Sonam Kapoor’s next Neerja, which is a film on the Pan Am hijacking in 1986, will see her in a completely deglamourised avatar. Kapoor gets into the shoes of the 23-year-old air hostess Neerja Bhanot, who saved lives of around 300 hijacked passengers on board, while losing her own life in the process.
It's no surprise that she's had to weather criticism for her acting in the past, but she seems to take it in her stride. “I love criticism. It makes me feel so good about myself,” said Sonam Kapoor in an interview with Firstpost.
However, director Ram Madhvani, who was also a part of the interview, quickly came to her rescue and said, “There is no harm if you have an opinion or a stance. We are all in this opinion-making business. A year and a half before we starting shooting the film, when it was just in the conceptual stage, I was 100 % convinced in my heart that there was nobody else I wanted in my film except for Sonam."
Neerja completely banks on her performance, but Sonam sounds quite confident about the film and claims that the success of many films has ‘rested on her shoulder’.
“I did a film called Aisha and then I did a couple of films which did not work. Straight after that, I did a film called Raanjhanaa and since then every film of mine rested on my shoulder, except Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Bhaag Milkh Bhaag. I don’t think a film particularly rests on an actor’s shoulder unless it is Salman Khan. If it is a good film, it doesn’t matter who the actor is,” said Kapoor.
Madhvani further spoke about her relationship with Sonam, and why it is important for the director and actor to be on the same page.
“When I met her I found that we were like minded, like hearted; there are films that we talked about; there are books where we may not agree, like or dislike, we have read them, we have seen them,” he said, adding, "I am actually very grateful to Atul Kasbekar for getting Sonam on board."
Both Kapoor and Ram Madhvani also revealed that they had to do their fair bit of research before the film, and they didn't mind doing so as it was crucial to the film-making process.
"We are here with an honest, sincere purpose to talk about Neerja and her values," says Madhvani.
Neerja releases on 19 March.