Learning from failures

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 17 May 2017 12:32:28

By Mohnish Singh,

Shraddha Kapoor is looking forward to her next film Half Girlfriend. As the film races towards its release, the pretty actress opens up her heart, in the all-heart interaction. Here are the excerpts...

You play the lead Riya Somani in ‘Half Girlfriend’. Did you make any attempt to amp up your glam quotient in the film?

Yes, I had to, as it was the demand of the character. My character Riya Somani comes from an affluent family. She is one of those girls who blow dries her hair, wears prim and proper clothes and is the most popular girl of the college. Every guy wants to be with her. Everybody is of the notion that she must be having a ball in her life but, deep down inside, she is an unhappy girl. She is looking for something that will give her happiness, and that is something that she sees in Madhav. Simplicity attracts her.

What is the most fun part of the film?
It is difficult to choose one aspect as there are many. The fun and very challenging was the basketball aspect. In school, I used to be a substitute player. After this film, I can now say that I am a decent basketball player. So, that was a lot of fun. The training part was hard as I trained for a month.

Do you really believe that there exists something like a ‘Half-Girlfriend’?

I do, because I feel it is quiet existent. Even many of my friends have experienced this. There is something holding them back and there is this feeling that I have to focus on my career, I really want to be with him but I can’t. It’s very sad that because of some situations two persons who like each other can’t be with each other.
Which character was more difficult, your fictional character in Half Girlfriend or the realistic roles in Haseena – The Queen of Mumbai and Saina.

While I was playing Haseena, I had to do a lot of homework on my own to get a better idea of how she used to behave, speak and walk. That was truly challenging for me. And while you’re playing a fictional character you have the liberty to add your own imagination and add your own thoughts to it. But I felt both are challenging.

How was it working with Mohit Suri again?

It was amazing working with him. He is more of a friend now. I feel he knows me a little too well because I carry a different equation with him. As a part of the preparation for my character, he actually made me sit with few high-class Delhi girls so that I could understand their body language well. You will understand that when you see the film.
How is Arjun Kapoor as a co-star?

He is great to work with. He is very eloquent be it in Hindi or English. He has worked very hard on his diction. He brings in that innocence in the film which is visible in his eyes and also the required emotions of his character. He was more expressive and now he is lot more calm.

Your transition from a nobody to a successful actress is amazing. How do you look back at your journey?

I feel my life changed with ‘Aashiqui 2’. It’s strange but I feel that failures teach you the valuable lessons that success doesn’t, because in success everything is going well and it’s only when you’re in challenging situations that you understand and get to learn the most.

‘Laziness is not an option’


By Subhash K Jha

Arjun Kapoor, whose next film is Half Girlfriend, says laziness is not an option in any profession -- especially not when it comes to the acting world.
Half Girlfriend is your second project with Chetan Bhagat. How different was the experience as compared with 2 States?

Chetan Bhagat is the author in both cases. But for 2 States, he gave his consent for a screen adaptation and when the film was completed he was shown the end product and asked for his opinion. That was it. In Half Girlfriend, Chetan was part of the entire journey of filmmaking.
In what way?

He’s a producer on Half Girlfriend and was on the sets almost every day. He was a willing learner on the sets. I had not read either of his novels before approaching the films. But I got to learn a lot from the way he had written the characters.

Was it sheer laziness that made you not read the books before playing film versions?
Not at all. I am subservient to my directors and their command. For both 2 States and Half Girlfriend, I relied on my directors’ vision and interpretation. They never asked me to read the books. Being lazy is not an option in any profession. You don’t become an actor if you want to be lazy.
So it wasn’t laziness?

No. I’ve never been much a book reader. I am more of a movie watcher since I was a kid. Reading was never my hobby.
Whom is Half Girlfriend aimed at?

I think Chetan Bhagat has cracked an important audience. The college-going youngsters for whom education and relationships are the two pillars of existence. Whoever hears the synopsis of Half Girlfriend says he has heard of people to whom this has happened.
Many youngsters who fail in education and/or love commit suicide these days?

It would be unfair of me to generalise on such a sensitive issue. I wouldn’t know what levels of depression they have gone through. I’d never think of suicide as an option. At the same time, it would be easy for me to judge and introspect on life and death. One can only hope and pray that youngsters should stop taking their lives. We should work toward counseling the depressed. Anyone who is depressed should have the option to reach out to people who can help.
Shraddha Kapoor plays someone socially superior. How did you establish that rapport of unequals with her?

I didn’t have to try much. The disparity was evident in the writing. On my part, I didn’t spend time joking and being friendly with Shraddha. I maintained a distance. That was easy to do since Shraddha and I were not the best of friends when we started working together, although we were both from the industry.

Are you now a good basketball player?
Thanks to this film, I can hold my own on the basketball court. I have my basketball coaches to thank for that. Yes,before you ask, I actually had two National Basketball Association coaches on board.

You also had a language coach to teach you the Bihari accent?
Yes, except for a life coach, I had all other coaches on board(laughs).