Shraddha Kapoor is one of the country’s young talents who is very careful about the films she does. Her portfolio ranges from films like ‘OK Jaanu’ to ‘Haider’. As a star kid, she seems to bent on convincing us that her privilege is not the reason she is a true star. She has been doing so since day 1. We see her now playing Mumbai gangster, Haseena Parkar in ‘Haseena’.
How was the experience of portraying a gangster?
It is very different from what I have done before. It is emotionally draining. So new in a way! I haven’t met her. But my director did over 2-3 years of research before the film. He actually met her. So, he was so equipped that it really helped me. I listened to her stories and spent time with her family. I wanted to understand what she was like as a person. I wish I had met her.
Did you talk to your father before signing up?
Yes, I did! My father said that if I like the character and want to get involved, I should! That’s his advice for all films.
Have you gone through a physical transformation for the film?
Yes I have. I’ve actually lost some weight in the last months. Gaining weight is easy! But I’m currently on a bit of a diet for ‘Saina’. I ate everything to gain weight. It was amazing! I hogged on burgers and samosas and what not! I wanted my jawline to disappear. So, I had to eat a lot.
How are you prepping for ‘Saina’?
I wake up early in the morning. I am gymming and getting into shape to play her. I’ve started playing badminton. So I train every morning. I sleep and rise early and control my diet. It isn’t easy!
Did you have any reservations about playing a mother?
I didn’t have apprehensions about that. I have a lot of self doubt, you know! My director’s belief in me is very helpful for me. Having someone on the sidelines, it really helps me.
How did you prep for ‘Saina’?
I traveled to Hyderabad to meet with the director. I got a chance to meet Saina herself. It was surreal, because she was on the court and she literally had people just watching her play. I was so honored to be playing her. She is one of the nation’s heroes.
Do you think it is easier to do biopics, where you have a point of reference, or a completely fresh character?
I don’t think you can classify them. Film making itself is just a mammoth task, it’s such a long and challenging process. Every film comes with its own challenges.
How do you deal with playing a person like Haseena emotionally?
It was very emotionally draining. Sometimes, emotions from real life take over and you have no control. It was a hard process. Sometimes, I would go into some zone while shooting. So, I went on a holiday after the film to just let go. I went to Italy with my sister.
‘Haseena’ releases on 22nd September 2017.