Sonam Kapoor is a busy girl, hopping from one place to another, promoting her latest film Neerja. We caught up with the actress at her father Anil Kapoor’s office, hours before she was headed to Delhi for a musical concert with Shekhar Ravjiani.
Her first biopic till date, Neerja was an experience like no other, says Sonam. “This is the first time that I played a real person — it’s different from playing a character that’s only in your head or the director’s head. Here, there’s an image of the person in the minds of her family and friends that you have to live up to. I feel like this is the first time I got a chance to really do something,” says Sonam, who describes the experience as “the most exhilarating and cathartic” so far.
Not discounting the impact that fiction films have, Sonam believes that the industry should make way for more biopics in the future. “Biopics are human stories and human journeys. The audience connects with them more. The beautiful thing about Neerja was that she was an ordinary girl. She proves the fact that all people are capable of being inspiring heroes. We all have a Neerja in us,” she says.
There is a line in the beginning of the film, borrowed from Anand that Sonam believes, sums up of the life of Neerja Bhanot. “Zindagi badi honi chahiye, lambi nahi,” Sonam says adding, “Neerja had a big life and I’m blessed to have played her role.”
There are some special people that Sonam extends her gratitude towards — Neerja’s friends and family. “The research for the film was possible because they were willing to talk. A friend of hers wrote a very touching message to me after watching the film. It’s too personal to mention here, but it is this kind of reciprocation that touches me the most.”
There are others who helped her do her best on screen too — co-stars, musician Shekhar Ravjiani and Shabana Azmi. “Shekhar is a sweetheart. You won’t believe that this is his first film.” As for the veteran Azmi, “She’ll always be Shabana aunty for me. It’s very comfortable to work with her and people like Anupam Kher because anything I do, they are so accepting and loving of it.”
Known for speaking her mind — whether it’s on social media or off it — Sonam tells us that she has steered away from trouble because she no longer comments on matters that don’t seek her attention. “I don’t believe in commenting on other girls. Besides, a lot of actresses are really supportive of me. I would never talk badly behind a person’s back. If I don’t like somebody, they would know that I don’t like them. It’s very evident.”
The actress is proud of never having “planted” a story in the media as well. “I believe in a certain set of ethics and morals. When you are given a platform to speak about things you believe in, you should. I am not talking about dissing other actresses or putting people down — I would never do that. I have never told my public relations team to plant a story. They are not allowed to write about something if it’s not true. Honesty is the best policy.”
Does it bother her that other actresses may not follow suit? “I have not had catfights but it’s very entertaining to read about the cat fights that happen between actresses. They are all very funny and I find it hilarious. Besides, there is so much to your life than this. Who cares?”...