Sonam Kapoor has her pretty head firmly planted on her delicate shoulders, taking her acting surprisingly seriously for a star-child, feels BHUMIKA K.
The stunningly beautiful almost six-footer is saying all she can to convince us that she's just another girl, like any other, without boyfriend (with her grandma admonishing her for it), a very emotional person, loving dressing up and having fun. Yet, it's hard to believe that Sonam Kapoor is like any of us. Okay, so she doesn't exactly fit into the essential Bollywood “star-kid” image. For starters, she keeps time. The daughter of Anil Kapoor (and well hidden from media glare till she debuted) she suddenly crawled out of the woodwork to dazzle and stun everyone in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's “Sawariya”. And then she charmed everyone in “Delhi 6” as the rebellious Bittu Sharma.
But it's not everyday that you bump into a star's child who's first been an assistant director to a prominent filmmaker before turning actor, and who zoomed from being over 90 kgs to the cover of Vogue this month.
It's intriguing to see Sonam stress that while she's working now on “Aisha” (based on Jane Austen's “Emma”) that sister Rhea has produced under the family banner, her father has not been involved in her career till now. Does she see herself as daddy's girl? “I guess so. But I'm also my mother's girl. My father has been a good father, giving me good advise and a support system, but only as a dad.”
The 24-year-old has us know she has serious designs on Hindi cinema. Having assisted Bhansali during the making of “Black”, Sonam says she definitely has plans to write and direct films. She's lucky to have two perspectives of the industry — from behind, and in front of the camera. “One helps the other. Behind the cameras, you develop a sensitivity to technicians and the production line. They support the actors. And being an actor will help me write and direct later. It's shown me that actors are not mere puppets. They have their individuality.” Sonam admits that she's only a novice in the field and will start direction when “I'm mature enough and have seen enough of life… have travelled, and experienced life”.
Can you imagine an actor in Bollywood who writes “back stories” for each of the characters she plays?! “That's my job. Don't you do research before an interview? I'm spontaneous. I write these background stories for each character myself and pass on what I write to the director, and we discuss it.” That sounds methodical. But does she subscribe to Method acting? “I don't know if I'm a method actor, but there's definitely a method to the madness for sure,” she flashes a wide smile. Sonam believes that each character has a different voice and story to tell, and an actor can change so many things about herself to play a character, including the look.
And her looks, her impeccable style statements are much talked about (she's currently labelled Bollywood's best dressed). So much so that her style quotient is more often in the limelight than her acting. Does that bother her? “It's an add on to my acting ability,” she answers coolly. “I've got all acting roles. I'm looked at as an actor rather than a glamour doll.” But because of her “image” being glamorous, her roles also bank on it, she explains.
The “best-dressed” tag is raised so often that Sonam says all she does is have fun with her clothes. “I never dressed Barbie dolls as a kid, so when I grew up, I enjoyed dressing up…I'm a girl, I enjoy dressing up!!” she says, almost defensively. Talking to a news channel she says she's not overly ambitious (so working on fewer movies), has always felt lucky and satisfied with life (she has a tattoo on her hip that says “Fu” - Chinese for “fortunate”), and an emotional “moophat” (loudmouth and therefore gets into trouble with the press).
The title of her next film “I Hate Luv Stories” is fodder for more discussion — this time on love, and men. “I believe in love stories, I believe that my knight will come in shining armour…all girls believe that, don't they?” And then adds rather astutely: “I'm looking for a straightforward and honest man…a lot to ask from a man these days,” and laughs.
In an aquamarine dress, diamonds in her ears and on her wrist, Sonam was in Bangalore last week to present the “Anant Shooting Star” award. Anant is a campaign by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council to promote diamond jewellery, and the award for visual merchandising went to C. Krishniah Chetty & Sons. Its MD Vinod Hayagriv received the award.