Janhvi Kapoor on Sridevi: Mujhe bas unki yaad aati hai, I want to make this career work for her. Naam toh roshan karna hi padega – BigInterview | Hindi Movie News
How did your mother, Sridevi, react when you told her you wanted to be an actress?
She said, “Don’t get into it. I have worked all my life to be able to give my children a comfortable life and this life is not comfortable, so why would you want to go through it on your own? ” And I said, “I love movies. I cannot live without becoming an actor.” Then she said, “If you love it that much, that’s okay.” But she also went on to say, “You are so innocent and soft. You are carried away. You hurt too much. You have to be tough in a different way to survive here and I don’t want you to be. I don’t want to deal with all that.” She defended me and she said, “People will compare my 300 movies to your first movie. How will you deal with that? “I knew it was going to be difficult but I knew that if I didn’t act I would be sad for the rest of my life.
Your father, Boney Kapoor has now also turned to acting. How did that happen?
He did a small act in ‘AK vs AK’ (a meta film directed by Anurag Kashyap and Janhvi’s uncle Anil Kapoor). But after doing that, he developed an acting addiction. Because he received many calls praising his acting in the movie. I think after watching that movie, Luv sir (Ranjan) called him and said we have a character in the movie based on him. The way they made that character, their reference is just Papa. And they couldn’t find anyone to play the part so Luv sir asked him to do it. Dad is not ready yet. But then I told him that not many people get the chance to do something new after having achieved so much in life. You should do that.
Many actors become complacent after receiving praise for their performance. How do you plan to control that in your career?
I’m not the kind of girl who puts appreciation and confidence on her head. I got this appreciation after hard work and I won’t take it for granted. I will use the confidence that appreciation has given me to improve my skills. Because I think if there’s anything I lack besides technical skills, it’s self-belief and confidence. And after ‘Good Luck Jerry’, I will use this confidence to grow as an actor. That is my only goal in life.
What advice would you give your sister Khushi, as she has also broken into acting with Zoya Akhtar’s ‘The Archies’?
I told her, just keep your head down and keep working. Be honest about your work. Don’t do it for any other reason than the fact that you love it. Because people will fault you no matter the outcome. If you do something with a clear purpose, you won’t let any criticism get you down. And that’s the only thing you can hold onto.
How passionate is Khushi about acting?
She is very passionate but not as crazy as I am.
It is very difficult to get Sridevi to speak in her interviews.
It is very difficult to keep me quiet. But honestly, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t do that many interviews. Itna lad-lad ke mujhe yahaan bithaya hai (My journalists struggled with me to convince me to do these interviews).
Historically, friendships between two competing actresses are rare but your friendship with Sara Ali Khan is talked about in both film circles and fans alike. How did this friendship begin?
We knew each other before we started our acting careers and we also mentioned it in the episode of Koffee With Karan. I really appreciate the way Sara is working and her hard work, her true self. She is so secure about herself that when we spend time together, the threatening energy between our contemporaries never emerges between us. I always feel that I am spending time with my friends who wish me well. In life, it is difficult to find such a predestined relationship, let alone in the field of cinema. So is Ananya Panday. I think we are all safe enough to root each other. And we really like each other.
If you wanted to remake one of your mom and dad’s movies, which one would it be?
‘Woh Saat Din’. ‘Mr India’ is such an iconic movie that I don’t think I should touch it. I don’t think even ‘Chaal Baaz’ should be remade, although there have been discussions about it. I don’t think any of my mom’s movies should be remade. And if they’re all being redone, they shouldn’t be redone to me because people won’t be happy at all. Anyway, I will be disappointed. There are genetic similarities between me and her. But I am a different person. With another actress filling in, it would be like that’s their interpretation. But for me, it would be too close to home and still not be home at the same time. Honestly, even though it’s one of Papa’s least successful movies, I used to love watching ‘Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja’ when I was a kid.
What will Sridevi’s Michael Jackson painting look like?
I still keep that painting in my room.
Did you inherit any of your mother’s traits or skills?
I like to draw. I sketch during breaks on set. People say that my eyes are like hers and my voice too. But I do not know.
What about Sridevi do you miss the most?
Mujhe bas unai yaad aati hai (I miss her). I won’t get out of my bed until Mom wakes me up. My alarm will go off. But then I’ll call Mom. I wouldn’t walk out of the room without seeing her face. And I won’t sleep without saying good night to her.
Do you feel that you are criticized a little more because you are Sridevi’s daughter?
Yes, of course. People are comparing my first four films to 300 of her films. I don’t know about anything else but I wanted to make this career work for her. Naam toh roshan karna hee padega (I have to make her proud). I can’t leave it like that.
How would you describe your journey from ‘Dhadak’, your debut, to ‘Good Luck Jerry’, your latest release?
This is just the beginning. There’s still a lot of work to do. This is just 5 percent of my journey. I definitely feel more confident in what I bring. I believe in my abilities. I feel confident to explore and try more things. I don’t guess myself as much as I do now.
The world of ‘Good Luck Jerry’ seems completely out of your comfort zone. How did you get used to it?
Those are the realistic environments that director Siddharth Sen has created. It’s not like I have to imagine that uncomfortable set. The set is really uncomfortable. When Jerry covered his mouth and nose because of the bad smell, it really smelled really bad. So I don’t have to act that much. Because that context and situation is very different from my real life.
Our director gave me a thorough understanding of where Jerry came from and where she wanted to go. I did a lot of research on the Bihari dialect and spent quite a bit of time understanding how a Bihari girl would feel in Punjab without her father. So we discussed a lot about this character. And by the time we got to the set, I knew. We can also improvise on set.
What’s your best compliment for ‘Good Luck Jerry’?
I read two reviews that I liked because of what they wrote about me. I think they understood what I was trying to do with the character. And Anurag Basu texted me, “You are so special”. I admire his work so it is very special to me.
How’s the production of ‘Mili’ in your father’s hometown?
I don’t want to make Papa’s movies just for the sake of it. The pressures and responsibilities of home production are completely different. The story of ‘Mili’ is also simple. It is a story of father and daughter. I felt it was a suitable movie.
Fans and people in the film industry tend to talk a lot about your eyes.
Really? Even in ‘Mili’, there aren’t many lines. It’s all about expressions. I think I have just started my journey and I will continue to prove myself.