'When I watch a horror film, I begin to imagine reflections in the mirror, creatures sitting on my closet...'
Janhvi Kapoor plays a chudail in Roohi.
"The performance as a chudail was not at all funny for me," Janhvi tells Subhash K Jha.
Roohi was earlier known as Rooh Afza.
(Chuckles) Yes. Then we thought we could get away with Roohi Afza. Phir humne socha Roohi hi rakh lo chup-chaap.
You are no stranger to ghost stories.
Yes. Earlier, I had done a segment of Ghost Stories directed by Zoya Akhtar.
I must confess I am quite scared of ghosts.
When I watch a horror film, I begin to imagine reflections in the mirror, creatures sitting on my closet...
And creatures hiding under your bed?
No, not that.
I have got a cupboard fitted underneath my bed, so I have cleverly overcome that fear.
I was very fascinated by the subject of Roohi.
I had heard that Dinu Sir (Producer Dinesh Vijan) was looking at casting for the film.
I asked him to consider me. Luckily, he felt I fit the bill.
So you actually sought out the role?
I heard the one-line concept and fell in love with it.
The concept was that there's this girl and she's possessed by a chudail.
One man is in love with the girl and the other with the chudail.
Exactly. It felt like an opportunity for me to broaden my horizons as an actor. Though I have to admit, I've no funny lines.
The situation is not funny for my character.
Rajkummar Rao and Varun Sharma have all the funny lines.
The performance as a chudail was not at all funny for me.
It required a high level of performing ability from me. I had to push myself.
Did you watch any films about chudails before playing one?
Yes. I watched The Exorcism Of Emily Rose repeatedly.
I think that actress Jennifer Carpenter is simply outstanding.
It is one of the most under-rated performances ever.
I also watched Jyothikaji's performance in Chandramukhi very closely. And Bhool Bhulaiya.
The I saw the original Exorcist with Linda Blair.
There was also a Chandramukhi starring your mother Sridevi.
No, that had nothing to do with being possessed. Roohi was a big challenge for me.
Your last film Gunjan Saxena was a success although it was released during the lockdown on the OTT platform.
Funny you saying that, because when Gunjan Saxena was about to stream, people were comforting me about how I wouldn't even know whether it was hit or a flop.
But now when I've another release coming up, I get a sense of how much people liked that film.
So I feel Chalo kuch to sahi kiya hoga.
I didn't like Dhadak much. Why a remake of a hit film?
Sometimes a director has a fresh perspective on the original. That's when a remake works.
Honestly, there are just a handful of stories that we can reshuffle on screen.
Are you going to be doing a film for your father, Producer Boney Kapoor?
Honestly, it's my dream as a daughter and an actor to do a film with my father.
We are constantly discussing ideas.
I am sure it will happen soon.
Now that he has turned an actor, he will also give me vishesh tippanni on how to do my scenes.
It's good that you started your career outside the family banner. Nobody can say you are a beneficiary of nepotism.
Bolne wale toh bolte hi hain.