May 11, 2010

Sonam Kapoor: "I am in a space where I don’t want to date anyone"

Sonam Kapoor on her upcoming films, Deepika, Ranbir and life as a singleton. We profile the modern day Emma

Theirs seems to be a regular household. Dad’s gone to work, mom’s out meeting her friends, the children (Sonam, Rhea, Harshvardhan) are here, there and everywhere doing their own thing. Sonam is busy resisting chocolate, which is truly a hard day’s work in her estimate. “My parents really dote on us kids. We really believe the sun shines out of our bums because that’s the impression they have given us. They have given us enough self-esteem.”

She deviates a bit stating that being an actor is not the be all and end all of her life. She can do so many other things. “We kids don’t think our careers define us. We have a good grounding and value system. At the same time we are not ashamed to work. I think it’s a very middle class thing to believe in working hard in order to earn the right amount of money. I’ve never been afraid of being a peon. As an assistant director I ran around Chor Bazaar, taking the rickshaw or the train. My mom never let me take the bus but I could take the train or a rickshaw. If I quit acting tomorrow I’ll survive. I haven’t taken money from my parents since I was 17.”

She talks about the varied roles she has played. Her upcoming films have her pitted against art film favourite Abhay Deol in Aisha (her home production) and heartthrob Imran Khan in I Hate Luv Storys. She says she is more like Simran in I Hate… than Aisha. “Aisha is hyper, a meddler and Simran is more real, like me. She is an art director in the film. I used to do art direction and when Punit Malhotra (the director) came to me with the script, I was like, “This is me. You have used me as your inspiration, haven’t you?”
I immediately have to ask. But even before I open my mouth to frame the question she gives me a knowing look. “No, I am not dating Punit,” she shrugs. “He is a wonderful guy and we are great friends but we are not seeing each other. I am in a space where I don’t want to date anyone. I don’t want to be in a relationship just now. But more importantly even if I were, I wouldn’t talk about it. You would never get a confirmation or a denial from me.”

Both these films are important to Sonam. She hasn’t had a certified box office hit so far. Both her earlier outings, opuses as they were, came a cropper. Ask her if she is a little worried and she looks totally taken aback, “Why should I be worried? I have only played author backed roles so far and I am continuing to do so. I may sound immodest but I don’t think filmmakers like Rakeysh Mehra and Sanjay Leela Bhansali would have invested Rs 50 crore on me if they hadn’t seen something worthwhile. I have talent backing me.”

Yet ‘arch rival’ Deepika Padukone seems to have raced a little ahead. Sonam’s brow crinkles in exasperation as she remarks, “I don’t think anyone has raced ahead of anyone else. We all have our own paths to follow and our own graphs. Deepika is in a very different mould than me. We both have our own journeys. We were pitted against each other during Saawariya and Om Shanti Om because the media couldn’t possibly pit Ranbir Kapoor against Shah Rukh Khan for god's sake.” About her equation with the leggy contemporary she says, “I knew Deepika through Ranbir. I am not sure what equation I have with her now that they have broken up. There was potential for a friendship there but I guess our busy schedules got in the way.”

And no question on Deepika can be (unfortunately) complete without a question on Ranbir . Her childhood friend, reportedly one-time sweetheart, debut co-star. Where do they stand today especially when the reports about their equation keep varying every six months? “Ranbir and I are and will always be good friends,” she says softly. “But lately we have drifted apart. We don’t talk much. But I do know that when we do it will be from exactly where we left off.”

Sukanya Venkatraghavan