felt it was right for me as their focus is on contemporary music. They like to build an artist individually and they celebrate your individuality. That’s what I was looking for. Hence, I had my sight on this place since the age of 10. I worked towards it all these years and finally got through.
How was it to work with director Kunal Kohli?
It was amazing. The best thing about him is that he directs his actors by understanding their personalities. He knew what to tell me to extract a good performance out of me. Like he knew what to say to make me feel confident or nervous, to get me to approach the scene in a way that he wanted. And he would say different things to Vardhan and me. So it’s great how he pushes his actors to do their best.
How was the experience of shooting the film?
The shoot was quite easy-going. It was of course hard work but I had a lot of fun. It didn’t feel like work for me, which is when I realized I really want to keep doing it. I felt so much like myself when I was acting and I didn’t expect that.
Have you been offered any more films?
Not at present but fingers crossed!
Your mother said you were offered Secret Superstar. And you rejected it, is that right?
Yes. I was 14. I was really shy and I hadn’t even thought about acting. So, it sounded very scary and intimidating to my little brain at that time. I think I got into acting at the right time. I had to mature, get to know myself and gain that confidence in myself. As much as it would have been amazing, I think what was meant to happen, happened. I think at that age, I am proud of myself for being strong enough to say no because, from all sides, I was being told that ‘You have to do it’. However, in my heart, I knew it wasn’t right for me then. So I guess everything happens at the right time.
What was Aamir Khan's reaction when you turned down the film?
I don’t know. I did not meet him. I was a baby then. So my mom was the one to tell him I said no and the reason behind it.
Going forward, how do you plan to balance both acting and music? Do you think it'll be difficult?
Yes, I don’t think it’ll be easy. As I gain more experience, I’ll have to figure. At present, I have managed to devote equal time to both. I guess I’ll have to prioritize different things during different periods of my life. Right now, I can’t fully answer the question as right now, I have not fully jumped into my career yet.
A lot is being said about nepotism. You being a star kid, what’s your take?
I understand the frustration. I do feel that if you are passionate about something and you are keen to explore it, you’d be silly to not take advantage of the resources and access that you have. I also think that all the people who speak about nepotism, if they were in a position where they could help their child, they’d do the exact same thing (as parents of the star kids). Hence, while I understand where it’s coming from, I think it happens everywhere. You’ve been blessed for a reason. So obviously you’d take advantage of it.
How was it to work with AR Rahman?
It was amazing. To have someone like him have that kind of confidence in you made me consolidate the fact that I want to pursue a career in music. He’s known me as a songwriter since I was a child. So he’s seen me grow and develop in that sense. He was so motivating when we worked on the song, Reminisce. He has an open, humble mind. He encourages my uniqueness as an artist and at the same time, also tries to push me out of my boundaries. He’s a really helpful mentor to me. If I want someone to be really honest about a song I wrote, I’d go to him. I also spoke to him before choosing my college. Hence, I am very grateful.
Your music video, Smell Of The Rain, was directed by your father, Shekhar Kapur. What was the experience like?
It was during the shoot of this song that my mind opened up to acting a little bit. I had a great time. I realized I love to express myself on camera. It was coming naturally to me. Moreover, it was my song. That song and my video is my baby. My dad and I conceptualized it together. I just had a great time as my dad knows me better than anybody else because we have almost the same personality! Hence, he knew how to bring out the best in me.
Will you be open to acting with your mother, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi? Or maybe have a show featuring you and her on the lines of Masaba Masaba!
(Smiles) We haven’t decided anything yet. But I am sure something will happen and it’ll be really fun.
What was your reaction to your mom's semi-autobiographical book and play, Drama Queen?
Mom and I have had a very open relationship since the time I was around 16 or 17. I was able to enjoy the play as an audience, if not as someone who has been personally involved in it. Of course, to a certain degree, I’ll always be involved but there was nothing that I found offensive or shocking. I found it funny. When the book first came out, I was too young to read it. At that time, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy it. Once I was able to reach a certain age, I was able to enjoy the book and play and love it just like anyone else.
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, in 2016, said in an interview that "Kaveri insists that she is 'big now' and keeps reminding me that I can't use her as an excuse to stay away anymore". So you do tell her to act more, is that right?
I think she can do anything she wants. She has so much talent. It’s a waste if you don’t go out and explore it. So of course, I want her to go out and do her thing.
