Actor Sonam Kapoor has never been afraid to speak her mind and perhaps it was not a surprise when the 30-year-old said that she’s decided to not speak about intolerance at every forum she attends. Sonam, who came along with actors Shabana Azmi and Yogendra Tiku along with filmmaker Ram Madhvani, to meet her fans as part of HT City Stars In The City, believes that every citizen of this country needs to do their duty, before talking about being intolerant or anti-national.
“There are a lot of terms that are being used and it’s become trendy. I know about this like everyone else. Everyone has been asking me to comment on being anti-national, intolerant/tolerant and everybody wants to know what I am thinking,” she says further adding that she would refrain from commenting.
Watch the Neerja trailer here
“These words are very trendy and it is probably the first time I’m not OK being a trend. I feel that it’s a disease that’s affected the world (and India) whether its sexism or intolerance or being anti national. I believe that young people have a duty towards the country, before we talk about being intolerant or anti-national,” she says.
Talking about how her father Anil Kapoor was against her entering Bollywood, Sonam says, “My father was always like, ‘Become an actress, beta, but what is the point of having brains?’ I shouted back and asked him, ‘You think actors don’t have brains?’ He said, ‘Of course, beta, that’s not what I meant. I am an actor, I have brains. But you really need to finish your studies.’ But at 17, I really did not want to study economics, political science and philosophy as it sounded really dreadful and boring. My dad was very happy with me being an actress and is very proud. But he really wanted me to study and he wasn’t wrong, honestly. I don’t regret anything but I really want to finish my graduation.”
Watch Sonam talk about Neerja here
Actors Sonam Kapoor, Shabana Azmi and Yogendra Tiku along with director Ram Madhvani visited HT City recently to meet winners of the Stars in the City contest and talk about their upcoming film Neerja. In a conversation with Sonal Kalra, National Editor, Entertainment and Lifestyle, they spoke about the film which is based on the life of young flight attendant, Neerja Bhanot and the impact her story had on their lives. Excerpts:
Sonam, what was the toughest thing about the role when you accepted it?
I knew this was a humongous task. While Ram was speaking to me, I knew there was a purpose to this. I thought I should make this my purpose and make sure that the bravery, compassion and the sense of purpose that Neerja had comes through in the film.
Ram, how much of research went into all this before you found out about Neerja?
Research is a nice thing to do, making films is much difficult. There is another film I’ve been researching for the last 10 years and I am not sure when we will finish that. (For this film) we researched everything. You can ask me everything that is there and that is not there. We know (it all).
Shabana, what were your thoughts when Ram offered you the film?
One year before the film was discussed, I was called by the Bhanot family, to present the Neerja Bhanot bravery award in Chandigarh. There, I made an instant connection with Rama (Neerja’s mother). When I read the script I knew this was a story, waiting to be told.
Ram, whose acting impressed you the most, apart from these two lovely ladies?
The 250 people, who played passengers in my movie, impressed me. They were all given passports and a back story and they rehearsed with Vinod Rawat, the associate director, who is also a theatre actor. They did actual time boarding. I was outside with four cameras shooting (Sonam cuts in). We had cabin crew members who became actors for the film.
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