Like most Bollywood stars who appear to be invincible — with money, fame and a battery of staff at their disposal — Shraddha Kapoor also fits the bill. With back-to-back films and multiple endorsements, the Stree actress is now one of the most sought-after faces. Despite her hectic schedule, she makes sure that her priorities in life are in place. “I have had anxiety issues now for the last three to four years and it’s something that I am dealing with in a positive way, every single day,” she reveals. While the omnipresent stigma attached to the issue has kept many famous faces of the industry from sharing their mental health struggles, Shraddha believes that it is important to speak openly and says, “Nobody has ever asked me this question before so I never had a chance to share this. I try to spend more time with my family or go away for vacations and enjoy nature because I feel the basics in life are important. No matter what happens, one must not forget them.”
The actor is now in a happy space as her recent release became her third film to enter the 100-crore club. “Technically Stree is not particularly a commercial film. A lot of people who watched it told me ‘I am so glad you did a film like Stree’. So, I am guessing, somewhere, people didn’t expect me to do such a film. But from the very beginning of my career, I feel the choices I have made have purely been on my instinct and how I feel about the story,” says Shraddha, adding that sometimes the decisions have worked in her favour and sometimes not. “That is something not in my control. I have never understood what formula film means and I don’t think they exist today. The lines have blurred and that’s the best part of the time we are in,” she adds. Even the one before Stree wasn’t a conventional choice. “I don’t think Haseena Parkar was a safe choice or for that matter, Luv Ka The End or Teen Patti.
They were quite out of the box. I would like to believe that the choices I am making are purely on how I react toa story.”
There was a time when the 31-year-old was almost written off. Her debut film Teen Patti, was panned by critics and failed to set the cash registers ringing. It was followed by Luv Ka The End which bombed. Going by industry dynamics, it takes a lot to get back once you are written off. Luckily for Shraddha, Aashiqui 2 came along and her career graph changed. But being an industry kid, the actor is aware of the highs and lows of stardom, “I just want to keep my head down and work. I only want to think about what I am doing and how well I can do it. I feel, that at the periphery of it all, there are so many other things that are not in my control. I might as well focus on what is in my control,” she says. And for advice on career and films, she turns to her father and veteran actor Shakti Kapoor. “He has seen so much so while he does give me career advice, I deeply value his advice on life. He will give his point of view on scripts but he leaves the decision on me.
That’s really nice of him because then I take the ownership of all the decisions,” says the young star, adding that her father has taught her that there’s no substitute for hard work. “You cannot let the ups and downs make you feel complacent. The box-office ups and downs have nothing to do with hard work,” she feels.
The actor is now gearing up for her next release Batti Gul Meter Chalu, opposite Shahid Kapoor with whom she has earlier shared screen space in Haidar. Talking about her upcoming film, she says, “It was challenging to play the role. This is the first time when I am playing someone who speaks in a distinct dialect, so a lot of prep went into it. There is a sweet rhythmic way that people in Uttarakhand speak, which is lovely. The intensive research done by our director made it easier.”...