She didn’t start her acting career on a rocking note, as her first two films — Teen Patti (2010) and Luv Ka The End (2011) — failed to do well at the box office. But, today, Shraddha Kapoor is one of the top actors in Bollywood, among the younger lot.
As she prepares for the release of her upcoming dance film ABCD 2, we speak to her about her B-Town journey, alleged link-ups, and more.
You recently said that you always pictured yourself to be ‘successful’.
Actually, I always pictured myself living my childhood dreams — acting, facing the camera, being loved for the films I do, and the characters I play, and dancing on stage. It’s nice to see that it’s all happening for real now.
Were you disheartened when your first two films didn’t do well at the box office?
At that time, I was like, "Why is this happening to me?" I had never imagined that things will turn out to be like that. But now, I am very happy that all that happened; that phase gave me a reality check. I learnt that what goes up will come down, and what’s down might go up someday.
Have you become used to the way Bollywood works?
It is such a volatile place where things change every Friday. Look at Kangana (Ranaut; actor). She has stuck to her guns. Even when she faced a setback, she kept doing what she wanted to do. This makes me happy and hopeful, and inspires me. Somewhere, I can relate to her. She has had her ups and downs, and I started with a ‘down’. We need more people like Kangana. We need more women who will say, "I might not get success instantly, but I will keep at it. I won’t give up."
How does it feel to complete five years in Bollywood?
It feels good. Time has gone by in a flash. I remember, initially, I used to be very shy, but I think I have changed a bit now.
With so many women-centric films working nowadays, do you think now is the best time to be an actress?
If I could choose an era to be an actor in, I would choose the period when film-makers like Guru Dutt and Raj Kapoor were making films. That entire era was heavy on the concept of art. Films were made and treated like pure art. It’s not that today’s movies are not doing that, but such [arty] inspirations were heavier back then.
You’ve worked with your childhood friend, Varun Dhawan, in your upcoming film. Was it easier to work with a familiar face?
Yes, to a certain extent. We have shared a strong bond since childhood. Though I have had fun in all my films with all the co-stars, when you work with your childhood friend (Varun Dhawan), the connection is different.
Would you call yourself a natural dancer?
I have always loved dancing, though I don’t know whether I am good or bad at it. So, it’s not like I have started enjoying it just because I am doing a dance-based film now. But since people have started appreciating my dancing skills, I feel good about it. My song got over 8.5 million views on YouTube, and I am really happy about that.
While actresses are usually associated with catfights, you seem to be friendly with your contemporaries, like Alia Bhatt and Parineeti Chopra.
I am more comfortablecalling, messaging and being in touch with my female contemporaries, than I am being in touch with my male co-stars. If I get along with them, then why not? What’s the harm? What if we are actresses? They are doing their jobs and I am doing mine. But, if I have to be friends with someone, there has to be a genuine connection.
Of late, there have been talks about you avoiding Aditya Roy Kapur (alleged boyfriend) at a couple of events.
Absolutely not. We meet and hang out together like usual. And, we know how these rumours work; they keep changing every day. Like Mohit (Suri; director), Aditya is also a very good friend of mine.