Mumbai: Janhvi Kapoor’s popularity before she’s made her debut knows no bounds and with ‘Dhadak’ releasing in two months' time, people are keen to watch her talk, read her views apart from the social media posts.
The soon-to-be debutante gave her first interview to Vogue, and a familiar face was the interviewer, her ‘launcher’ Karan Johar, the producer of the film.
KJo started by saying he felt she was more connected with US Weekly than Filmfare despite growing up in the industry. Was it a conscious effort from her mother? Janhvi replied, “She never wanted me to be an actress.”
Probed further, she elaborated, “She was more relaxed about Khushi getting into films. She thought I was naïve, that I wasn’t thick-skinned enough. She wanted us to live a more relaxed life. She loved what she did but you know it was intense.”
But despite Sridevi not wanting Janhvi to join the glamour world, Karan recalls the former leaving the latter in the USA for an acting course.
About it, Janhvi said, “Oh yeah. She said, “Phool ko kichad mein chhod kar chali ja rahi hu main!” (“I’m leaving my little flower in the muck”). In the wild, wild west. I think it’s cool to be naïve. It takes a certain amount of courage to not be pessimistic. I’d like to believe there is good in everyone.”
The newcomer didn’t mind being honest when asked about 'life while growing up'. “My attendance in school was 30 per cent. I was always travelling with my parents. My education was on the sets. I would do well in history and English but beyond that I just about passed. After I finished school I wanted to do a bunch of courses—art history in Florence, fashion in London and acting in Los Angeles. So I started with acting, and soon I knew this is it, this is what I need to do.”
Janhvi is starting young but her mother worked since she was just four years old. About the stories Sridevi told her, she says, “Those were my bedtime stories. Her whacked-out experiences. You know, in the ’80s and ’90s, when actors would do multiple shifts working simultaneously on different films? So she was doing three movies with the same director, who was also the actor. They were in Ooty and he decided to shoot songs for all three films together. He’d do a scene, then cut and walk to the next location and the entire cast and crew would follow. At one point, he does a shot, starts walking and, suddenly, he’s behind a tree taking a piss, and the entire cast and crew is there, watching. He was just walking, and everyone assumed they were going to the next location! Mum was in all the films, and she’d figure out which film they were shooting for by his wigs, which would change for each role.”
While Sridevi’s death has come as a shock to the world, it has reunited Boney Kapoor’s two families, with Arjun, Anshula, Janhvi and Khushi bonding and even posing together at their cousin Sonam Kapoor Ahuja’s wedding recently.
About the new bonding, she says, “It’s made us feel safe and secure. I think, even for Papa, it’s a source of comfort. It’s definitely tied us together. We’ve lost mom and I don’t think that’s a loss any of us will ever get over.”
Karan recollects Janhvi saying, “I want to work because I want to want to do this for my mother” during the tough phase.
“That’s always been my motivation. I’m so proud of my parents. I need to make them as proud of me,” she replies.
About being in the spotlight of paparazzi since three years, and her gym, airport visits being tracked, she says, “It’s flattering than anyone would care what I look like after the gym. I feel like I haven’t done anything to earn that attention, so I don’t know how to react. Should I smile and wave because they’ve been waiting and it’s courteous? Or should I hide because I’m sweaty?”
Janhvi and Khushi has surely been following in her mother’s footsteps in the glamour department.
About their appearances at events already making headlines, Janhvi says, “I think other than films this is something that we have bonded over. We love clothes and are roughly the same size. We enjoy dressing up. Papa would call us “three women on a mission” when we shopped. He’s always been very into our look—he’d approve them or make us change. And all of those photos of mom and me before events? He clicked them!”
With Sridevi’s passing, the actress doesn’t have anyone to turn to for fashion advice.
“Of course. I could always be the baby with her. When I’d wake up, the first thing I’d do was ask for her. I’d need her to put me to sleep sometimes and she literally had to feed me. The day before she left for the wedding (of Janhvi's cousin Mohit Marwah in UAE), I had to shoot, but I couldn’t sleep, so I was like, “I need you to come and put me to sleep.” But she was packing, so by the time she came to me I was half asleep. But I could feel her patting my head,” she replies.
We might assume that being the elder child, Janvhi would the one to be maternal to her younger sister, but she says, “I’ve always been very bad at that. Khushi is very maternal with me. I am a full baby. She takes care of me. Now she comes and puts me to sleep sometimes.”
Karan reveals that Sridevi watched 25 minutes footage of ‘Dhadak’ before her passing.
About her opinion of Janhvi, she says, “She was very technical about it. The first thing she told me was the things I needed to improve—she felt the mascara was smudged and it really bothered her. The second half has to be different, she told me, “You can’t wear anything on your face.” That’s all she told me but she was happy.”
Janhvi surely looked confident in the interview, and we are now to keen that confidence translate on screens on July 20....