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Janhvi Kapoor Fresh From The Triumph Of Gunjan Saxena , Tells She Has A Lot To Be Grateful For

Is  it comforting  to  know the  audience and critics have  accepted you in  Gunjan Saxena The Kargil Girl?

It is extremely comforting. All of a sudden there’s so much  love coming in. I  was  on a call with my director  Sharan Sharma  just now.And we were wondering if all this love is for real.It will take  some time for all this positivity  to sink in.For the last   few weeks we’ve been under so much pressure.I was  focusing on that.

You mean  the whole nepotism debate?

Yes.It  is   a fact  that  I got my first film  Dhadak because of where I came  from. I think all the debate  and negativity  helps me in a way to be on my toes.  I don’t think I’d have worked so  hard on myself in Gunjan Saxena if that pressure of proving myself had not been on  me.Even now after all the positive reaction to my  performance  in Gunjan Saxena  I would rather not feel  everything is  fine now.I’d rather be insecure  about my  future, as that helps me to  grow  as  an actor and a human being.

How do  you  avoid getting bitter and hurt about all the abuse on the net?

(goes quiet) I  don’t  allow myself to  get bitter  about it. When my first film came I even got comments  like..good that  your mother is not around  to see  this…I can’t allow myself  to  get  bitter  or hurt. I’d rather see  the criticism  as an opportunity to better myself. I would rather live in a bubble where everything is  okay  and then  try to improve myself.

Did you identify with Gunjan Saxena’s constant endeavour to prove herself  at her workplace? Isn’t that  what  you are  doing?

I wouldn’t  want to compare  myself with a war  hero. But yes, this was point that  my director and I discussed  many times. I   never  thought people would see  that point of comparison. But it is there.There’s a  scene  in  in which I tell  my brother , ‘Main yahan apne qabiliyat se hoon’. As someone  from within the  film industry  I  have felt the hurt  . It helped me understand my journey better.

You have been  showered with compliments for your performance?

Reading some   reviews  I had tears  in my eyes. I   didn’t realize how much   this acceptance  would mean to me. We all say it is  enough to work hard and that  is  enough   of a reward.  But we all need the audiences’ acceptance. 

The praise  came on   your mom’s birthday?

 Yes,  that was a wonderful coincidence.I want  to  feel that she’s watching me, feeling pleased. If she was here she would have  sent all the reviews to her sister in Chennai and  other friends and relatives. Now my Pappa (producer Boney Kapoor) is doing  all of that.

 He has been  both a father and a mother to you after  Srideviji’s death?

Yes! I know  her  pride would have peaked watching me  work so hard on the set. I think that  would  have meant  more to her than even this praise that  I’m now getting.

Didn’t it intimidate you to think you would be compared with the very best  when  you decided to become an actress like your mother?

 I don’t know why, it didn’t occur to me. Maybe I was too naïve. Maybe I should have thought  about it.  But I do  know I can never be like her. You know  better than  anyone else that no one can do what she could. I’d just be happy to  select the  right roles and do them my way. I’d never dream  of  trying to do it her way.

 Any  similarity between  the two  of you?

Apart  from the genes,I am a switch-on-switch-off actress like my mother . During the shooting of  Gunjan Saxena and  my next film Roohi Afza I realized  I am my best in the first take. My director would say  ,you  do  what you have  to  and then just blank yourself out in subsequent takes. Yeh lo!  Maine  apne  hi ko first-take  actress bol diya.

Your next film?

I am  glad Roohi Afza is my next film . It gives me a  chance to  go into  a  completely different zone as compared with Dhadak, Gunjan  Saxena and Ghost Stories. I  am enjoying the  process  of  discovery.

Does  your father help you choose your  scripts?

 He  is  definitely  there  to guide me. So is Karan (Johar).I want every role to be an  opportunity to learn and grow. To be honest,  I am not yet in that stage  of  my career where there  is a long queue of producers  waiting to  sign me.

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