Around 10 days ago, Sonam Kapoor tied the knot with Anand Ahuja in a grand wedding. But unlike most couples, she didn’t take a break. The actress decided to jump straight into work and sashayed down the Cannes red carpet as the face of a beauty brand that she endorses.
In a tête-à-tête with After Hrs, the fashionista shares her views about the pay disparity issue, being comfortable in her skin and why changing her name post marriage is a personal choice. Excerpts…
You dived into work post your wedding…
Yes. There has been a whole revolution with the #MeToo campaign where women are standing up for what they think is right and are asking for the respect they deserve. The team of L’Oréal Paris resonates the same thought I have and they made sure that I was there, representing the brand, and women of worth on the red carpet. I’m also representing Indian women who know that they should work, regardless of anything.
You’ve been vocal about the issue of pay disparity here. What was the discussion at Cannes like?
It’s quite sad that women have to go through this. The world over, there’s a certain misogynistic and patriarchial mindset that needs to change. When a woman is in a position of power, she’s expected to be aggressive, or masculine. But the moment she says she deserves a certain kind of money and treatment at work, she suddenly becomes undesirable. We need to fight that mindset. If a man says that this is what he deserves, he will never be questioned. Women should collectively fight for this issue. I have been trying to do it since the beginning of my career.
This time, you were at Cannes as Sonam K Ahuja. How did your hubby, Anand, find your outfits?
He liked them a lot (smiles).
Was there pressure because people were looking forward to your wedding outfits and now your Cannes appearances too…
Women need to stop exerting that pressure on themselves. I’m enjoying myself and wearing things that I like to wear. I don’t think about what other people think of my dresses which is why I have a good time on the red carpet. I just want to be myself and that’s what young girls identify with. It’s not about my clothes, but the attitude that I carry myself with.
How special is the red carpet post marriage?
It’s the same thing. Life doesn’t change much after marriage. It doesn’t change for a man. So, why should it be different for a woman where work is concerned?
There were reports of you moving to London…
Nobody noticed, but I’m always in London (laughs). I am there for four-five months and then, in Mumbai. So, it’s going to be the same.
You must be excited about your home production Veere Di Wedding?
It’s a commercial film, so it should do well. It’s a fun film and I hope people are looking forward to watching it.
Actresses like you and Anushka (Sharma) got married when you are at the top of your game. Do you think times are changing for actresses in that respect?
People are still asking me these questions, which is sad. I don’t know if it’s changed that much. I know that Kajol, Dimple Kapadia, Nargis, Nutan and Waheeda Rehman have continued with their career post marriage. In fact, Madhuri (Dixit-Nene) did Devdas after tying the knot. But it’s still a long way to go. And we, as women, need to come together and be stronger. The choice shouldn’t be taken away. I hope to set an example by coming straight out of my wedding and doing what I do best.
You changed your name after the wedding and received a lot of flak for it…
I’ve always maintained that I’m a feminist. I have a choice to change my name when I want to do it. The fact is that Kapoor is also my father’s surname. So, I chose to keep both. And just to be a part of our family, Anand has also changed his name. But nobody wrote about that! My husband or his family has not asked me to do anything. Likewise, he did it on his own. We anyway take our father’s names, so if we can give that respect to them, we can give the same respect to our husbands, too. It’s my personal choice and somebody judging me for it is ridiculous.