Ekta Kapoor on taking a step back from films, her association with Veere Di Wedding and choosing her production company over having a baby
Meena Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; April 29, 2017)

Until recently, you were part of Bollywood’s power quartet, including Aditya Chopra, Karan Johar and Sajid Nadiadwala. Now, you have taken a back-seat as far as film production is concerned…
Last year was really bad for us in films so I am no longer one of the aforementioned players in the business. I have no qualms about admitting it. It was a conscious decision. I am not equipped to weather big losses because I don’t sell my films to multi-national companies. I seem like a quasi-studio, but in reality, I am actually a production house that made money on television. I don’t have international backing. A flop affects me more and I don’t have the sustaining power to wait for four-five years to cover my losses. I can’t write off my losses even for a year.

Are you taking it slow in film production?
I haven’t backed out of the film race fully because I personally think that all the three media — television, film and digital – will co-exist, but the movie industry has become binary. It’s not as if films are not being consumed. But sometimes, a film can hit rock-bottom while in other cases business can go through the roof. Since content is being consumed across various platforms now, you have to be smarter in your pre-sales; keep less dependency on theatrical. One has to find a method in the madness.

You are now one of the biggest players in the web-series space. You just launched ALT-Balaji.
Yes, it’s where I can tell clutter-breaking stories that people can consume alone. It is engaging, urban and relevant programming. Movies have to be watchable and payable. In other words, when you set out to watch a movie, it has to be an experience or an extravaganza. Otherwise it is app zindabad.

Your next production is Half Girlfriend with Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor. How dependent are you on it?
Well, I am excited about the film. It’s young and fresh. I will do everything in my power to promote it but beyond that I am not thinking about the results. Success is such a periodic thing. I have incubated myself from success but I will never give up my efforts to take my company to the top. The outcome is not in my hands though.

One hears that Rhea Kapoor and you have finally firmed up the deal on Veere Di Wedding that features Kareena Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor in the lead.
There’s a funny back-story here. Veere is an expensive film and after what my company went through last year, I was not sure whether I would be on-board. Rhea and I met to shake hands and not work together but it is such a fabulous script that my heart is set on it. It is the first film on girl-bonding, the first young film on sisterhood in India, after several stories on boys like Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. I have been a part of Veere Di Wedding from its inception and I can tell you, it will be a cult film. I want to be out there promoting an all-woman cast.

Your former protégé Sushant Singh Rajput seems to have returned to your fold.
Well I can’t tell you right now whether I am working with Sushant or not. But I can say that I have very fond memories of him. He and I met at Chetan Bhagat’s party a few days ago and bonded big time.

One also hears that you have been bonding with Smriti Irani as well…
Can you imagine? I met Smriti and Sakshi (Tanwar) for lunch in Delhi last week, when I was there to promote my app. I was telling them that they should now launch me. My connection with them is so strong. I was telling the most popular leading ladies of two of my longest-running soaps (Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii) that they are both in such positions of power that they should adopt me. Sakshi has just done Dangal, which is the biggest Bollywood blockbuster ever. And Smriti is in the cabinet ministry. I joked, ‘What the hell am I doing in life?’

(Brother) Tusshar beat you to it by having Laksshya (his son).
I love my nephew and I miss him a lot when he is not around. But I only spend an hour or so with him every day. I’m not ready for a bigger commitment just yet. A few days ago, I dropped by Karan Johar’s to meet his twins (Yash and Roohi) who are adorable. He turned around and told me, “Ekta, you do not look like you are interested in getting married. How about having a baby?” But Balaji is my baby. I do not think that a woman is complete only with a child. I might be above 40 but I am not ready for motherhood.