Five unknown facts about Sonam Kapoor

On the actress' birthday, we bring you some unknown facts about her

Sonam Kapoor (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)
Sonam Kapoor (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)
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Subhash K Jha

1. Sonam Kapoor was an assistant to Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the sets of Black. So was Ranbir Kapoor. Initially she was not cast with Ranbir in Saawariya . Deepika Padukone was the first choice. But then the temptation to cast Rishi Kapoor’s son and Anil Kapoor’s daughter hit Bhansali. Sonam got the role. But only after losing 40 kilos. The film flopped. Sonam has said, “It was a journey I had to go through. If I had become a successful actress after Saawariya I’d have got a swollen head. I worked hard to establish myself. When roots run deep you can’t cut down a tree easily.

2. Sonam was nearly sacked from Saawariya for not getting it right. This happened in Karjat on the outskirts of Mumbai when the film was midway into its shooting. A huge showdown occurred and Bhansali said he’s shelving the film. The director’s sister and the heroine’s father had to intervene. Finally it was all worth it. In her first interview with me on the eve of Saawariya Sonam said, “It's more exciting than scary. My best friend Navneet came down from Kuwait for the premiere. She got married just last week. I said, 'Listen, that was your wedding. This is my wedding.' I don't know when I'm going to get married. But the premiere was the most important day of my life. I thought Sanjay Sir (Bhansali) and Ranbir being who they are would naturally attract attention. But why me? Some of the questions specially about my friendship with Ranbir were too funny to be embarrassing. I guess I've to get used to being asked strange questions. When you become an actor you become a public figure. I've had 14-15 year olds asking me for autograph. So I realize I do have a responsibility towards the public. I've come to this industry with my eyes open, and I can't shy away from being answerable. But honestly I didn't expect this kind of a response. But anyway they all came for Ranbir. Nobody recognizes me without makeup. So when we went to Siddhi-Vinayak and saw a crowd there I told him it was all his fault.”

3. The turning point for Sonam was Ram Madhvani’s Neerja, which to this day, remains her best work. Playing the airborne martyr who perished while saving passengers from a hostage situation, Sonam was the portrait of vulnerability and strength. The question which everyone wanted answered was, how did Sonam learn to act? Sonam answered the question in an interview with me. “You know, it’s funny. But when you come from certain background, or look a certain way or wear nice clothes people under-estimate you. In Hindi cinema if you don’t wear cotton sarees in every scene you haven’t given a good performance. And if you like to look your best you are not a good actor. Actually it’s the way the world works. Luckily me for me there are filmmakers like Rakeysh Mehra and Aanand Rai who can look beyond my looks and who believe in my talent. There is this belief in the cinema industry the world over that good-looking people cannot act. Well, if that was true we’d have never had a Waheeda Rehman. Madhubala wasn’t taken seriously for the longest time because of her incandescent looks. She was amazing at comedy which for a female actor is a very difficult genre to do. The fabulous Lucille Balle was never taken seriously because she did comic roles. Or Marilyn Monroe...great actress, great comedian, not taken seriously because of her good looks.”

4. Sonam Kapoor’s best friend is her husband Anand Ahuja. Her friends in the industry are Jacqueline Fernandez and Kareena Kapoor Khan. She is no longer in touch with Ranbir Kapoor. But she calls her first director Sanjay Leela Bhansali on his birthday and whenever he is in distress.

5. Sonam who was last seen in The Zoya Factor is all set to take centrestage with a new project. She will star as a blind girl in the Hindi remake of the 2011 Korean film Blind. The entire plot, about an ex-cop who goes blind in an accident that happens while she hunts down a criminal and how she chases him down in spite her physical disability, centres around Sonam’s character. She is no stranger to playing central characters. Sujoy Ghosh who will be the creative producer of this project says, “A friend of mine Shome Makhija is directing the film. It’s an out-and-out female-hero story.” Sujoy who has done female-hero stories with Vidya Balan, feels Sonam is the right fit for this role. Sonam has never done an action film before and we can hope for some awesome action scenes.

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