Harshvardhan Kapoor with sister Sonam at a previous award ceremony, where he won the best debutant male trophy. Pic/Poonam Bathija
Freshly out of a social media soup for speaking his mind, Harshvardhan Kapoor on why he asked the unthinkable - do you deserve that award, dude?
Aastha Atray Banan (MID-DAY; January 22, 2017)

Do you regret speaking your mind?
I have learnt much in the last few days. Firstly, that there is a time and place to say something. When you say something, you may not mean it in the way it is perceived. It's like Chinese whispers. I say something, you publish something, and the person reading it perceives it differently. I have to be more diplomatic.

You belong to a film family. Were there lessons on how to handle the ways of the industry?
Our parents gave us freedom when we were growing up, so, we speak our mind and have an opinion on everything. I am also very ambitious, but nothing I ever say comes from a bad place or because I wish to hurt anyone. Sometimes, the context of what we say is lost. Last I checked though, we were a democracy. One can have an opinion. It's not like I called out everyone who didn't like Mirzya. In fact, I loved Udta Punjab, and Diljit was brilliant. The point I was making was very different.

Were you disappointed Sonam [Kapoor] didn't win an award for Neerja?
Neerja was shot entirely in one location, and it wasn't an ensemble cast film. She carried that movie on her shoulders. She was Neerja. When you see Neerja Bhanot's picture when the credits roll, you feel it's Sonam. I am proud of what she has achieved.

But do awards matter to you?
I like receiving awards, because it means I am getting appreciated, not just by fans but my peers. What makes me sad is that you judge someone despite not having seen his work. Some people judged my performance without having seen Mirzya. All I could do was play the character the best I could. Sometimes, the audience doesn't connect with the story, and so they don't connect with the character. Tomorrow, I may plan an average role, but if the audience connects with the character, they may appreciate my performance. In Mirzya, I had to speak with my eyes and body language. In my next with Vikramaditya Motwane, there is more dialogue. I am naïve, and trust everyone. From here on, I will let my work do the talking.