People talking about Maneesh Sharma’s romantic film Shuddh Desi Romance are also discussing Vaani Kapoor, who is making her debut in it. She is pitted against the effervescent Parineeti Chopra and the talented Sushant Singh. We met the refreshingly gorgeous beauty at Yash Raj Studios recently….
Once upon a time she was a quiet girl from Delhi. Then she became a well-to-do model in Mumbai. And Vaani Kapoor is now a movie star. Has the feeling of being part of Bollywood sunk in yet, or does the young lady still pinch herself to know that she now has a movie to her credit? “I thought it was very impractical to work in films. I thought films don’t happen easily. I never had any passion for modelling. It just helped me earn better money and pay my bills! I was this normal girl who loved watching movies, but working in films was always a dream. But even now it is hard to believe that I am living my dream right now, right here,” said Vaani.
She has acquired discipline from her father and her warm mannerisms and liberal attitude from her mother. “My father is very protective of me. He is orthodox and a bit conservative. But mom is very liberal. She studied in a convent school. So I had a balanced life. Father was very strict until I completed my graduation and then he became a friend, and allowed me to do what I wanted to,” explained Vaani.
How did this meaty role in Shuddh Desi Romance come her way? “I never got a call from Yash Raj promising that the movie is all mine. They said that I have to audition for the movie. Like any other aspiring model or aspiring actor, I was a bit scared. I was apprehensive of this whole casting couch business. But when I saw that a lady was casting for Yash Raj Films, I felt safe and shifted base from Delhi to Mumbai,” giggled Vaani.
Visibly thrilled to see her pictures on massive hoardings across the city to watch Shuddh Desi Romance building curiosity among moviegoers, Vaani feels that she is lucky to be a part of an industry many aspire to break into. In a freewheeling chat with BollywoodLife the sparkling beauty answered our queries articulately….
From the dicey terrain of modelling you have forayed into acting. Welcome to the big bad world of Bollywood, Vaani….
Thank you so much. But you know what? Even my parents thought that it must be bad and unsafe initially. But trust me, even modelling is safe as long as you make the right choices. It is up to the individual. No one is going to force you into doing something that you are not comfortable with. Perhaps because I come from a reputed modelling agency, I never faced the casting couch. I am blessed that I got to work with some really good and thoroughly professional people in my career.
When did you meet Aditya Chopra?
Honestly speaking, it took me ages to meet Aditya Chopra. In fact, Adi wanted to make sure that the director was comfortable with me as an actor and not because THE Aditya Chopra thought that I was suitable candidate for his project. For the auditions, I used to come to Yash Raj Studios in my regular clothes. I never spotted a single famous soul in the building or in the office, so I would never really dress up. The day I was told that I was going to meet Aditya Chopra, I walked into the studio all decked up, thinking that Adi will be impressed. Interestingly, the first question he asked me when I entered his cabin was, ‘Why are you dressed like this? Just be normal; you don’t have to dress to impress anyone here. I have seen you dressing like a jhalla. Every day you would dress badly and come to the studio.’ Adi emphasised dressing up for the media, but not to impress him or any of his directors. He told me to be myself and be normal.
How well did you get along with Sushant Singh Rajput and Parineeti Chopra?
Oh, we used to fight a lot off camera. We used to pull each other’s legs and have fun. Sushant is a bit reserved and so am I. So we both thought that we must open up to each other. Parineeti, on the other hand, talks a lot. But it was good for us, because otherwise it would have been monotonous and boring.
We hear that director Maneesh Sharma was pretty strict with you…
Maneesh is a very talented director. I thought he would be over-protective about me on the sets, primarily because I was a debutante. But he was strict. His vision is very clear. At times I even felt like breaking down, but later I realised that he is very particular about what he wants and draws nothing but the best out of his actors.
Do you have shuddh desi romance in your life?
I have no romance in my life, shuddh or otherwise. I don’t believe in the clichéd filmi romance. I don’t want that pretentious wooing. I just want my man to be himself. I want him to take me to movies, eat good food together and just chill. I don’t believe in romantic candle night dinners!
Did you have any preconceived notions about the movie business?
I still feel that I am very new and I still feel very disconnected from the rest of the industry. I am very glad that not everybody has to face the casting couch. As of now I can talk about Yash Raj Films and I must say that they are very professional.
They don’t bother what your family background is, how do you dress or for that matter, what you look like. As long as you are talented, you are welcome. If you are good, then they have a movie for you. It is as simple as that.
What is the most difficult thing about acting? What did you have to unlearn to make the transition from modelling to acting?
To stay true to your character throughout the film without wavering much is a big challenge. You cannot emote as you would in normal life, because as an actor you have to emote within the confines of the character without looking dramatic; at the same time, you have to be believable. I am a clean slate, so I did not have to unlearn much!
Shhudh Desi Romance will address confusions and conflicts faced in a live-in relationship. What is your personal take on live-in relationships?
I don’t think it is taboo, neither is it a crime. I know people who are in a live-in relationship and I don’t question them. We should have a broader perspective on this issue. Nobody is raping anyone in a live-in relationship. Nobody is forcing anyone into anything. If two individuals want to get to know each other better and want to stay together, what is so scandalous about it? It is so stupid that you are allowed to go around with your boyfriend or girlfriend during the day, but at night you can’t stay together. That’s absurd! But personally, I believe in marriage. I see myself marrying someone and having children with him and settled down. I am very clear about that.
What should your ideal man be like?
Yaar, pehle sochti thi ki who aise hona chaiye, handsome hona chaiye, but I think I am mature enough now to say that chalo yaar, dus mein se 6.5 hoga toh bhi chalega, as long as he stays committed.
Who would you like to work with from B-town?
I want to work with the new generation of actors like Ranveer Singh. I saw him in Band Baaja Baarat and in Lootera. He is very good. I would like to work with Ranbir Kapoor as well. Hrithk Roshan is someone I would like to work with. In fact, I want to romance him!
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