‘I just need an opportunity to prove myself’

Debarati Palit Singh
Sunday, 8 July 2018

Newbie Janhvi Kapoor, whose debut film Dhadak is releasing on July 20, gets candid about the pressure of belonging to the Kapoor family. She hopes that the audience doesn’t accept or reject her because she is Sridevi and Boney Kapoor’s daughter

Even before her debut film hits the marquee, all eyes are set on Janhvi Kapoor. And why not? She belongs to the famous ‘Kapoor clan’. Rarely we come across a newbie whose entire family is in the entertainment industry, including her parents, brother, uncles, cousins. So when we met the young actress at a city hotel over the weekend for the promotion of her debut film Dhadak, we couldn’t help but ask if the expectations are unnerving her?

“When we were shooting, I was only thinking about my character, trying to live every moment. It was a personal and spiritual journey for me. I was far away from these expectations and pressure but now that I am promoting the film, I am thinking about it. I know, I have to earn the audiences love and acceptance. I hope that people are able to see the amount of hardwork and honesty I have put in the film,” says the elder daughter of late Sridevi and producer Boney Kapoor. 

There are going to be different kinds of reactions. While some will believe that she got it easy, there are others who will think she needs to work harder. Is she mentally preparing herself to diverse reactions that she might get? Janhvi says, “One cannot prepare themselves for something like this. I understand where people are coming from when they say, ‘she got it easy’. I can also understand their frustration to certain level as they might think that I have snatched away their right and opportunity. So it’s big responsibility for me and I have to work doubly hard. I am ready to do that because I love acting a lot,” she says, adding, “Don’t love or accept me because I am so and so’s daughter, but don’t hate me for that either. I just need an opportunity to prove myself. I think it’s bad if you take advantage of the opportunity you are given. I never felt that it’s my birth right and I belong here. I am very blessed to get this opportunity and I have worked very hard.”   

Ask her what’s the biggest lesson that she has learned from her late actress mother and she replies, “She always said that to be a good actor, you need to be a good person, which is the most important piece of advice that she gave me.” 

So far Janhvi has had her entire family to guide her while choosing scripts. But henceforth how is she going to balance between her own instinct and her family’s views? She says that the guidance she gets from her family is extremely valuable because they are such well-known artists. “Not just my family, even Karan and Shashank’s guidance means a lot to me. I will definitely take their opinion because it matters to me. My mother use to always tell, ‘At the end of the day, you need to follow your gut and instinct’.” 

Dhadak is the Hindi adaption of hit Marathi film Sairat and Janhvi is portraying the character of Archie, which was originally played by another newbie Rinku Rajguru. Archie was a fiery and strong-headed character. How different is her Parthavi from Archie?  “Archie and Parthavi are quite different but the one common factor is that they both are strong headed. Archie is from Maharashtra and my character belongs to Udaipur. Their world, upbringing, families are different. Parthavi belong to a Rajshri family so her body language and way of talking is different. She is innocent, but there is certain assertiveness in her.” She adds, “Rinku ji has essayed the character so beautifully, it’s not possible for any other actor to perform it. She has performed it very honestly and lived every emotion in the character. If I would had tried to play the character, the way she did, it would have been copying and I didn’t want to do that. It would have gone haywire, so I have tried to play my character with honesty.”  

The actress says that even though she has Archie’s character as reference point, it did not help her much. “Our script was completely different and Shashank had told us not to use Sairat as a reference point.” 

The film is about true love and honour killing but does she believe in the  ‘pyaar main mar mitenge’ kind of love? Janhvi, who already enjoys a large fan following on social media, says that she only believes in the concept of eternal love. “I don’t understand casualness in love. I don’t believe in anything mediocre but in intensity and passion when in comes to work and any kind of relationship,” adds the actress who wants to be part of different genres of films and roles. “The fun is in playing characters which are as far removed from me as possible. Then I will get the opportunity to grow and learn,” she says before heading to meet the rest of press.

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