Shraddha Kapoor on Stree co-stars Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi: 'Huge fan of their work'

Seema Sinha

Aug,28 2018 08:36:43 IST

It looks like box office duds such as Rock On 2, Ok Jaanu and Haseena Parkar are kind of overshadowing Shraddha Kapoor's 2013 blockbuster Aashiqui 2, and her consecutive super hits like Ek Villain, Haider, ABCD 2 and Baaghi. Hence, when the actress is perpetually asked about her recent string of flops, she feels she shot herself in the foot by giving huge hits, not so long ago.“People have started comparing all my movies to the ones that did Rs 100 crore business or more which is not fair. I feel as if maine apne aap ke hi pair par kulhadi maar li. You know what I mean?” she says. “But of course, nobody went to watch Haseena Parkar (biopic based on underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s sister). The character had a lot of shades to it but I don’t know why it didn’t work,” she laments.

“I just want to say that don’t compare my current films to the past records. Take it for what it is. For instance, Half Girlfriend (opposite Arjun Kapoor) was not a blockbuster, agreed, but it recovered the costs. It did decent business. I understand that films like Rock On and Haseena didn’t work. Ok Jaanu was appreciated by some but didn’t get those box office figures but I feel films shouldn’t be compared. Also, box office is not my focus, my focus is to be part of memorable cinema,” she adds.

Shraddha Kapoor. Facebook

Shraddha Kapoor. Facebook

But Shraddha is hopeful about her upcoming horror thriller Stree (releases on 31 August) opposite one of her favourite actors, Rajkummar Rao. Immediately after that, she will have another release next month, Batti Gul Meter Chalu with her Haider co-star Shahid Kapoor. Saaho, the multilingual that marks her South debut, with Baahubali star Prabhas, will be out next year, followed by the biopic on the life of badminton champion Saina Nehwal, which will go on floors next month.

Shraddha says she was keen on doing a comedy after an intense Haseena Parkar, and when she was narrated Stree by the film's writers Raj and DK, she was “rolling on the floor”. The film, which is apparently based on a true phenomenon, has a unique take on the relationship between a man and a ‘ghost’. “It’s a unique story of a female 'ghost' and how men are scared of her. But I am not revealing whether I am a ghost or a stree (woman). I can’t say more about my character. That’s the suspense. We have to make sure that we keep the mystery around her alive. Our tag line – ‘Mard ko dard hoga’… that, when a man is walking on the streets alone at night, you will find only his clothes but he won’t be found, sounded so funny (giggles). I was also getting an opportunity to work with Rajkummar (Rao) and Pankaj (Tripathi), I am a huge fan of their work,” she says.

However, even as she used to be a huge fan of the horror genre while growing up, Shraddha says that she is not “daring anymore”. “So, I am okay if this film genre is rare in our country because I just can’t sit and watch horror films now. Earlier, Zee horror show was my favourite. Then, I loved films like The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Ring, Paapi Gudiya,” she says, and recounts how as a kid she would make up spooky stories along with her friends. “As kids, when our imagination runs wild. I and my friends in the building created this story around an abandoned bungalow nearby. We came to a conclusion that it was haunted with an old woman living in it for ages. We made a club called 'X-Files' and decided to go and examine the bungalow one day. We entered the bungalow with a torch in hand but soon enough got frightened and fled from there," she laughs uproariously.

Shraddha Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, for Stree/Image from Twitter.

Shraddha Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Aparshakti Khurana and Abhishek Banerjee in poster of Stree/Image from Twitter.

Stree has been extensively shot in a small town called Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh, and confirming the reports that came out during the shoot about the team experiencing some paranormal activities, Shraddha says, with her eyes rolling, “Some spooky stuff actually happened on sets. One light man fell from a height while he was doing some work on the ceiling and he claimed that he was pushed down. Also, they had written instructions for us in the hotel that we should not wear perfume when we were leaving the hotel room and women should not leave the hotel with their hair open. Then there was a 'Hanuman Chalisa' (holy book) kept in our rooms. Now whether one should believe in ghosts or not, I don’t know. Just that I sleep with one light on in my room. I tried to sleep in pitch dark but I just can’t do it. I tried to conquer my fear but it is not happening,” she laughs.

Even as Haseena Parkar was a washout, Shraddha says she has not lost confidence in doing another biopic, on the international sports figure and ace shuttler, Saina Nehwal. Dismissing the reports of the film being indefinitely postponed or deferred, Shraddha says, “I admit that I need more time to train in the sport but the film is very much happening. It is not possible to train in one month and start shooting. Saina is a champion. It’s a demanding film. I have to be really good at the game in a very short time period, whereas she has been playing the sport for many years. I am trying really hard and at the same time, there is yet another physically intense film, Saaho, that I am shooting.” The actress is being trained by National coach Pullela Gopichand but she hopes Nehwal to be present on the sets. “Just that she is so busy in her career and training. But I would love to be trained by her, we just spent some time hanging out. I need to brush up my skills. It is a process. I have done 36 sessions so far but still a long way to go,” she says.

While accepting that she comes from a privileged background, Shraddha say she had her own struggles to get noticed. “I understand that even to bag a film it is a big deal in that sense because there are so many people who want a break and be a part of the industry. I was born with a silver spoon, my dad (actor Shakti Kapoor) has given me everything but yet I had my own struggle to make a mark in the industry. You can’t get complacent and take anything for granted. I do feel bad when my films fail but you can’t take it to heart. Now I am working harder than ever before. I try not to get too attached to success or failure because that keeps changing but I try to keep bettering myself and offer audience something different each time,” signs off Shraddha.

(Also read — Stree music review: Sachin-Jigar's desi, quirky album has hints of horror and dollops of unadulterated fun)

Updated Date: Aug 28, 2018 08:36 AM