Sonil Dedhia/Rediff.com in Mumbai
'I am very much single. People loved our on-screen chemistry in Aashiqui 2, so they keep linking us up.'
Shraddha Kapoor clears the air.
It’s not easy to break out in Bollywood and Shraddha Kapoor knows it only too well.
Her first two films -- Teen Patti (2010) and Luv Ka The End (2011) -- did not fare well at the box office but the actress was lucky when her last release Aashiqui 2 hit the jackpot.
The actress is now gearing up for her next release Ek Villain where she is paired opposite Siddharth Malhotra and Riteish Deshmukh. From riding a bike to scuba diving and even doing some action sequences, Shraddha claims she enjoyed shooting for the film.
Shraddha talks to Sonil Dedhia in this honest interview about how things have changed after Aashiqui 2, her love life, and her equation with her father Shakti Kapoor.
How has life changed after Aashiqui 2?
People remember my character Arohi in Aashiqui 2 and that is the biggest compliment.
Whenever I go out people scream ‘Arohi!’ That is the effect of Aashiqui 2.
Nobody expected the film to do so well, as it had two relatively new faces.
'My first film gave me a solid taste of failure'
You were not considered to be much of an actor. Did Aashiqui 2 change that perception?
I did two films (Teen Patti and Luv Ka The End) and a cameo in Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, before Aashiqui 2. I am proud of all of them.
If I hadn't made my debut in Teen Patti I wouldn't have done Aashiqui 2. Teen Patti gave me a taste of failure but at the same time, my role in all the films was critically appreciated.
I think not many people saw my first three films. Aashiqui 2 got me so much attention. Also, I was nominated for almost every award. It’s a great feeling to be recognised.
Did you doubt yourself after your first two films flopped?
I didn’t doubt my ability as an actor, but I was really upset.
I got a solid taste of failure. I was feeling pretty low.
I remember I was in my room crying when my mother (Shivangi Kapoor) came in and told me, ‘Are you going to sulk here or will go for your dance class?’
She pulled my blanket and forced me to go for the dance class. I think it really helped me.
'There are no heroes in Ek Villain'
Did you agree to be a part of Ek Villain because you had already worked with Mohit Suri in Aashiqui 2?
When we were shooting for Aashqiui 2, I already knew that Mohit was making Ek Villain. I used to keep trying to find out who he had in mind for the film.
He calls me ‘Chota’ so he used to say, ‘Chota, I am still writing and thinking.’
After Aashiqui 2, he called me up one day and said, ‘Chota, tu meri agli film karegi? (will you do my next film). I want to come over for a narration.’
The next day he asked me to hear it and decide if I liked it. He narrated the first scene and I said, 'Listen, wait! I am doing the film.’
Tell us about your character in Ek Villain.
There are no heroes in the film as this film is about villains.
My character, Aisha, is full of life. A happy girl who is always ready to help people. She wants everyone to laugh and be happy.
'I've wanted to do stunts for a long time'
You ride a motorbike, go scuba diving and maybe do some stunts in the film. Tell us about the experience.
It was an amazing experience. I love doing adventurous things. I learnt scuba diving, and am an advanced scuba diver today. I'm very proud about it.
The song Gallilyan has been shot beautifully with all adventurous things.
I fell many times from the bike and bruised myself but I enjoyed it.
I’ve wanted to do stunts for a long time. I was so happy I did these stunts; it was like an adrenalin rush for me.
'My mother sounds like the younger version of Lata Mangeshkar'
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
You also sang in the film. Was it always an aspiration to do playback singing?
Yes, I always wanted to sing. I had requested Mohit to let me sing in Aashiqui 2 but he didn’t take me seriously.
When we were shooting for Ek Villain, he told me I would sing in the film.
I was excited and immediately said yes. He told me to come the next day and record the female version of Gallilyan. We recorded the song in two-and-a-half hours.
Did your grandfather Pandharinath Kolhapure or your grand aunts Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle teach you singing?
I have very little training in singing. Although my family kept telling me to train, I never really paid a lot of attention to it.
My mother has a very beautiful voice. She sounds like the younger version of Lata Mangeshkar. I think she should have pursued a career in singing.
'Crime Master Gogo in Andaz Apna Apna is my favourite villain'
Photographs: Shraddha Kapoor/Twitter
Your father Shakti Kapoor is one of the greatest villains. As a child were you scared of the characters he played?
I used to be fascinated seeing my dad getting beaten up or beating up and making all these faces with a moustache and blood and all.
Crime Master Gogo in Andaz Apna Apna is my favourite villain. From the comedic villains, he definitely stands out. He was superb in it.
Is he a strict father?
He is my mentor, guide, father and sometimes my friend also. He is a strict father.
He knows I will not do what he doesn’t like. He is very strict about my health. He is a fitness fanatic. He always asks me whether I went to the gym and what I ate.
I have to be health conscious now, as I will start doing rehearsals for the ABCD sequel as a dancer.
What does he think of your films?
I think he is biased towards me (smiles). But he does criticise me, though he does it subtly.
Your father recently compared you to Juhi Chawla and Sridevi.
Wow! I am not aware about that. I am really happy with his compliment but I think he should compliment me to my face rather than in newspapers (laughs).
I love Sridevi and Juhi Chawla. Their comic timing was amazing. I don’t think any of the actresses today have that kind of comic timing.
'The level of dancing in ABCD-2 is going to be crazy
Photographs: Varun Dhawan/Twitter
It is rumoured that you are dating Aditya Roy Kapur.
I am very much single. People loved our on-screen chemistry in Aashiqui 2, so they keep linking us up.
But no, I am not seeing Aditya. We are just good friends.
In fact, Mohit, Aditya and I are good friends. Aashiqui 2 got us together and we have formed a really good bond. I can call them any time.
Tell us more about your upcoming films, Haider and ABCD 2.
I can’t talk about Haider.
As for ABCD 2, I love dancing and the level of dancing in ABCD 2 is going to be crazy.
We have already started rehearsing for the movie and I have been advised to do weight training and gain a lot of muscle weight. I was told to have the physique of a dancer.