Janhvi Kapoor’s Bollywood debut is highly anticipated even by the standard for children of movie stars in the Hindi film industry. Her mother, actress Sridevi’s sudden death in February also piqued interest in the 21-year-old, who plays the lead in the upcoming romantic drama Dhadak (Heartbeat), a remake of the hugely successful Marathi film Sairat.
Since the trailer’s release a month ago, Kapoor and co-star Ishaan Thakker have been under constant scrutiny, whether at their numerous promotional appearances or on social media, where not everyone is happy at what is perceived in some quarters as a Bollywood-ised, airbrushed remake of a regional film.
Kapoor spoke to Reuters about the film, why she reads comments about her on social media, and what it felt like going back to work almost immediately after the death of her mother.
You come from a completely different background than your character Parthivi. What was it like to get under the skin of someone who is nothing like you?
That is the fun of it though. That’s why I want to act, so that I can explore these new things and become these new people. If I was just an ordinary person, which I am, and didn’t have the opportunity to do this film, I would never have known much about Mewari culture or Rajasthan, or be able to speak the dialect. I would never know what it feels like to jump on a train.
I am giving away plot points here, but I would never have known what it feels like to have a baby. It was a fleeting maternal moment. In acting, you have to fool yourself – you mess with yourself into believing things. You play games with yourself to orchestrate certain situations, which is so much fun. I got to learn a lot. I just hope now it translates on screen, otherwise I’m only learning and no one notices.