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“I always felt like an outsider throughout my journey in films” – Shraddha Kapoor

Shraddha Kapoor is the daughter of actress Shakti Kapoor and actress Padmini Kolhapure and singer Lata Mangeshkar happens to be her relative. But, despite being an industry kid, she had to go through a lot of struggle before she got her big break with ‘Aashiqui 2’ (2013). That is the reason, she says, she always felt like an outsider. In this interview, the soft-spoken actress talks about the biggest film of her career – ‘Saaho’, shooting a film in multiple languages, suffering from multiple injuries during ‘Street Dancer 3D’, doing an ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ spin-off with dad Shakti Kapoor and more.

‘Saaho’ is also your first multilingual film. What was your first reaction when you were offered the film?

I was very excited about being offered a high-concept action film like this. After the ‘Baahubali’ films, Prabhas is a phenomenon all across the country and it was equally exciting to do a film with him. Many times, we complain that actresses do not do much in action films but I am so glad that things are changing now. In fact, there are strong parts for women in all kinds of films and one has to give the audience credit for that. They want to see women playing substantial roles and play an important part in taking the narrative of a film ahead. The character I play in the film has several layers to it. She plays an important part in the story and that is what got me attracted to the film in the first place. 

It is one of the biggest films to have been made in India. Are you feeling the pressure?

Yes, there is a lot of pressure. The film is budgeted at around Rs. 350 crores. When the budget of a film is that high, you do feel very nervous. God forbid, if the audience does not accept the film, the makers will incur huge losses. I think we have made a very good product but you never how a film is going to be received by the audience until it releases in theatres.

What do you take the pressure or nervousness off your head?

Not many people know about this but I have been practicing meditation since the last couple of years. It helps me become calm and feel grateful for everything I have got in life.

You suffered a few injuries while shooting for ‘Street Dancer 3D’.

I have still no recovered from my neck injury which I had during ‘Street Dancer 3D’. I have had so many injuries this year, mostly while shooting this film. Interestingly, even though ‘Saaho’ is an action film, I did not suffer from any injury while shooting for it. We shot “Cham Cham” (‘Baaghi’) with bare feet. It was a railway platform and the floor was very rough. Sabbir (Khan) sir insisted on me wearing a pair of shoes but I thought I won’t get the feel if I so that. I started dancing and my feet started bleeding after a while.

Last year, ‘Stree’ and ‘Batti Gul Meter Chalu’ released three weeks apart. Now, ‘Chhichhore’ is releasing a week after ‘Saaho’.

I would ideally like a bigger gap between the release of my films but unfortunately, that is something that is not in my hands. ‘Sahoo’ and ‘Chhichhore’ are poles apart from each other and the characters I play are vastly different too.

‘Saaho’ marks your debut in Telugu cinema. Was there a plan to make a foray into south?

No, there was no such plan. It just happened and I am so glad it did. It is great to be a part of a multilingual film as it unites different industries and reaches out to a wide section of the audience.

‘Saaho’ has been shot in Hindi and Telugu and dubbed in other languages. You had to shoot every scene twice. That must have been difficult.

Yes, it was quite difficult. Once a take is okayed in Hindi and you do the same take in Telugu, you wonder whether you will get it right and would be able to replicate the same emotions the next time around. Keeping the mood and alive in the same Hindi and Telugu scenes was difficult.

You have done a variety of films since the beginning of your career. There has been a ‘Ek Villain’ and a ‘Haider’ in the same year. A ‘Baaghi’ is very different from a ‘Haseena Parkar’. How do choose your scripts?

I have always tried to do something different. I am happy I got such wonderful opportunities at a very early stage of my career. Sometimes, my choices work and sometimes they don’t but I am proud of everything I gave done. I have learnt something important from every film that I have done. I have always felt like an outsider throughout my journey in films. I did not have a typical debut and faced rejection in several auditions. I had my share of struggle before ‘Aashiqui 2’ came my way.

You shared the screen with your brother Siddhant in ‘Haseena Parkar’ but you have not worked with your father Shakti Kapoor.

He had a cameo in ‘Teen Patti’ but nobody has offered us a film after that. Perhaps, they should make a spin-off on ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ where they can have Crime Master Gogo and his daughter and cast the two of us in it. (laughs)

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“We should try and make more films that can reach out to every nook and corner of the country” – Prabhas