Showbiz / Complicated Love: Our Exclusive Chat With Sonam Kapoor On Her New Rom-Com Film “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga“

Complicated Love: Our Exclusive Chat With Sonam Kapoor On Her New Rom-Com Film “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga“

Showbiz Feb 01, 2019

Bollywood force Sonam Kapoor talks working with her dad and making movies that say something. Read more in our exclusive chat with Sonam Kapoor on her new rom-com film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga. 

A shy young woman named Sweety (Sonam Kapoor) is swooned over by a would-be suitor (Rajkummar Rao), pestered by her parents (Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla) to find someone to marry, and even longs for that special bond herself. Alas, she’s got a secret in her heart she’s not sure family, friends or society will accept.

Given that first-time writer-director Shelly Chopra Dhar’s Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is being marketed as “the most unexpected romance of the year,” that’s about as specific as the studio and stars were willing to get. (Though you may have already guessed the twist.)

Luckily, we found plenty to talk about with leading lady Sonam Kapoor, including the excitingly “ordinary” quality of this particular love story, what it was like sharing the screen with her real-life dad, the importance of using fame to shine a light on issues that matter and what it means to her to be a “style icon.”

 

Our Exclusive Chat With Sonam Kapoor On Her New Rom-Com Film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
Our Exclusive Chat With Sonam Kapoor On Her New Rom-Com Film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga.  Theatrical poster. Photo Credit: Fox Star

 

Matt Currie: This movie is being marketed as “the most unexpected romance of the year,” and I know you can’t give out too many spoilers. But what can you tell me about your character Sweety’s journey and why it stands out in the genre?

Sonam Kapoor: So basically it’s about a very shy, unassuming, awkward girl who is completely trying to find a connection in her life. And I feel like she’s every young person I’ve ever met — you’re constantly trying to connect with people, and sometimes you feel like you are so different that people won’t understand you and you’ll never find that connection. That’s the saddest thing about Sweetie, and it’s her finding that connection through the film.

MC: How would you pitch this film to an audience? What can they expect?

You feel like you’ve seen this film before, but then at the same time, you haven’t . . . you see your family and you see your friends, and then you also recognize yourself in it. It’s about very ordinary people, and I think that’s what’s exciting about it more than anything else. For me, that’s very exciting.

 

Our Exclusive Chat With Sonam Kapoor On Her New Rom-Com Film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga.
Our Exclusive Chat With Sonam Kapoor On Her New Rom-Com Film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga: Anil Kapoor plays on-screen father to his real-life daughter. Photo Credit: Fox Star

 

MC: What was it like working with your father on this film?

SK: Well, obviously working with my dad has been a revelation. We found a script that inspired us enough to work together, where each of us had a character that was inspiring for us to work on. At first we were nervous, but once we got on set, there was a natural rhythm. My father’s obviously been working for, like, 40 years, and I’ve been working for 12. Our lives have been on movie sets, so it was just really natural.

MC: What do you look for when you’re choosing a new project?

SK: Something that challenges me. Something that’s entertaining to a wider audience, but has something to say.

MC: How did this film challenge you specifically?

SK: Well, my character is very shy and reserved and she doesn’t say much. And I think for an actor, shyness is one of the hardest aspects to portray. To be silent and to express without too much emotion and to [communicate] everything, I think was the hardest thing for me to do.

Our Exclusive Chat With Sonam Kapoor On Her New Rom-Com Film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga.
Our Exclusive Chat With Sonam Kapoor On Her New Rom-Com Film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga: Rajkummar Rao as Sahil, the young writer who’s smitten by Sweety. Photo Credit: Fox Star Studios

 

MC: You’ve obviously got a very high profile, you’ve been active on social media, and you seem to use that profile to bring attention to causes that are important to you, like breast-cancer awareness and LGBTQ rights. Do you remember when you first started feeling the responsibility to use the power that comes with fame in that way?

SK: I’ve always been encouraged to have a voice for the things that I support. That was instilled in me from my childhood by my parents and by my education. I think as soon as I had the opportunity, I started doing it. Because I realized people were affected by what I said very early on. And I think when you have that sort of impact, whether you like it or not, you should use it to real benefit.

MC: You were also recently in a movie called Pad Man that got a lot of international attention, engaging with the taboo issue of sanitary pads and women’s health in India. What does it mean to you when you can be in a movie that blends entertainment and activism?

SK: Obviously, art it a reflection of society. Once in a while, you create something that can effect change in some way. And I endeavour to be part of art like that. Films like Pad Man or Veere Di Wedding or even Ek Ladki Ko Dekha are those sorts of film where they are aspirational or are symbolic or have something to say. I think it’s important to be part of films like that .  . . and [also] to entertain the audience, because if it’s not entertaining, they’re not going to come in and watch what you have to say.

 

Our Exclusive Chat With Sonam Kapoor On Her New Rom-Com Film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga: Sweety worries her father Balbir won’t be able to accept what’s really in her heart. Photo Credit: Fox Star

MC: Throughout your career, you’ve been anointed a “style icon” by the media. Is that something you sought out or something that you were just labeled?

SK: I think it was a label [laughs]. I do love dressing up. I do it because I love clothes and I think fashion is a form of art; I’m an artist and I like expressing myself. I dress for myself and I trust what I feel and how I feel, and that’s it. I think people recognized that I wasn’t conforming to what ideals of beauty were and I was just experimenting with clothes and appreciating them and wearing them because I like them. Being [called a style icon] was unexpected.

MC: What do you most want to accomplish over the course of your career? What would you consider a success?

SK: When I started out, I had one idea of what I wanted to do, and that was to go down in posterity as being a part of films that changed the way people thought and effected change in some way or the other. I hope I’m a part of a couple of those films by the end . . . I want to be working until the day I drop dead, I want to say in film.

Our Exclusive Chat With Sonam Kapoor On Her New Rom-Com Film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga: Alternate theatrical poster. Photo Credit: Fox Star

Main Image Photo Credit: Fox Star

Matthew Currie

Matthew Currie

Author

A long-standing entertainment journalist, Currie is a graduate of the Professional Writing program at Toronto’s York University. He has spent the past number of years working as a freelancer for ANOKHI and for diverse publications such as Sharp, TV Week, CAA’s Westworld and BC Business. Currie ...

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