Three years after Shuddh Desi Romance, Vaani Kapoor has now returned with Befikre. While she has surprised one and all with an altogether different character portrayal, looks, personality and dialogue delivery, she has also managed to hold on to her own despite the hype energy of Ranveer Singh around her. Moreover, she has now returned to the screen as an Aditya Chopra heroine, something that only a few leading ladies have managed in the last 20 years. The film has hit the screens now and reactions have started coming in. Meanwhile, Vaani is happy that her film has managed to open well at the Box Office too.
In its spirit, Befikre is a happy film. You must have loved the vibes around you during its filming?
Yes, it is about this contemporary modern couple and has a very different take to their relationship. It is a very un-Bollywood kind of a movie, something that we haven’t seen before. The treatment is very different and unusual with a very new and fresh feel to it. There is certain energy in play there. I am a big Bollywood buff and I love filminess but then Befikre doesn’t really have anything like that there. The lines that are spoken are not treated as dialogues, they are more of conversations.
How easy was it for you to actually connect with the character you are playing in the film? After all, without that it would have been difficult to portray this character for screen.
I agree that there has to be some sort of ground to form a connection and understand how your character would react in certain situations. It eventually comes out from within you. You have to discover something new about yourself or incorporate from certain references. That said, frankly I didn’t have any live reference point. I studied a lot of French movies since this girl is born and brought up in Paris. I observed a lot, their body language, the way they speak etc. etc. I did make some friends in Paris. I used to be around them, talking to them; it really gave me a different insight. It was inspiring.
You have also experimented with your wardrobe and look in a major way when compared to your debut film, Shuddh Desi Romance.
In my first movie I was so new and raw; I was also scared to experiment or to bring something of my own. I did something that my director had in his mind. I wasn’t confident on taking calls around whether should I do this or that or improvise. My level of confidence as an actor wasn’t as much. In any case, even today I still become a nervous wreck. I still think that I may go wrong. Still, when compared to my earlier days, I am a lot more confident than before. In Befikre, I had the courage to go and do something new.
Aditya Chopra must have been a great help too.
Yes, he also gave me space to do something new, to improvise. Sometimes he said that you should do this, sometimes he would say that no stay this way. As an actor, I was a little more comfortable about exploring new things with him around. There was this whole wonderful working relationship where he gave me freedom to explore.
Wasn’t it unnerving though that after Kajol [Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge], Aishwarya Rai Bachchan [Mohabbatein] and Anushka Sharma [Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi], you were only his fourth leading lady?
No, because when he began his workshops with me, he said that he was just helping me on a project while never disclosing that he was the one who would be directing it. It was only when we were quite comfortable with each other when he casually informed that he would be directing it. I took said ‘Good, okay’ and it took me some time to realize that it was really happening. I had got so comfortable working with him in the workshops that I never felt a jolt of this actually happening. Of course, it is a true thing that he is a wonderful director and once in your life, you have to be directed by him.
And of course also work with Ranveer!
Oh yes (smiles). His energy level is infectious. It is very special to be working with him. He is supremely talented and the range that he brings as an actor is incredible. I am lucky that in my second movie I have worked with him. He is one of the finest actors in today’s age. I have never learnt acting; I have never joined school of acting. My learning has been on the sets and it’s been an amazing experience to have him as my co-actor. He has been very kind and supportive and I have only tried my level best to match his energy.