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Casting director Mukesh Chhabra has no qualms in stating that Shraddha Kapoor is the “greediest” star kid he has ever worked with. Whether it is her voracious appetite for acting lessons — she is forever ready for that “one extra take”— or reaching his workshops an hour before to make up for missed classes, Chhabra considers Kapoor to be his “best student”. As someone who has worked with her through her four-year-old career — right from taking her first auditions in Teen Patti (2010), conducting workshops for Aashiqui 2 (2013) and Ek Villain to finally casting her for Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider — Chhabra has seen Shraddha Kapoor come into the spotlight. And he claims that her growing star chips haven’t changed
her a bit.
But the world around Shraddha Kapoor isn’t the same since “that life changing Friday” last year when Aashiqui 2 released. When we meet her at producer Ekta Kapoor’s Juhu bungalow, Mumbai, Shraddha recaps the turnaround in her career. “Everything has changed. People who hadn’t offered me films before are now approaching me because I have a successful film,” she says. Aashiqui 2 is still following her everywhere. “Recently we were in Jaipur for promotions of Ek Villain and the moment I stepped out of the store, hundreds of people were screaming ‘Aarohi’, my character’s name in Aashiqui 2. It’s unreal how until today even a bhaajiwala remembers my character. What more could I have asked for,” says the 24-year-old.
Kapoor’s career will always be seen in two phases — the forgettable three years where she was a nobody and the second, post-Aashiqui 2 where besides Ek Villain, she has Vishal Bhardwaj’s Hamlet adaptation, Haider and ABCD: Any Body Can Dance 2, opposite Varun Dhawan. A tough start to her career has taught Kapoor well. “I am grateful to that period where my films didn’t work but I want to be careful about the films I choose. I have rejected many offers in the last one year and I only want to do roles that challenge me, since I would like to be known as a versatile actor,” says Kapoor.
In the just-released Ek Villain, Kapoor enjoyed playing the “chirpy, happy-go-lucky, full-of-life girl”. In Haider, she plays a feisty Kashmiri journalist based on the character of Ophelia. “Vishal makes you feel like you are the best actor at that moment, which is a huge confidence boost,” she says. It is still too early to form opinions on her acting abilities but Kapoor has her heart in the right place, says Chhabra. “Acting is all about doing it. Many get stuck with thinking. Shraddha will just do it,” says Chhabra.
As an artiste, Shraddha Kapoor thrives on real-life experiences. Whether it’s her travelling expeditions such as the recent camping trip to Nevada desert or her new found singing abilities, she is always ready to explore. Shraddha pulled off a surprise in her soulful rendition of ‘Ek Villain’s song Teri galliyan. “I saw Farhan Akhtar act and sing and I wanted to do it too. I always had music within me, courtesy my aunts, and I thought I should do something with it too,” she says. Not everyone was encouraging about her attempt at singing but Kapoor has a knack of defying people’s expectations. “I have wanted to be an actor since a very young age. But in the middle, I wanted to be in a different profession just because everyone around me was saying I would become an actor since I belong to a film family,” she says.