Recently, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi said that you made her profile on a dating site…
I could see that she was bored. I told her, ‘Mom, you need a boyfriend’. So I made her account on Bumble. As simple as that!
Did she go on the date? How was the experience?
That is something you should ask her!
Does she also tell you to go on dates?
At one point, my mom was worried that I am going to be single forever! So she’s like, ‘You are so young. You should go like on a billion dates’.
What about your father? Is he also as open or is he strict about you going on dates with boys?
At this point in my life, he doesn’t really have a choice! Even when I was young, I have always been very independent. I never wanted to hide anything from them. They also tried their best to meet me halfway. I had my first boyfriend when I was 17. So, it was never a problem. My dad knew and I could talk to him about it. Had they stopped me from dating, I would have just hidden it from them and that’s not a conducive situation. So, my dad is not strict and also, he has a lot of wisdom. He understands that it is just a part of life. Not to forget, my dad and I are very similar. So, a lot of things that I go through, he relates to it.
You have got your singing genes from your mother. Do you feel that you have filmmaking genes from your father? Have you ever thought of turning director when you were on the sets of your music videos or your debut film?
I do not know yet. As I figure it out, I’ll let you know! On a serious note, maybe I might go for it. Who knows? I never thought I’d be interested in acting. However, I did end up acting.
I read that many years ago, while you were studying, you handled production and worked on the script of a short film called, Be Happy. Karisma Kapoor’s daughter Samaira, who also features in the film, was the cinematographer. Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan’s son Ibrahim was a part of the creative team. Could you tell us about this venture?
It was about 8-9 years ago. It was a workshop which I did with a bunch of my friends. Honestly, I don’t even remember what the film was about! We were so small. I was not in it as an actor and frankly, I don’t think I did much!
How did this group of you, Samaira and Ibrahim, get formed?
I studied with Ibrahim until the ninth grade. We just ended up going to the same workshop. Maybe our parents planned it. It just happened. I frankly don’t remember.
Are you and Ibrahim still in touch?
Yes, we are, on and off.
Which is your father's favourite film?
I wasn’t allowed to see Bandit Queen for a long time. But it’s a really great film. But my favourite is Mr India.
What are your views on your mother’s famous film, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa?
It’s a very cute movie. I watched it very recently. I had not seen it before. I loved it though I couldn’t believe that it was my mom! I was like, Oh My God! It’s really interesting to have a peek into the lives your parents had before you were even a thought in their minds. I also realized when I saw the film that I indeed do like her!
Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa had a very unconventional ending. Anna, the character played by your mother, doesn’t end up with the hero. Though everyone liked the film, many felt that Anna should have married Sunil (Shah Rukh Khan) and not Chris (Deepak Tijori). Your thoughts?
I guess people like it when their expectations are met. It’s like a feeling of gratification. I would have also liked (to see Anna ending up with Sunil). But sometimes, that’s what happens in real life. I think it is a realistic ending. It surprised me and hence, I liked the climax as I like being surprised.
In an exclusive interview with Bollywood Hungama in February 2022, your mother said that if a remake of Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa is made, she would like to see you playing the role of Anna and Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan in the role of Sunil!
Really? I would definitely be excited to do that part (smiles).
Your selfie with Shah Rukh Khan had caught attention. How was it to meet him?
He has always been encouraging and very kind. I have had a lot of respect for him. I have just started acting. I haven’t interacted with him about it. I’ll talk to him about that. It’s always been a great experience meeting him.
Which have been your favourite films?
I appreciate films that talk about important causes or delve into deeper and darker stuff. While I like to watch all forms of entertainment, I prefer to watch things that are light-hearted and make me smile as there’s so much that’s going on in my head. I turn to entertainment specifically for my mind to be quiet (laughs)!
As for my favourite films, this might be a little embarrassing but since I was a child, my favourite film has been Baby’s Day Out. I’ll always love it and I am not sorry about it! I also love Baby Geniuses but it wasn’t a film I watched regularly. Baby’s Day Out, meanwhile, has my heart.
Any Indian film which has been your favourite?
In the last few years, I have loved Gully Boy and Gangubai Kathiawadi.
Is there any wish list of actors, actresses or directors with whom you’d like to work?
I want to work with everyone, especially with people that challenge me. I just want to work, period! It’s fun and I think you gain something out of anything you do. I realized while working on this film that I learned so much and there’s no one you can’t learn from.
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