Sonam Kapoor who was in Chennai recently talks about not being just a pretty face on screen but doing character-driven roles
Sonam Kapoor has been in the news for quite some time now what with her much-talked about film Raanjhanaa with Dhanush hitting the theatres, her appearance at Cannes in designer Indian outfits and a nathni (nose ring) and her forthcoming film with Farhan Akhtar, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, taking her close to realistic roles. The charming and affable actor talks about her desire to play character-driven roles.
“How is this sari I’m wearing?” she begins by asking about her stunning double-shaded Kancheevaram. “It is from my trousseau. My mother has been putting together our trousseau since my sister and I were little girls. I think it’s beautiful,” she says as she shows off jewellery hand-picked from her mother’s collection. “These are traditional South Indian pieces. But my mother has added her own twist to these.”
“Guess who asked me to dress this way?” she looks at Dhanush. The actor, seated at a comfortable distance from her, breaks into a fit of giggles and confirms that it was at his behest that the Bollywood star came in a South Indian avatar.
“We promoted this movie for over a week and I made an effort to wear something with a local resonance in every city,” says Sonam.
Perhaps India’s favourite fashionista, Sonam is one of the best-dressed celebs and she showcased her love for fashion at Cannes earlier this year. Her gorgeous custom-made, strapless Dolce and Gabbana gown, landed her a place on the festival’s international best-dressed list. “I felt like a princess in that dress. The beautiful dress is part of D&G’s couture collection Alta Moda and I had two fittings to ensure it looked perfect on me.” The beautiful floral patterns on it were hand painted by the Sicilian designers.
Her Anamika Khanna sari paired with a long jacket, on the opening day, grabbed eyeballs. “The opening day was very important to me,” she says. “We were celebrating 100 years of cinema and I wanted to wear a sari. My dear friend and favourite designer, Anamika, designed this gorgeous white and gold sari for the ceremony, and because it was cold I wore it with a long jacket that also had a train.” The entire look was unique and the actor added an element of drama with a traditional nathni.
It was, however, surprising when Vidya Balan, on the jury at Cannes, also wore a nathni with her Sabyasachi sari the next day. Did the two discuss the accessory they would wear before their trip to the French Riviera? “No,” laughs Sonam. “It was pure coincidence.”
In Chennai recently to promote Ambikapathy, the Tamil version of Raanjhanaa, Sonam seems to have a connection with the city. “My aunt is from here.”
“She means Sridevi,” quips Dhanush. “Everyone knows who my aunt is,” butts in Sonam and it is evident that the two share a sweet bond. “I like Dhanush because he makes it comfortable for me to be friends with him. I think that is very important. He respects me,” she says of her co-star, who looks amused.
Sonam also makes it clear that she is concerned about women. “I am a feminist,” she declares. “I like working with women. They are more sensitive and more capable,” she asserts. “Yes, Ayesha, directed by Rajshree Ojha and produced by my sister Rhea, was a girl project. Another film of mine for Yash Raj productions will have a woman director — Nupur Asthana. She is incredible, so intelligent.”
As a woman constantly in the public eye, does she feel the pressure? “I understand that I am a public figure. I feel the need to set an example which is why I’m very careful about how I behave in the public sphere. I don’t want to be a pretty face, with three songs and five scenes in a movie. I want character-driven roles that will inspire other young women,” she smiles.