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'I treat Nani like one of my girlfriends', says Vaani [Interview]

She comes across as a livewire, effervescent and cheerful person. Not to forget, she talks a mile a minute.

Vaani Kapoor
She comes across as a livewire, effervescent and cheerful person. Not to forget, she talks a mile a minute.

Tell Vaani Kapoor that and she laughs, “Oh, I am quite moody. Most of the time, I’m lazy and laidback, but there are days when am super happy and energetic as well. Guess it’s one of those days now.” The actress gets chatting with Chennai Times on her south debut, her equation with Nani, what awards mean to her and more…

You’ve won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut this year. What do awards mean to you? They are huge for me, and Filmfare is like the Indian Oscar. My family and friends love watching award shows, and when they give it so much importance, you end up giving a lot more importance to it. It’s very flattering to receive an award. It shows that people from the industry and the audience acknowledge you; it shows that you are good at what you do. I got almost all the best debut awards this year, and it’s a great feeling for me. That said, it’s not the be all and end all for me.
Do you think Aaha Kalyanam is the right debut vehicle for you in the south film industry? Band Baaja Baaraat is one of my favourite films. The story and the characters are believable and they have a nice emotional connect with each other, and even the audience. So, when I got the opportunity to star in its remake, I didn’t want to say no. The film needs performers, and I was elated to get this offer because I’m just one-film-old in the industry. But, it’s not like I just walked in and got the role; I had to audition for it. I had to work on two languages — Tamil and Telugu — for the film. Director Gokul had come to Mumbai and gave me two days to mug my lines.

Remembering lines in a language you are not familiar with must have been quite a task… I’m not saying I’ve made an impossible job possible. There are so many north Indian actresses who have mastered these languages. I was not a 90 per cent-student in academics, but I knew I had to remember my lines and deliver them properly if I wanted to be in the film. I would get frustrated if I got it wrong. But it was a huge challenge for me and I wanted to prove myself.

What kind of an equation do you share with Nani? I treat him like one of my girlfriends. I bully him, trouble him, fight with him and take his case. Initially, he was very reserved and used to stick to his phone. Right after our first shot together, we started recognizing and respecting each other as actors. It became easy for me to understand my character and lines with his help. Nani is a very sweet person, and so is his wife. The three of us hung out together and even partied the last time I was in Hyderabad. I’m also very comfortable with the team and am still in touch with them.

Do you feel part of the south industry now? More than me feeling a part of the industry, I hope the industry accepts me. That said, I must say I feel welcome here. When I was shooting for my film, the entire team was warm and respectful towards me. I’m usually nervous on set, but they put me to ease.
Whose comments or criticism matters the most to you? I wait for those who genuinely know my strength and weakness to tell me how I have performed in a film. What Aditya Chopra has to say matters a lot to me not only because he introduced me, but because he makes a lot of sense. I will never want to let my casting director Shanoo, director Maneesh and my co-stars down; they are my best critics. But, I also want others — people from the industry and the audience — to tell me how I have fared.

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