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This article was first published 8 years ago  » Movies » 'Sonam Kapoor playing Neerja Bhanot excited me'

'Sonam Kapoor playing Neerja Bhanot excited me'

By Jahnavi Patel
February 17, 2016 10:22 IST
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'I don’t necessarily want to be an actor or make it my profession but if it happens organically, I will accept it.'

While he's at it, we get to enjoy Shekhar Ravjiani on the big screen, in Neerja.

Shekhar Ravjiani is quite excited about his cameo in Neerja, where he plays the protagonist's love interest.

The musician, better known as one half of the Vishal-Shekhar duo, loves dabbling in various things, acting is just one of them.

His music career is looking as good as ever, thanks to his big projects coming up, like Salman Khan's Sultan.

Shekhar tells Jahnavi Patel/ what he's been up to.

Shekhar Ravjiani

Photograph: Shekhar Ravjiani/Instagram

What was that one thing about Neerja that convinced you to make your acting debut with this film?

First of all, it is a true, inspiring story, the story of Neerja Bhanot, that needs to be told.

Secondly, it is directed by Ram Madhvani, one of my favourite directors in the world of advertising. He's making a big film and that excited me.

Thirdly, Sonam Kapoor playing Neerja Bhanot excited me even further.

That's why I decided to be a part of the film.

You've said earlier that you have been getting acting offers for the past 10 years. Was this the perfect Bollywood debut for you?

Neerja is an extended cameo. It's a brief role but a very sweet one.

I enjoyed the experience.

I like to explore, whether it’s my publication company (Shekhar has launched a publication company, which publishes novels, poems, short stories and biographies), my film music or my independent singles... It was just a six-day shoot and each day was exciting. I’m happy I have it a try.

What exactly is your role?

I play Sonam’s love interest in the film. His name is Jaideep.

I did a small workshop of two-three days before the shooting. That was not about delivering my dialogues but knowing more about Jaideep, as a character.

Ram Madhvani, Vinod (Ram’s assistant) and I worked on this character first and then we shot for the film.

Was acting tough?

No, it wasn’t. It's a beautiful learning experience.

I like doing different things and this came to me and I thought it was a good time to learn something. 

Has Neerja inspired you as a person?

If you see the last few years of Neerja’s life before she passed away, she went through a lot of stuff. She had a broken marriage and she was very affected by that. How she courageously did what she did without being selfish is something that I have learnt from Neerja’s story. 

What kind of feedback have you been getting?

I have got calls from people saying I look very cute!

I have got so much love and support for my acting exploration that I’m very happy. Fans on Twitter are really looking forward to watching Neerja.

We launched a new song that I have sung in the film, called Gehra Ishq and the response is outstanding.

Sonam Kapoor and Shekhar Ravjiani

Photograph: Sonam Kapoor/Twitter

Would you like to do a full-fledged role in a movie?

I will not chase it but if it comes to me and if my heart connects with it, I don’t mind.

I don’t necessarily want to be an actor or make it my profession but if it happens organically, I will accept it.

You have done live shows, composed music, sung songs, judged reality shows and now, you have become an actor. Anything else you want to try?

Whatever comes my way.

Maybe I’ll learn to fly a plane, do a six months course in that!

As I said, I like to explore and don’t have any expectations. I just do it because I enjoy doing it but I don't think about what will happen after that. Neerja can be my only film or my first of the next 30 films. I’ll be happy. 

Will you give acting priority over music now?

I am a musician first.

I am blessed with music. But acting is also an art form, and an extension of music.

Music is about expression. Acting is about expression.

There's nothing like priority. If another film comes to me, and I work out the time, I will do it. Because there's not just music, there's also my publication company, my singles... I have to take care of a lot of things. And I might take up something else too. I like to keep myself as busy as possible.

Anushka Sharma and Salman Khan

Image: Sultan Official/ Twitter

Which projects are you working on currently?

There’s Sultan, Befikre, Fan, Akira and Banjo. I have five movie releases this year. All these films are fantastic and the way the music has shaped up, Vishal (Dadlani) and I are really proud of it.

Will Sultan have the Salman Khan flavour to it?

It’s a Salman Khan film, so when he’s there, automatically everything becomes bigger and better. From the script to the way it’s being shot, to the way the music has shaped up, it’s a massive film.

How do you relax after work?

I am perpetually on vacation because music is my life.

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Jahnavi Patel /