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|Idol Chatter: Saawariya
|We catch up with Bollywood scions Sonam Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor (no relation!), who score a big-screen debut in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya
As a kid, in my steady diet of late ‘70s Bollywood cinema, no one looked as appetizing in a purple velvet flared jumpsuit than young Rishi Kapoor, son of Raj, grandson of filmi forefather Prithviraj. Now another generation of the Kapoor clan, Rishi’s sweet-faced and smooth-moved son Ranbir, is gracing silver screens big and small in the uber-lush Sanjay Leela Bhansali romance Saawariya, now available on DVD. And he makes his debut oppositeanother up-and-coming Bollywood scion, actor Anil Kapoor’s daughter Sonam Kapoor. IshqInABackpack.com chats with the newcomers about growing up Bollywood.
Growing up a Kapoor must have had its advantages when it came to scoring that big Bollywood break, right?
SONAM: The reason I got to work with Mr. Bhansali in the first place was because I am my father’s daughter, but he never treated me like a kid of a star, he treated me as an individual and I respect him & love him for that. People on the set were also totally professional and quite non-chalant about our backgrounds, and we never expected any special privileges. But I do feel very privileged to be Anil Kapoor’s daughter. My mother has always told me to give people the benefit of the doubt, but also not to see them with rose-tinted glasses.
RANBIR: It’s definitely feels great to be a part of Kapoor Clan. There is an upside because you obviously can get big break and people look forward to seeing your films but the downside is that the expectations are so high. People are critical right down to how your hair or nails look. So, there are ups and downs to everything. I am not saying that somebody else’s struggle is more than mine or mine is more than his. But everyone has his own struggles and I have mine too.
Making your debut in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali flick is no small achievement. You both worked with him behind-the-scenes in Black—what was your experience like in front of the camera?
SONAM: Working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali for the past four years was like going to college and getting an education. I never expected him to pick me as the heroine for this film. When he decided to cast me, the only thing I could say was “Are you serious?” And then I was just grateful to him for having so much faith in me and giving me a sense of self worth and confidence. Whatever I may become in the future as an actor, will be thanks to him. Honestly, I told Rani Mukherjee that I was desperate to work with Sanjay Sir, when I learned she was acting in Black. I began working for him as an assistant on Black. It was during this time that he decided he wanted me as a heroine in one of his movies. My father (Anil Kapoor) is a perfectionist so I know what it is like to push yourself beyond your limitations. Mr Bhansali definitely pushed us beyond our limits, and he actually pushed himself the hardest. Today, after four years with him, I know he is a magician. I am completely in awe of him and can talk to him about anything.
RANBIR: After I saw Devdas, that’s when I decided I wanted to work with him and eventually ended up by assisting him on Black. Saawariya was an out of control experience. I was acquainted with life behind the camera, but being in front of the camera was entirely different. But Sanjay really took good care of Sonam and I. It was a brilliant experience working with him and given the chance, I would love to work with him again. I don’t think I could have had it better than this. But I wouldn’t call Saawariya an easy film to make. I think am too new so I don’t have experience to gauge it. But yes, it wasn’t an easy process. We worked really hard but Mr. Bhansali gave us everything he had. He imparted his knowledge of cinema and of life to us, which helped us a lot. So, I wouldn’t call it easy but I can’t say it was difficult because he made it easier than it could have been for us. I’ve learnt more just working on this one film with him than I could in 10 years. He is a perfectionist. We are more like friends now and through this experienced we were able to share a father-son like bond.
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