'You would never ask a man what we ask actresses, "Now that she is getting married, will she work?"'
'This mindset must change.'
Sonam Kapoor refused to talk about her impending wedding, but spoke at length about Veere Di Wedding, her new film.
The film also stars Kareena Kapoor Khan, Swara Bhaskar and Shikha Talsania, and Sonam says the awesome chemistry we saw in the trailer was easy to achieve.
"I was working with friends, so the chemistry was not hard to achieve," Sonam says. "When we were holding each other or hugging, there was no awkwardness that you normally feel when you are working with someone for the first time. Here, everybody was on the same page and we were having so much fun."
"This was the script I wanted to be a part of it because of the language of the film, the concept, the fact there has never been a film about four friends -- four strong women. I am just happy to be part of the ensemble cast," says Kareena, adding, "A lot of mainstream actresses do not want to be paired with other girls."
How did Kareena balance the shoot with baby Taimur?
"I am lucky to have a husband, who is so understanding, apart from my producer Rhea (Kapoor), who stood by me," she says.
Kareena signed Veere Di Wedding before she had gotten pregnant. She called Rhea two months later to inform her that she was pregnant and that someone else should be considered.
"But they decided to stick with me and decided to change the character to be pregnant. But I could not do that either, it was difficult. It was Rhea's conviction and she said she would wait. All of them have been so supportive towards me for waiting," says Kareena.
"It was Saif who pushed me to hit the gym and get back to the studio. 'Take your son with you and set an example to a lot of mothers that it is possible,' he told me," Kareena adds.
"The minute we got on set," says Shikha Talsania -- the surprise in the trailer -- "we were chilling and killing it. What is lovely was getting to work with people who have had so much experience; they are very warm and welcoming."
The highlight for Swara Bhaskar was "touching" Kareena Kapoor.
"I was always dreaming about that. I was a creep!" she grins.
Swara has worked with Sonam in Ranjhanaa and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. But Shikha was a discovery for Swara, and they developed a code language on sets.
"The most difficult thing was wearing the clothes. I have never been stressed out in any film. I have really worked hard just to look somewhere closer to these people," Swara says, pointing at Sonam and Kareena.
Kareena has not signed any film besides this.
"I haven't thought about what I am going to do next. Taimur is just 16 months old. I had to give a lot of time to Veere, and now I have to promote it. I need another two-three months after Veere to decide to what to do, but I promise to do at least one or two films a year," she says.
"People like Kareena are setting an example. She got married, but she was on set and working. You would never ask a man what we normally ask actresses, 'Now that she is getting married, will she work?' Did anyone ask Shahid Kapoor whether he would work after marriage?" says Sonam.
"Kareena changed things after she went to work after her wedding. Post pregnancy, she started working immediately. Nobody asks men these questions; this misogynist mindset must change," Sonam declares.
"Hopefully, with this film, something will change and women will get space."
Food, Sonam says, was a big part of the discussions on the sets of Veere...
"Food was the only discussion on the sets! In Delhi, Kareena and Rhea would talk about food at breakfast, at lunch, at dinner and then again at breakfast. It's a Kapoor thing!" she exclaims.
Swara chimes in, "It was torture for me because I was supposed to be dieting and these people would only discuss food and eat. Some," she points to Kareena, "were complaining about me to Rhea because I was eating Maggi!"
What do they think about marriage in real life?
"In the film, we show the different reactions to marriage," says Swara. "Marriage should be a personal choice. In the olden days, marriage was necessary, a compulsion. But now, we can choose."
"There are four girls with four facets of marriage -- one is married, one is getting married, one is on the verge of getting a divorce and the fourth is searching for a partner," Sonam adds. "It's an entertaining film, but it raises a lot of issues.
"I don't think a film like this has been made before. If it does well, I hope it brings about a change in the kind of roles written for us."