Star kid Shraddha Kapoor may have made her Bollywood debut with Teen Paati, but it’s her third film, Aashiqui 2, that’s her claim to fame. Since then, she’s been a part of films like ABCD 2, OK Jaanu and Half Girlfriend. Ahead of the release of her first horror-comedy, Stree, the actress sits down for a candid chat with us.
Your last few films, including Haseena Parkar, Ok Jaanu, and Rock On 2, have bombed at the box office. Has that led to a sense of nervousness or made you worry about not getting interesting offers?
Soon after those films, I was offered Batti Gul Meter Chaalu, Stree, and Saaho. So I still feel blessed and fortunate to be doing good films. I will never take that for granted, and I want to work as hard and as much as possible.
How difficult is it to turn down a film?
I think it is very difficult for me. I feel grateful when somebody wants to sign me. I can’t judge anybody’s work, so whenever I am offered a film, there has to be a big reason for me to say no. Either I am already committed to some other project, or I don’t connect with the role. It’s a big deal to even be offered a role, to begin with. There are a lot of people who would want to be in my position. But at the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you are a star kid or not. You will only be loved if you are good at what you do.
How important is money for you? As a star-kid, is that something that is secondary?
Even though I’ve had a comfortable upbringing from a young age, my parents have made me realise the value of money. They’ve taught me that even if you come from a privileged background, you shouldn’t take it for granted. When I was in college, in Boston, I worked at Starbucks to make a living, and that is something that my parents supported. But yes, having said that, doing good work is my priority, not making money.
People say that things have changed in the industry from an actress’ point of view. Do you agree?
Actresses’ still don’t have the shelf life that actors do. I think that’s changing too, and one example of that is Tabu. She is someone that you can’t classify. She’s doing her own thing, and she is such an inspiration. She is one of the actresses that prove it’s possible to challenge such notions and bring about a change.
Post-Aashiqui 2, you were touted as a star. Where do you get your reality checks from?
At home, from my parents. And I lucky to have that support system. Anyone who is successful needs a grounding mechanism and regular reality checks because it is easy to be swayed by stardom. I am very clear about what really matters to me. Films and success have their ups and downs, but you can't base your entire happiness on that. As long as I have my family with me, I am happy.
Do you have a life beyond films?
I really try to have a life beyond films. My friends are not from the industry, and though my family is, we don’t talk about films all the time. I am passionate about other things too, and I strive to be a good person. I want to try and help as many people as possible.
Have you considered singing as an alternate career option?
I am just going with the flow, and I feel blessed to be doing what I do. I love singing, but maybe this is not the time for it. Whenever it is the right time, I will do it. I am not thinking about anything other than films at the moment.
What do you think of newcomers building their brands even before making their debuts?
They have huge fan-followings on social media, and they’re stars even before they enter the industry. Back in the day, it took me Aashiqui 2 to get some recognition. Today, because of social media, there is so much more awareness about newcomers. I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. The more opportunities people get, the better. More dreams can come true.
Is there any pressure on you to settle down?
Not at all. In fact, there has been no such discussion at home. I live my life by
going with the flow, and that’s how I want it to be.