Janhvi Kapoor says audience is not 'obligated' to love her: 'I need to keep working to win everyone over'

Published on Feb 26, 2021 09:09 PM IST

Janhvi Kapoor, who will be seen next in Roohi, said that viewers are not 'obligated' to love her and the onus is on her to give them a reason to. She added that she is working hard to win everyone over.

Janhvi Kapoor will be seen next in Roohi.
Janhvi Kapoor will be seen next in Roohi.

Actor Janhvi Kapoor says she has made peace with the scrutiny that comes with her job as her aim is to win the love of her audience.

Janhvi, who made her debut with the 2018 film Dhadak, became popular even before the release of the film for being the daughter of late Sridevi and producer Boney Kapoor but she also faced criticism for her privileged background.

The actor said she will keep working hard to "win everyone". "Scrutiny is part of the job, there's little that can be done about it. I have signed up for it. You're giving yourself to the people, asking for their love. But they're not obligated to love you, you've to give them reasons to," she told PTI in an interview.

"There's no self-pity or shame in that. I need to keep working to win everyone over. Sure, it's seldom that people win over everyone but I have aspirations to reach that level. I am working hard and I hope I do get there," she added.

In the last three years, all her projects-- from Dhadak, Zoya Akhtar's short in Ghost Stories and last year's Gunjan Saxena have seen Janhvi balancing between praise and scepticism.

The 23-year-old actor is now up for another challenge, attempting comedy for the first time with Dinesh Vijan's Roohi, scheduled to release in theatres on March 11.

Roohi, co-starring Rajkummar Rao and Varun Sharma, is helmed by Hardik Mehta from a script penned by Fukrey director Mrigdeep Singh Lamba, who also serves as a co-producer on the movie.

Janhvi features as a woman apparently possessed by a spirit in the horror-comedy.

The actor said when producer Vijan narrated a couple of scenes to her from the film, she felt it would be foolish to say no to the project. Roohi required her to let go of vanity, which only evolved her as an artist, she said.

"It's an extremely cool, interesting role. The duality of the character gave me the opportunity to showcase and explore a lot. Playing this role opened me up as an actor. I had to push myself physically and vocally. Some scenes required me to push myself emotionally. My character Afza is a witch, so obviously you can't be conscious of your vanity. The worst you look, the better it is for the character," she said.

While Janhvi was aware that comedy is a genre where missing even a single beat spoils the scene, she let spontaneity guide her rather than over-preparing.

"The humour in the film is situational and fantastical. In the film, I had two comedic experts as company, in Rajkummar and Varun, who were aiding Hardik's take on comedy. What I realised while working was that you don't have to do anything extra to be comic."

Roohi was earlier supposed to open theatrically last year but was pushed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Also read: Rakhi Sawant's ailing mother says she wants to see her and Ritesh on Bigg Boss 15

As an actor who was gearing up for two film releases— Gunjan and Roohi—and the completion of another in 2020, Janhvi said the lockdown left her feeling restless. But the long period of being switched off from work also helped her focus on her mental health.

The actor's initial response to the professional uncertainty owing to the lockdown was anxiety, but gradually she realised that it would be better for her mental health if she did not worry about things that were beyond her control.

"That period was confusing. I was restless, anxious. There were so many plans, like the release of Gunjan Saxena, Roohi, I would've finished Dostana 2. The year taught me that you can't rely on anything and things not always go according to the plan," she said.

"I realised these things are transitory, what really matters is your family, your headspace because if you're in the right headspace with nothing going on, you can be extremely happy. But with a wrong headspace, you can feel the worst despite everything going for you," she added.

Roohi is one of the first Bollywood projects to arrive in theatres after the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting allowed cinema halls across the country to operate at full capacity from February 1.

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