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Amar Kaushik's directorial debut film Stree is set to release on 31st August. The film stars Rajkummar Rao, Shraddha Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Aparshakti Khurrana and Abhishek Banerjee. Amidst the film promotions, we got a chance to talk with the beautiful and talented actress Shraddha Kapoor. She talks about how excited she is to be a part of the horror -comedy film and said, "I am thankful to the director and producers (Maddock Films) for thinking of me for Stree".
In a chat with Filmibeat, Shraddha Kapoor says, "I try not to get much attached to success or to failure. What I want to do is to do better work, to bring improvement in me. And offer audience something different with each film I do. I want to be remembered with my work."
Excerpts from the interview are as below....
What made you say a 'yes' to Stree?
"I really loved the script. I laughed quite a lot during its narration. Within 10 minutes of the narration, I was sure that I am doing this film. I had to say a yes. I was like, 'thank God they offered this to me'. It's such a unique story about a female ghost."
So, you were not sceptical about playing the role of a ghost?
"See, we don't know if I am the ghost yet (Laughs..). But there is nothing to be sceptical, I just wanted to be a part of a good film. And this movie has a great story, great dialogues. Then I knew about the star cast Rajkummar, Pankaj Tripathi, Aparshakti, so I was like really excited. This was an opportunity for me of a lifetime. Doing this film had it's own challenges. Every one was so supportive and encouraging on the sets, so I had to put pressure on myself. I really wanted to be as good as them."
We've heard that Stree is a franchise? Is that true?
"The director and producer will be able to give you a proper answer to this. But ya, I would love to be a part of a franchise like this."
How do you see the present scenario of stardom versus content?
"I think now the audience decides what they want to watch and there are no rules. Sometimes, the biggest film with a huge star cast does not work. I think now the line between big film, small film, commercial film, and a non- commercial film is quite blur. Now content is getting more importance and it is an exciting time for all of us."
But it is also disheartening when a particular film, where you have put in a lot of effort, doesn't work, isn't it?
"Ya, it is. Because we work hard on any film for months. But you have to accept the rejections as well. And that's how cinema works. Here audience is everything. This puts more pressure on us to bring more and more good content and to be a part of films which have that material."
When a film doesn't do well, do you lose confidence? How do you take it?
"I try not to get much attached to success or failure. What I want to do is to do better work, to bring improvement in me. And offer the audience something different with each film I do. I want to be a part of really good content-driven films."
Do you go back and think what went wrong? And did that change the way of your selecting a script?
"I think it didn't change the kind of films I wanted to be a part of definitely, because I am doing another biopic right now of Saina Nehwal. I can just work hard and give 100 percent to my audience. Probably my perception changed a bit. I don't want to do the kind of movies I have done before. For now, I just want to do films with good content."
How is the Saina Nehwal biopic preparation going on?
"It's going on really well. It is very challenging, very tough. I have to be very good in a very short span of time. She is a champion and doing it since years. So I am trying hard, at the same time I am also doing another challenging film, which is Saaho."
Do you believe in the Box Office rat race in Bollywood?
"I don't want to make it my ultimate goal. My focus is to be a part of memorable films, I want to be remembered."
What are the suggestions your father (Shakti Kapoor) gives to you while choosing a particular script or a role?
"He always encourages me. Because he knows the value of even getting a film in this industry. I am born with a silver spoon, but things were not like this with him. I too find it very difficult to say a 'no' to a film. I have my own struggle to make my mark in the industry. You have to keep working hard. I don't take things for granted. My father has such a deep value of the film industry, because it has given him so much and he cherishes this a lot. This industry is very close to his heart."
Talking about your father, Shakti Sir has been one of the most versatile actors of Bollywood. So when you look back to his films, do you also feel the desire to want to do a comedy or a negative role?
"There is definitely a desire. I wish at sometime people say that she could match up to her father. There is a long way to go. He shares many stories about the roles he has played, about the nuances and it's very interesting. I would love to do a versatile kind of work and I hope it will come to my way soon."
As you are working in a horror-comedy, do you believe in ghosts?
"(Laughs!!) I don't know. Sometimes it's like 'Lagta hai ki hai, lagta hai ki nahi hai...' I sleep with one light on because I am scared of darkness. So those little things are there. But yes, I have not experienced anything like ghosts so I don't believe. I am more scared of thunder and lightening."
Nowadays, actors are open to go and meet the directors, producers, etc., to get a film. Have you ever done that? Or how do you see it?
"Something like this happened with Haider. I came to know Vishal sir is working on this project, so I messaged him and also asked my manager if we could get to meet him somehow. And he was open to meeting. He asked me to give an audition, so I gave an audition and got the part. I am always open to approach people. And why not?"
At one point of time you had 5 super-hits in a row. But after that, 3 films consecutively didn't meet the expectations. So, how did you manage both success and a sudden drop?
"I just know that it's all in the audience's hand. If they don't want to watch, they will not. Somewhere, I also think that the bar was so high that in comparison to that, everything else seemed to be not enough probably. Like Half Girlfriend has done decent business but people thought like 'Yaar ye to blockbuster nahi hai'. But I am proud of all the films I did."