Ek Villain

Shraddha Kapoor and Sidharth Malhotra in “Ek Villain.”

Mumbai — The daughter of veteran actor Shakti Kapoor and his singer-cum-one-film-child-actor wife Shivangi Kolhapure had a false start in “Teen Patti” (2010) and another in “Luv Ka the End” (2011), though she made a distinct mark in the latter film. It was “Aashiqui 2” in 2013 that catapulted her to real fame, and since then, Shraddha Kapoor has not looked back.

Cheerful, bubbly and grounded, Shraddha spends three minutes explaining why she had to back out of an earlier appointment with the media because of ill health. She completes her story even when told that it was alright, I understood, and that time is of the essence!

Q: A cliché — but what is your role amid two villains in “Ek Villain”? There is even a hint that you are the actual villain.

A: Well, I play Ayesha, a lively, talkative girl who is like a rainbow between the two villains. She loves jokes, wants to make others laugh all the time, and even laughs at herself. She’s free-spirited. There is a small twist in the tale, though.

Q: How was Sidharth Malhotra?

A: At first impression, he seemed very shy. But Sidharth opened up from the time we did workshops and we now get along very well. He has a calming energy, a sense of humor and a lot of these are seen at the right time. He’s also very healthy and disciplined.

Q: We last met before “Aashiqui 2,” when you were two flops old. You were craving a hit then.

A: (In an amazed tone) Yes, that one Friday has changed my life completely! It is difficult now even to go to the market! But nothing’s changed at home. Yes, mommy keeps telling me to buy new nightsuits and T-shirts as many of them are either faded or frayed. (Laughs)

Speaking for myself, I think that there’s a change in my persona in a good way. I am now more hardworking and expect a lot from myself, just like people I know do from me. After all, I have achieved my childhood dream of acting!

Someone asked me about my temper, but I have no time to get angry now. Yes, I am a shade short-tempered, but I am also doing yoga and I have controlled that.

Q: But now, you are so successful that you have reportedly planned even on who your co-stars will be! You said that you will not work with big stars.

A: Now really, that was some mad journalist who wrote that, and an equally mad person who actually published it. Seriously, they don’t seem to have any “kaam-dhanda” (work)!

Yes, I could not do “Gabbar” with Akshay Kumar because of date issues, but I am doing “Haider” with Shahid Kapoor. That’s my next release in October.

Q: You talk about the childhood dream of acting. How was it watching your father Shakti Kapoor being beaten up in his movies?

A: I was just fascinated by movies! I found it cool whether he was beating someone up or being beaten up. Dad would come home wearing those false moustaches and I would pull them and he would pretend that would hurt.

Dad’s sense of humor was much superior to the comedy they made him do onscreen. Mom just acted in a small role in “Bhula Na Dena” and sang in several films, mostly as a child. I think that I have imbibed dad’s quality of relentless hard work and mom’s grace and composure.

Q: And now you have sung in “Ek Villain” and been a part of its background score, too.

A: We all have the musical “tadka” on my maternal side — my grandfather downwards. I have taken light training in music and I had requested Mohit Suri to let me sing even in “Aashiqui 2.” This time, Mohit just called me one evening and said that the recording was to be held the next morning between eight and 10!

I had a great time at the studio singing “Galliyaan” and I am thrilled by the appreciation I have got. I must thank Ankit Tiwari who insisted that my voice be left untreated in its original form and without any effects added. I know that I am in “sur” and it runs in my genes, as we are related from my mother’s side to the Mangeshkars! (Smiles) I also had a blast working with Raju Singh-ji on the background score.

Q: Your co-star Sidharth did say that you are more of a Maharashtrian than a Punjabi.

A: I am! I am a full-on Marathi mulgi. But I have a Punjabi appetite and I am lucky that I can eat anything and get away with it! And not only me — my mom, too, has been slim.

But I am now training with a mad trainer for my role in “ABCD 2,” which is with Varun Dhawan. I have been put on a diet to gain muscle — see this! (Demonstrates biceps) I have to eat correctly for that purpose.

Q: Speaking of Marathi, how was your equation with Riteish Deshmukh?

A: Very likable, as we always spoke in Marathi.

Q: Alia Bhatt, Parineeti Chopra, you, Sidharth, Varun Dhawan and Arjun Kapoor — you guys have formed a clique that is in demand, so much so that you people have a separate clout from the superstars and the rest seem to be in limbo in between now.

A: Yes, we only stick to each other when we meet at parties. We are all very good friends and take the trouble of calling to congratulate each other whenever we do good work and get a hit.

We are all contributing to the change happening in the industry, and I am so happy that I am born now when we are happy with someone else shining at something they are good at, because we all have different things to offer. In the olden days, we would have been rivals!

Varun, especially, is a very good friend as his father David (Dhawan) uncle and my dad were close associates in so many films, and we have known each other from childhood. And Alia and I share the same sun sign.

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