Known for her energetic and loving personality, this girl got it all…gorgeous looks, immense talent and a good heart. In her scenes, her enactment of the characters, you always get the hint of those transient moments that have an indelible impact on us!
She started earning at the age of 18 and hence financed all her desires on her own. From being a waiter to walking the ramp with elegance, she has done it all. The IT girl of Bollywood at present tells us how she made her foray into Bollywood in spite of being a star kid. You might like speaking and talking to her but when we spoke to her, our liking changed into love almost immediately. And we bet the same for you as well.
Fashion, glamour, glitz, hard work, ability and expressions: A Concoction of which of the following flavours do you see in a potential actress?
Well, number one is definitely going to be hard work! Frankly speaking, it has taken a lot of hard work for me, at least, to be here in a lot of ways. I started at 90 kilograms and it has taken a lot of hard work for me to reach wherever I am today. I have auditioned for all the roles that I have portrayed on screen. In fact, I had multiple auditions for ‘Sawaariya’ and similarly for ‘Delhi 6’ to get the roles. So, that in its self is a very difficult process. I have auditioned for every film except ‘I hate Luv Storys’. The hours that we actually put in to make the film ready for the audience is in itself a proof of the hard work that we put into it. Fashion, I think is very important, in terms of how you carry yourself and how you express yourself. I feel Fashion is a sense of expression because you are expressing yourself to your clothes! Being expressive in terms of who you are and showing your individuality by creating a personality is very relevant, especially if you become iconic! When you are someone who people look upto, you need to have your own personality. You cannot be like everybody else. Then it is expression: you need to be very expressive and talented to be a part of this industry. It does not matter whose daughter you are or how beautiful you are, it is the measure of how much talent you have and how much hard working you are that is going to matter eventually!
Very few people know that though you are a star kid, you did not have an easy way into the industry. Share some moments from life how it used to be then!
I was an assistant director for Sanjay (Leela Bhansali) in the beginning when he told me that he was making a film called ‘Saawariiya’ and he would like me to act in the movie! But for acting in it, I need to audition for the movie. That’s what he told me. All these girls had auditioned for the same role. There was Shivani Kapoor who used to be a model, Shraddha Kapoor (Shakti Kapoor’s daughter) auditioned for it. A lot of girls auditioned for it and I was one of them! Eventually, he selected me to play Sakina in his film. It is a process, you have to struggle a lot, you have to act, you have to get and click some good pictures! Fortunately, I take very good pictures. So that has always helped me in my auditions. I have always been auditioned for my photograph. There used to be people who would check my photographs and would ask me to come for the auditions. When I did ‘Delhi-6’, he probably auditioned all the girls in the entire industry. But I had just one meeting with him and he decided to take me in the film. So you have to struggle, you have to find out what films people are making and get rejected very often. You go to big banners like ‘Yashraj’ and ‘Dharma’ for work. They take your audition and either they like you or they don’t like you, without even caring who your father is or who your mother is! Film making is a business and they put money in you. You need to be successful and talented to shoulder that responsibility. I think it matters who your dad is because people treat you differently but it doesn’t matter when it comes to getting work under any banner!
You were launched with Sanjay Bhansali’s ‘Saawariya’ which might not have worked well at the box office but it did earn you instant recognition. How was your feeling then and now when you look back at it?
What happens with my films is that the public starts identifying so much with the characters that I play which assures that I have done my job convincing. It acts like a compliment for me. I put through who I actually am! After ‘Saawariya’ people thought I must have been the soft, shy, Indian girl and after Delhi-6 they felt I was very spunky and very pretty, again very Indian! With I Hate Luv Storys, I was the clichéd romantic heroine and after ‘Aisha’ I was the spoilt rich brat! With each and every film, people start identifying with me and my character. I like the fact that even if the audience doesn’t remember my films, they do remember Sakina, Bittu, Aisha or Simran. And hopefully, after Players, they will also remember Naina!
‘Saawariya’ opened so many crossroads for you. Films followed, you garnered applauses and you got labeled as a fashionista. But does Sonam still crave for a solo hit?
Well, I think I have got them with ‘I Hate Luv Storys’ and ‘Aisha’. Aisha was completely like my own film and it did have a 15 crore weekend at the box office! For a solo female film, that is quite a high number! It was also a first of its kind. After that, ‘No One killed Jessica’ and ‘The Dirty Picture’ came! It’s just got better from there. But then, it was just a mode of telling what the future of the industry is going to be. So for me, these two movies were really turning points in terms of business. Also, none of my films have opened small ever! In fact every film of mine has always opened big. Unfortunately, a lot of my big films have not lived up to my expectations but I have never ever been critically panned by anybody when my performance is concerned. For me, that is the most important thing. At least people like the way I act. Whichever of my films does do well, it is just like a cherry on the top!
Even then when a list of industry’s top actresses is made, somehow people miss out on you. Did you ever get bogged down by this?
I must admit that I do think that I am among the top 5 actresses. When people think about which actress to cast and there are 5 choices, I am definitely one of them. So I do not agree with you on that. I have always worked with the biggest film makers. I will continue working with the biggest filmmakers next year as well. So I have never ever felt that honestly. If I worked with a Sanjay Bhansali, Rakesh Mehra, Karan Johar, now with Abbas-Mustan, then Rajkumar Santoshi and Mani Ratnam, I fell privileged to be having this opportunity. When I came out, I sort of put myself in a bracket because of the choices I made. I never did anything that was not of quality.
With ‘Players’ we got to see a newer avatar of the lovely Sonam we knew. You have ventured into the action arena with this film. How was the entire experience?
I was expecting the film to do well and it did not live upto my expectations. It was a complete masala film, a very commercial movie and it is a lot of fun! You don’t need to go there thinking I am going to watch this deep dark film which will take me on a jouney! It will definitely take you on a journey but that would be a roller coaster ride. It is a fun, fun film! You just go there and get entertained!
Yes I’m very excited to work with Rakesh Mehra again. He is one of my favourite directors and I worked with him in my 2nd film, which has been one of my closest films.
You are one of the most straight forward and frank celebrity in the industry. You have always called “a spade a spade”. Do you think your unabashed staright-forwardedness is what makes some people take you negatively?
I don’t thrive on any kind of negativity. I think people appreciate me because I’m straight forward and don’t find me diplomatic or fake!
Dad Anil Kapoor has put his steps forward for Hollywood. With Hollywood brand endorsements already in your kitty, are you also planning to do a Hollywood movie given a chance?
Yes why not? If the script is good and it’s a character driven role, I would be more than happy to jump at the offer! (Smiles)
When can we see you and your dad together on screen?
Hopefully soon, considering we have already done a TV commercial together and it was really appreciated. We would definitely be seen together in sometime from now, I wish!