sridevi: EXCLUSIVE! Janhvi Kapoor reveals what advice her mother gave for ‘Dhadak’ | Hindi Movie News
How was your reaction when you were first approached for a Dharma movie?
It was a huge dream of working with Karan Johar, having him and the kind of knowledge and experience he has. I am so thankful to work with Shashank Khaitan because of the kind of person that he is. One of the things I am most thankful for is to have Shashank as my first director and as a mentor. He has got such great energy and he is someone that inspires me as a person. Even the opportunity to tell this story and go on this journey, as Parthavi was a dream come true.
Since the beginning you wanted to be an actress?
As a kid, I always wanted to be an actor. In the middle, there was a phase where I felt like, let’s explore other avenues. Because I was very fond of history, I was very fond of writing. So, I wanted to do all these courses before I made up my mind. But then I started with an acting course. And I remember there was this one day where they asked me to do a scene. And I just felt like, this was right. I wanted to do this; I want to feel more like this. I think acting comes with a place of feeling.
Were you nervous to face the camera?
I was excited, more than nervous. Not because I think I know my craft so well. Like I said, Shashank made such a friendly environment on the sets. It was like a family environment for all of us while shooting. I felt secured and very safe. I felt like it was the safest place to make mistakes.
Talking about your character in ‘Dhadak’, you said that it is more like your sister Khushi. Did you observe her closely while playing the role?
I have grown up with Khushi, so I didn’t really have to observe her. But yes, sometimes while doing scenes and then come back to home, I would see Khushi and draw parallels in my mind. There were things which are similar. Khushi is very sensitive but not very expressive. She is a little pricey as a person. She can be a little bit of a bully. But, there’s strength and resilience in my sister that is magnanimous but it is silent. There are only a few things that make her cry. When she loves, she loves deeply and there is a very deep sense of loyalty. That was another parallel I saw in Khushi and the character I am playing. They act like they don’t care. I think my sister is like that and I saw the similarity in the character I played onscreen.
Talking about your equation with Khushi, does she bully you?
Khushi bullies me so much. I am like the ‘bechaari’ behen.
Did your mother Sridevi give you any tips before joining Bollywood?
The biggest and the most important thing my mother told me is to be a good actor you first need to be a really good human being and an honest person. Otherwise, you cannot approach any character with honesty if there is malice in your heart or anything negative in your heart. Because you play these characters, you can’t judge them. In order to allow yourself to feel things, you need to be an open person. So that stayed with me. But when it came to shooting my character, she was very clear that she didn’t want to help me find things in my scene or help me approach the role. Because she wanted me to do it on my own! She wanted me to find my character Parthavi on my own so that it would be all me and not mom.
Did she give any feedback on your performance in your debut movie?
My mother never came on the sets of the movie.
Did she give feedback on the rushes of the movie?
When she saw the rushes, she was very happy. But she advised me to not put makeup in the second half which I followed.
In some scenes, you give us a glimpse of Sridevi. What do you have to say about that?
Of course, I take that as a compliment.
Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter bring ‘Dhadak’ madness on stage
How was it shooting at a water body full of snakes?
I had heard about one-two snakes in the water body. But they said, they had put net however they were being very fishy that day. I was like, in the name of movies, I will shoot for it. It was fun though as now I have a story to tell. Shashank wasn’t a task master, but he was clear in his head what he wanted out of us.
You also learned kathak for ‘Dhadak’? How was the overall experience?
I had a lot of fun. I love kathak as a dance form. I think it is most beautiful dance form. It wasn’t tough as it was a crash course and the segment where I am dancing in the movie is very brief.
We have loved Sridevi’s dancing skills; did you get to learn anything from her?
My mother was not a trained dancer. She was just so good at dancing and everything. I even asked her that everyone thinks you are a trained dancer but you are not. She said that, ‘You know my lines and everything, I never think about it. But I just have fun.’ She kept saying that if you are genuinely having fun, it will show on your face and then people won’t care about if your lines are right or not. I remember hearing this one story. A choreographer was telling me the other day that they were teaching a scene to mom and she was practicing before the take. They thought she was just marking the steps. But in the final take, mom did exactly like that but her face lit up so much in front of the camera. She was having so much fun on the camera like no one cared.
Do you think you can match up to your mother’s level?
I don’t think so, that’s a very long way to go. But yes, that’s the goal.
While your mother was reluctant with you joining Bollywood, how was your dad’s reaction?
Papa is a very chilled out person. He was very supportive from the beginning. I think Papa helped ease Mama into the idea of me acting. He told her that she seems passionate about it. He was very cool about it.
What do you have to say about your equation with Arjun Kapoor as a brother?
I know that I have lost my mom and nothing can ever pickup for that. And sometimes it is really hard…but now I feel like, now I have a brother and a sister that I didn’t have much of a relationship with before, for whatever reason. But, I am thankful and blessed that even in this tragedy, I have them now. Because they have given me so much to learn and I have got so much security and safety from them. Like Arjun Bhaiyya said recently that we are still trying to figure things out. But, there is just a feeling of home and there is this feeling that I think everything will be okay as we have them now and they have given so much love.
Did your brother Arjun Kapoor get to see the movie yet?
No, Arjun Bhaiyya is travelling right now. Papa has already seen the movie. I think the people I am most excited to show the film is Khushi, Arjun Bhaiyya, Anshula Didi and Lata Maasi. I want to make these four people see the movie more than anyone else. If I feel like I have made them proud, that will be my achievement. I think that is the most important thing to hear feedback from them.
You revealed recently that you have a crush on Rajkummar Rao. Any plans to work with him?
Oh God! That will be like a dream if I get to work with Rajkummar Rao. You know apart from being obsessed with him as an actor, I think after this obsession came out, and he felt bad for me and messaged me. I had this pleasure to talk to him a few times and he is so sweet and genuine and simple. I remember even mom telling me this, she met him at an event. She was like, ‘I know why he is such a great actor because he is such a good person. He is so simple.’ So yes, I would love to even just see him work, I think. Like thoda toh talent mere bhi aajaayega.
Any actor who is in your wishlist to work with?
I think Ishaan would have been on that list for sure, but I have worked with him now. I think Vicky Kaushal. I saw ‘Sanju’ last night and I felt like I had a dream about Kamli (Vicky Kaushal’s role in the movie). He is so good. And so is Ranbir Kapoor, he is unbelievable. But Vicky Kaushal is so cute in the movie and he has done the acting so naturally in ‘Sanju’. He is a very committed actor when it comes to his performances.
Who is your favourite actress in Bollywood?
Right now, it is Alia Bhatt.
Any director of your choice you would like to work with?
So many! I would like to do 1000 more films with Shashank because I am obsessed with him. I really want to work with Imtiaz Ali, Gauri aunty and Balki uncle, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Shoojit Sircar and Abhishek Chaubey. With Karan Johar, I would like to do a movie too. I keep dreaming, kya hone waala hai kya pata.
Don’t want to give attention to pressure: Janhvi Kapoor
What’s next after ‘Dhadak’?
I think let ‘Dhadak’ happen first, then we will see.
If not acting, what would have been your career alternative?
I would just wish to travel around the world, write a lot and meet new people. But I think that I would have joined living a nomadic life. I think after a certain point, it would feel unfulfilled. I don’t think I would be able to do anything other than this (acting). I really don’t think so.