Sonam Kapoor is in no mood for niceties. She is dressed in a silver blue angarakha that would’ve been a breeze for her to carry “had it not been so unbelievably hot”. She walks out to the waiting media and asks if the AC isn’t working “here too?” adding, “Please call for my jeans and shirt.”
It doesn’t seem to bother her that she is sitting at the office of Yash Raj Films, one of India’s premier studios, as she speaks candidly about the television set of a comedy show that she’s just returned from. “I went in with expectations this high,” she says animatedly, “but it was the dumps. All, I mean all, of it was scripted. I was so bored. I have a headache to beat all headaches,” she says, as I walk in wondering what sort of an interview to expect. It doesn’t take too much for her to switch to a happy zone. Just a turn of the AC and the mention of last year’s Raanjhanaa and she’s her beaming self again. “Zoya was in no way a typical heroine but I am amazed she got the kind of love that she did. In fact in the last two years, I am happy to be picking the right sort of roles that are giving me the depth that was wanting,” she says. Sonam is now ready with her first Yash Raj film Bewakoofiyaan (March 14) alongside Ayushmann Khurrana and Rishi Kapoor directed by Nupur Asthana (director of Mujhse Fraandship Karoge ).
“After playing Zoya, I needed a break. Mayera was just right. Yes, she is a torchbearer of feminism. She earns more than her boyfriend and takes care of her father too. Unlike Zoya, who had serious complications in her life deciphering whether the man who is in love with her could’ve been the same one who killed the guy whom she was in love with and whom she needs to finish off now, the biggest complication Mayera faces is how to get her dad to accept the guy she’s in love with. Boy! Was that a relief! It’s like reading a Mills & Boon after you’ve gone through some Exodus or the like,” she laughs.
Explaining her reason for choosing to do the film, the actress says that while on the surface Bewakoofiyaan seems like a romcom, the film deals with the aftermath of recession. “Scratch the glossy surface and that’s what it is. Every girl’s dad wants her to get better than what he could afford for her. Is it really easy for love to survive without money? I liked the way it has been dealt with,” she says, adding with a wink, “and it helps that I get to look all dolled up and glam!”
Sonam’s upcoming films promise a great deal. “On the sets of Khoobsurat , I realised that I have a knack for humour. That’s how Dolly Ki Doli clicked too. So I have two back-to-back comedies and have been enjoying myself as an actor. I always felt that we missed Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s touch in our films — those lovely movies that made us smile and laugh, yet were so realistic. I feel Anand L Rai ( Tanu Weds Manu , Raanjhanaa ), Raju Hirani and Shashanka Ghosh ( Quick Gun Murugan , Khoobsurat ) have that touch. Even Nupur Asthana in a lot of ways,” she says.
Looking back at her eight-year old career in Hindi films, Sonam says, “There was a time I was disillusioned about my career. But it was during the making of Mausam , when I worked with Pankaj Kapur, that I realised how talented a person can be and can inspire you to be. He gave me great respect as an artist and taught me a lot. Now I realise that you are only as good as your co-workers in a film. So if I say that Khoobsurat has been a great experience and a revelation as an actor, I mean I had the backing of Kirron Kher and Ratna Pathak Shah on sets. I no longer feel jaded or cynical about my work,” she says matter-of-factly.