Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor, who will be next seen in her second biopic Neerja, says every role for her is challenging. Sonam, who is a trained actor, was in Delhi on February 15 as part of the Neerja promotions.
In an exclusive conversation with IndianExpress.com, Sonam Kapoor also spoke about how she faced racism abroad, working in biopics and ban on Neerja in Pakistan. Here are the excerpts from her conversation.
Ques: Neerja has been banned in Pakistan, what do you have to say?
Sonam: It has to reach the Censor Board to be banned or not to be banned. The film is not even been accepted for reviewing over there. We have to get a
letter saying it has to be banned or not. By Tuesday we will find out their decision.
Ques: It is your second biopic after Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, so how different and difficult is it doing a biopic than working in any other movie.
Sonam: The difference is obviously that when you are doing a character which has been created that’s a creative process and you have to have a back story to create the persona of that character. At that time when it is being narrated, the character’s image is only in your head, the writer’s and director’s head, so people have no expectations from that character, there is no pre-conceived notions about it. But when you are doing a biopic, people who knew her have a
pre conceived notion and a lot of expectations. You need to live up to those expectations but the easy part is that all the homework is done for you.
Ques: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was a smaller role and Neerja is a titular role, was it more stressful? Your role in Bhaag Milkha was completely different from the one in Neerja.
Sonam: I don’t know if it is stressful or not but Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was two songs and five scenes so that ways it was less stressful yes. l don’t think there is
pressure if you are playing the title role because eventually your job as an actor is done once the production of the film is over. At the end of the day, if the film
is good it will do well or else it will not. People connect to it if there is honesty to it, it will do well.
Q. Do you think Neerja is the most difficult role that you have done till now in your career till now?
Sonam: With every film, I would say that it was my most difficult. I think, if with every film I don’t challenge myself over and over again then I will get bored. So, each movie is equally challenging for me. Definitely, since Neerja is my latest film, it was the most challenging. I am also more emotionally attached to it because it is a real person and to live up to that expectations it was challenging yes.
Ques: You said you had also faced racism, could you please elaborate.
Sonam: I think sexism, racism is someting that all people, any girl or woman faces. Any person of any colour faces racism everywhere. We as Indians are
also racists, racism is not about colour, it is about religion, it is about what race you come from and that we face everyday. Like I said it is a pre-conceived notion, when we see a white skinned girl, we already have pre conceived notions about her so that is also a definition of racism. We put them (white skinned girls) as background dancers in skimpy clothes so, there is a pre conceived notion about them. That is basically a racist way of looking at things. Racism doesn’t mean that you are a brown person and that he/she will be seen in a particular way. Racism is an idea where there is no open mindedness. Yes, I have faced it. If I am at a certain airport or if I have been asked a certain question beause there is a pre conceived notion of what Indians are like or what a brown skin girl is like and that’s what I meant. Because somebody was asking me if India was racist, I said that I don’t think India is racist.
Ques: Has Neerja been shown to the famly members of Neerja?
Sonam: They haven’t been shown the film but the script was given to them and they had to okay the script before we started shooting the film. They are going to go to the theatre and watch it. We asked them to come to Mumbai but they said we will watch it in theatres only.
Sonam Kapoor’s Neerja is her big release post the super successful Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Neerja hit theatres on Friday (February 19).