Shraddha Kapoor
Upala KBR (DNA; May 2, 2017)

Shraddha Kapoor, living in her self-confessed ‘bubble’, measures her thoughts and guardedly shares them. For the actress, her world is her family and friends and her work. But there is more to this pretty face than the fact that she’s from a filmi family, is uncharacteristically simple and loves taking up a good challenge when she sees it. Here, she talks about her upcoming films, her growing years in the film industry, her bond with her family and more...

Have you sung a song in Half Girlfriend?
Yes, I have, actually. I have sung the female track of Phir Bhi Tumko Chaahunga. I hope people will like it.

Phir Bhi Tumko Chaahunga talks about passionate love. Have you ever been in love like that?
I have been in that situation where my Half Girlfriend character Riya Somani has been — where you are in love with someone but can’t be with that person. Where the song is concerned, that’s a kind of feeling… I hope, that when I commit to someone, I become the person I envision myself to be with as well, because we often idolise and think about the qualities we want our partner to have and to be perfect accordingly. But do we have those qualities? We want someone to change, but are we perfect enough for someone else?

Do you relate to your character Riya Somani?
Riya is a rich, spoilt brat who has everything at her beck and call and roams around in fancy cars. There’s a certain body language which comes with that, which, according to director Mohit Suri, doesn’t come naturally to me. I don’t feel I am very refined in my way of talking, walking, etc. In my last two films with Mohit, my characters have come from humble backgrounds, but this was a complete contrast. He told me I had to change my body language and incorporate an affluence and refinement to my character.

Your innate sense of style is simple, not overtly glamorous. You don’t like to experiment...
True, I am not experimental where style is concerned. That’s because I don’t feel like I am a fashionista. I feel like I don’t know much about fashion and I wear what I feel comfortable in, what I relate to, will be happy and comfortable wearing and what I feel suits who I am. Also, I am tremendously moody, indecisive and not sociable. On some days, when I wake up feeling more extrovert-ish than on other days when I don’t feel like stepping out of my home. I am usually in my bubble, so I don’t know a lot about stuff that I ought to know about (laughs). Especially my non-filmi friends who will ask me to give them some gossip and I’d be like, ‘I don’t have any to give’. So they usually know more than I do, despite me being from the film industry. I am like, ‘Wow! That’s pretty ironic.’

You have changed from being the-girl-next-door to the-babe-next-door. What brought about that change?
I don’t think I am the babe-next-door at all. While I don’t know what to categorise myself as, I can’t say I am the girl-next-door, but I would definitely say that I am very comfortable in my pyjamas and my glasses.

Your dressing and your attitude is now uninhibited. Is it success or confidence?
Really? Has that happened? I will take your word for it (smiles). If that’s what you are saying, I give the full credit to my team of stylists. They are doing the thinking and strategising. They include Tanya Ghavri and Allia Al Rufai, who I work with a lot.

You don’t feel cut off from the industry?
I am happy to be cut off from everything and everybody. To tell you the truth, I am very work-focused, but I am not a great multi-tasker. I am also terrible at reverting to messages and calls, I shouldn’t have a phone as it defeats the purpose of anyone wanting to get in touch with me. I will see a message, read it, forget it, read it again and then completely forget about it because I am preoccupied with something else. That is not a good quality!

How do you handle link-up rumours?
I ignore them. There was a time I used to get affected by them, but then I realised that it’s best to just ignore them because sometimes you can’t control the fiction created about and around you. How many times can you give a clarification or be affected? It’s a waste of energy, so I ignore them now.

Any childhood memories with Arjun?
When you all come from film families, everybody has birthday parties over the years and goes to them as well. Arjun is my brother Siddhanth’s friend and growing up, that’s who I knew him as. Through this film, I’ve gotten to know him on a personal level. I have childhood memories with Varun Dhawan, because we would play together.

Is there any genre you would like to attempt that you haven’t done before?
I would love to act in a black-and-white film. Sometimes I wish I was born in Guru Dutt’s era — the charm, romance, the poetry and mystery of those times, not divulging too much, keeping the mystery alive...

Your mom, aunt Padmini, and Tejaswini — seem to be a strong unit. How dependent are you on them for advice?
Very dependent. In fact, I am quite dependent on my whole family for advice, for life and everything else. In a conversational manner. I chat about the scripts I get with my aunt (Padmini). I discuss my work with her quite a bit. Mom and I we do speak about films, but we speak more about life and growth as an individual more than anything else. We speak about all other things. She is very spiritual. I follow her spiritual discipline — Sukyo Mahikari (the Japanese discipline of healing through light). It’s a place where people from all walks of life and different religions come to develop themselves in order to achieve their true potential as human beings. I have been doing it since I was 10 as I was introduced to it by my mother, but I am not as ardent a follower as her.

When Haseena was offered to you, did people advise you not to take it up?
When Apu sir (Apoorva Lakhia) narrated the script, I loved it. I just felt like doing it. To be able to play someone from 17-45 years, Haseena’s journey is amazing. It was daunting of course but just to connect with what that woman has gone through in life. To the world she was known as a gangster’s sister but what she actually suffered, you will find out when you see the film. It’s fascinating and very tough!

Are you doing Thugs Of Hindostan?
No. After Haseena, my next film is the biopic on Saina Nehwal. I shall soon start prepping for that.