Janhvi Kapoor: ‘I hope people talk about my films more than my gym shorts’
She’s slowly learning the tricks of the trade and she’s clearly picking up fast. Janhvi Kapoor, until she made her acting debut in Dhadak (2018), didn’t really like giving interviews, but now, she’s way comfortable talking about her work, her approach towards choosing projects and paparazzi among other things. In a freewheeling chat, the actor opens up about her journey so far, from being clueless about how to react on being papped to now when she can handle that attention.
From Dhadak to now when you have four films coming next, has your process towards the way you approach a project, changed?
I feel extremely fortunate that I’ve gotten to know myself more as an actor and as a person over these two years, and it has defined my taste in cinema and altered the way I want to look at the films I want to do.
After hearing a script, is there any criterion you follow before signing the dotted line?
I need to be moved by the content in some way or another. It either needs to make me laugh or touch me. It needs to stay with me till the next day. And having a good energy and a rapport with the director is also very important because at the end of the day, you’ve to be able to collaborate.
You’re working with some of the best people in the industry. How does it feel?
You know, I’ve actually worked with everyone I had dreamt of working with. In my Dhadak interviews, I said I want to work with Pankaj Tripathi, Rajkummar Rao, Ranveer Singh and I’m working with all of them this year (in Gunjan Saxena, Roohi Afzana and Takht, respectively). So, I feel extremely fortunate. Then, there’s a wish list of directors, too, I hope to work with. Zoya (Akhtar) was one of them and I’ve worked with her in Ghost Stories. Karan (Johar) is one of them and I’m getting to work with him.
There’s a constant scrutiny on your social media posts, your gym looks, airport looks and so on. Do you get tired?
No, in fact, it’s so funny because after Dhadak, there are people that come up to me and say, ‘Oh, we loved your first film’, and then there are those who’re like, ‘Oh My God, I follow your gym looks all the time’. So, it’s like I am known for Dhadak and I’m known for my gym looks, too. It’s weird but I can’t blame them. My films haven’t released yet. I have just been working. And I hope once they do, people will talk about my films, and associate me with them, than my gym shorts.
But being followed everywhere — airport, dinners, gym — is it too burdening or overwhelming?
There was a phase when it reached a point of excess even before Dhadak had released and that was kind of weird. At that point, I didn’t know if I should smile or wave because I felt I haven’t done anything on my own to deserve this kind of attention. I’m not saying that I have (done) even now; I’m only one film old, but at least I’ve done one film now, so main wave kar sakti hu, mujhe pata hai log mere liye aur mujhe dekhne aaye hain. So, it’s extremely flattering that anyone would take the time out to come and click my photo and then people would see it on social media when I am just going out to sweat for one hour and come down, or I’ve stepped out to eat. It’s great to get that kind of attention. I hope I keep doing things that will make people feel that I deserve their time and attention.
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