Shraddha Kapoor

Shraddha Kapoor in a still from “Saaho.” She told India-West that she was attracted to the role in the multo-lingual film as her character has lots of layers. (photo provided)

MUMBAI—She is understandably super-excited that she is starring in her first multi-lingual high-octane, high-concept drama, “Saaho,” which releases this week, but also loves the fact that just a week later, a “completely different film and a completely different role” – “Chhichhore” will release. Yes, Shraddha Kapoor is aware that this is too little a gap between two of her films, but in this “workaholically” crazy year, she says the obvious: “We actors can’t plan these things!”

We met the warm-natured, soft-spoken actress at the J.W. Marriott for a rapid-fire (the stars are running late as always for their promo assignments) just days before release, again as always.

Excerpts from an interview:

Q: What attracts you to a role now? You are kicking butt again in “Saaho” after doing a bit in “Baaghi.”

A: I think I got attracted here because my journey as a character has lots of layers, and it is a very strong role. In any case, I feel that meatier roles are being written for women now. In all kinds of films, even the out-and-out commercial ones, women are seen in stronger roles. The people want it that way.

Q: Given the man, an “emotional” question: After “Baaghi” with Tiger Shroff, how was it working with the father, Jackie Shroff, here? How would you compare them?

A: Ummmmm…How do I say this? I don’t have any scenes with Jackie uncle. I barely met him on sets. But as kids, my brother Siddhant and I would go to his house for Tiger’s and his sister Krishna’s birthday parties, and he was very, very kind. Because of my father (veteran Shakti Kapoor), we are family friends.

Q: Did you not get injuries from your action sequences in this film?

A: Not too many here, but a lot when I was shooting for “Street Dancer 3D.” Of course, with the kind of budget “Saaho” was – I think Rs. 350 crore – there was huge pressure. My neck is still not completely normal, I can’t turn my head sideways easily, but that’s from “Street Dancer 3D!” But one of my worst experiences was shooting the song “Chham Chham” for “Baaghi” at a railway station in the rain when the platform as completely rough. My director wanted me to wear shoes, but it would not have had the same feel, so I danced barefoot, and my feet were bleeding!

Q: With the budget here being high and your feeling the pressure, did you go on a pilgrimage or ask for a “mannat” for the film’s success?

A: Actually, I don’t ask God for anything ever and just give gratitude. I am telling this for the first time, but for a few years now, I am meditating off and on. I am, in any case, nervous before every film! In one week, the audience decides on a film on which we have put in months of hard work!

Q: Was there any real challenge in doing “Saaho?”

A: Yes, we shot everything twice, so I was worried whether I will be able to get the same reaction in the shot in the other language.

Q: In a very competitive arena, what do you think is your greatest strength?

A: Umm…I never felt like an industry kid, but like an outsider, I say that in a good way, like “Teen Patti” was not a typical debut. My choices, whether it is “Aashiqui 2” or “Haseena,” have led to whatever standing I have today. And I am proud of my journey every step of the way. Different things work for different people and there are no rules. This has been MY journey.

Q: You have had an uber-busy year.

A: Yes! There is no time to think in the last two years. I have just had five days off in December. And though I am a part of cinema, can you believe that I had no time to catch up on watching films? I have just started watching “Game of Thrones” after it is over.

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