The Players actor gets candid about her talent, the perks of being a star kid and why she has done only six films in four years
Even Sonam Kapoor’s die-hard fans will agree that they love her more for her attitude and dress sense than they do for her acting talent. And Sonam has no problems with that. Sitting comfortably in black leggings, a grey poncho-style top and geeky spectacles, she says, “Being known for my fashion sense is better than being known for my catfights, for my affairs, or as someone who sleeps her way to the top.” Whew! That’s a strong statement from a strong – think-before-you-call-me-‘bold’ – young woman. “Being bold is not only about stripping. It’s an attitude. It’s being different, doing roles that are more than just eye candy,” she insists. “Naina Briganza (her character in Players) is more edgy than Bittu or Ayaat (her charactes in Delhi-6 and in Mausam),throws more attitude, is one of the boys. I have always been bold.” Bold enough to play a character who loves to drink but cannot hold her drink at all, who has no qualms raising her middle finger, a girl she describes as “a bad ass but naïve, who kicks butt.” She also accepts that she shares similarities and differences with Naina in real life. “I am outspoken, but I don’t usually use bad words. I can hold my drink – I am a Punjabi!” she laughs.
Ask her about being Anil Kapoor’s daughter and she continues in the same honest vein, “I am here because of my father. I have never denied that. I get treated with a little more respect because of that. But my dad always says, ‘Several star kids come and go. If you are able to sustain it, it’s because of you, not me.’ I have never been compared to my dad; the directors I have worked with have not worked with Dad. Except Anees Bazmee. And with Abbas Mustan, my dad has done only one film (Race), so it’s not like he has a long-standing relationship with them. Everyone sees me as a separate entity from my dad.”
She may have entered the industry thanks to Anil Kapoor, but since then she’s done just six films in four years, whereas Deepika Padukone, whose debut film released on the same day as Sonam’s first, saw her twelfth film release last month. “I am not choosy. I love acting, but it’s only a job. It’s not my life. I shoot for about 100 days for a film, so even if I do only two films in a year, I don’t have time for anything else. I have friends, I have family, I want to read, watch television, travel, do things like any normal person. Acting is not my life. I have a life outside acting,” she explains.
It’s that ‘life outside acting’ that keeps Sonam balanced in an industry besotted with the number game. “Box office success matters as much as critical appreciation does, but I don’t see myself in the rat race. I don’t think I’ll ever be number one – I don’t think I have the personality and I am not diplomatic enough, nor can I suck up to people enough. I don’t even know if I am talented enough, but I am going to keep working on acting, because I love acting.”