Interview special: Actor Janhvi Kapoor on her upcoming films, fashion and more

The stylish Janhvi Kapoor is poised to make an impact in Bollywood with a slew of interesting films this year
Janhvi Kapoor
Janhvi Kapoor

Cool, composed and poised — that’s Janhvi Kapoor for you; the older daughter of Boney Kapoor and late superstar Sridevi. With a Bollywood launch opposite Ishaan Khatter with Dhadak in 2018, close on the heels of her mother’s unexpected demise, Janhvi has surely grown up all too soon.

She’s also the face of a cosmetic brand, and a fashion icon to over 7.6 million followers on Instagram. Janhvi no doubt features among the most promising youngsters of Bollywood alongside her contemporaries including Sara Ali Khan, Kartik Aaryan and Ananya Pandey, among others. Career-wise, Janhvi is in no hurry at all and is intent on making all the right moves.

Earlier this year, she was seen in Zoya Akhtar’s segment in the horror anthology film and Netflix original, Ghost Stories, a role for which she garnered some acclaim. She will also be seen in an interesting bouquet of films this year, including Gunjan Saxena, where she plays the fearless combat pilot. And, that’s not all. Roohi Afzana, a horror-comedy, will see her in a dual role opposite Rajkummar Rao and Dostana 2, alongside millennial heartthrob Kartik Aryan.

A darling to filmmaker-producer Karan Johar — who was also extremely close to her mother, Sridevi — the young actress is also a part of the ensemble cast of the much-anticipated magnum opus, Takht and Mr Lele, which stars Varun Dhawan and Bhumi Pednekar, and is slated for a 1 January 2021 release.

Recently, in Kolkata to walk the ramp for Anamika Khanna along with her brother, Arjun Kapoor at the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour, the 22-year-old actor sat down for a quick chat about fashion, acting and how her father and brother are her constant sources of strength. Excerpts:

<em>Arjun Kapoor, Janhvi Kapoor and designer Anamika Khanna</em>
Arjun Kapoor, Janhvi Kapoor and designer Anamika Khanna

This was the first time that you walked the ramp for Anamika Khanna. How was it?

I have worn her designs plenty of times before, but this is the first time I was her showstopper. I have always been a great admirer of her work and what she stands for. While her personality is reflected in each of her designs, the way the garments are conceptualised and stylised ensures that it also brings out the wearer’s personality. Anamika’s clothes can be fun, they can be classic or ethnic. At times, they are simple, at other times, they are heavy or colourful or monochromatic. They can be anything and everything, and yet, they are honest to who she is. The clothes are also how she perceives India — a lovely mix of heritage, culture and history that’s also very young, fastgrowing and evolving.

After Ghost Stories, we will see you in Roohi Afzana, another ghost movie...

I play a dual role in Roohi Afzana. It’s a horror-comedy with Rajkummar Rao. I had signed on for Roohi Afzana much before I agreed to work in Ghost Stories. It will be a fun film to watch out for.

How was it to work with Kartik Aryan in Dostana 2?

It was so much fun. Kartik is an amazingly skilful actor. He can read scenes and understand them instantly. He always makes sure everyone is comfortable on sets, and makes us laugh. He has great energy.

<em>Actor Janhvi Kapoor</em>
Actor Janhvi Kapoor

How did it feel playing the fighter pilot, Gunjan Saxena?

I think it is the greatest honour and my biggest blessing in life so far. I can’t wait for people to watch it.

What kind of roles do you look forward to?

I look out for characters that are very different and have something to say. All the characters that I have shot so far are enormously different from each other, and me. It’s really exciting to dive into, and explore their worlds.

Does your brother Arjun offer you any tips?

Arjun does give me tips. He always tells me to listen to my heart, and do what I feel is right. He is very wise, like my father, and besides Karan (Johar), I trust Arjun’s judgement a lot.


Fitness, fashion & more

Personal fashion choices: ‘I am almost always in my gym clothes. I usually have meetings or readings set up in the day, so, I prefer living in my gym clothes. That way, whenever I get an hour, I can run to the gym. I like wearing shorts and loose pants. For ethnic wear, I love saris, especially chiffons. The way Manish Malhotra has cracked the glamourous Indian sari, no one else can — it’s equal parts filmy and chic.’

Now binge-watching: ‘(The thriller series) You. It’s on Netflix.’

First thing to do when awake: ‘I have two spoons of ghee, and I look at my phone’s wallpaper, which has a picture of my parents.’

Favourite workouts: ‘Pilates and weight training.’



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