In over two months since the nationwide lockdown, Vaani Kapoor has experienced myriad moods. But it is remaining “mentally balanced”, that she feels, will keep everyone hopeful and optimistic through his pandemic. As for her career front, she hopes to bounce back and do films for the big screen. Excerpts from the interview:
How have the four phases of lockdown treated you and vice versa?
There is a phase when you want to be so productive/creative and you have all the time in the world to dig into your creative side. Then there is a phase that you hit where you just want to be in an absolutely vegetative state — do nothing, sleep and eat all day, although I didn’t have house help and all the household chores were on me so I didn’t have the luxury to laze much. You also feel very blah, you feel a little restless, you feel all sorts of emotions, you feel worried, you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, so it gets a bit scary and wary. But then you also then start believing in being hopeful, optimistic, and you know that eventually we will conquer it and we will be over this crisis and pandemic. So, I think I have pretty much experienced all phases and all moods.
What is currently on the mind and what does your heart desire at this juncture from your personal and professional life?
Currently, I think everybody is hoping and praying for life to just resume to being normal again. On the professional front, I want to start working soon and be part of cinema that entertains audiences thoroughly in theatres. Doing good films and working with the finest. Learn and evolve from where I stand today in life.
As cliched as it may sound, do you miss days of being ‘befikre’? It’s something we perhaps won’t be for a long time!
Absolutely, I don’t enjoy having to see so many people suffer like this. Nobody wants to witness a pandemic but someday it will be history and we will conquer and move on from it. Life will eventually resume to normal. That’s just the hope and that’s one thought we all need to carry with us right now.
Talking of which, intimacy on screen will take a beating whenever shooting begins. As an actor, how wary will you be yourself?
I think we should all wait for proper guidelines to come into effect before guessing how cinema will be shot. We are an intimate and a personal industry and I think all steps will be taken to ensure safety of everyone concerned and not just of actors.
There has been immense buzz that your film Shamshera might just be in the fray for a direct to OTT release. Does the thought that a film originally made for theatres, could release on a streaming platform, make you uncomfortable?
Shamshera is a total big screen experience and the makers will be releasing it in theatres. I have seen some portions of the film and I can tell you that it is a massive spectacle, a huge entertainer for the big screen that audiences will love to enjoy with their friends and families.
Considering that streaming platforms have garnered immense viewership during the lockdown, will/are you considering any projects — films or series — especially for digital release?
I am always open to good work as long as the content is so mind-blowing that one wants to be a part of it. But yes, as of now, my focus is on doing films that are big screen experiences and getting to work with the finest directors and filmmakers of India.
There is talk that you may be starring next with Akshay Kumar in Bell Bottom, final script narrations for which have been in full swing.
Honestly, I never talk about the films that I am doing until the producers officially announce it, so we will just have to wait for official announcements on my next films.
Scrolling through your social media page, one realises you have tried to keep yourself positive during this time.
It is the positivity, honestly, that will keep us sane and there is no other way but to be hopeful for things to normalise as soon as possible. I think when you are mentally balanced, you can take on pretty much any challenge and survive any circumstance, so I think it’s very important for your mental health to keep yourself hopeful and optimistic.
What are some of the causes you are aiding during this time?
I’m associated with an initiative that is providing free meals for daily wage earners of our country. We all have to do our bit for the needy during this pandemic and I’m trying my best to help as many people as possible.
We also don’t see you overactive on social media, especially at a time when content from celebs is burgeoning on the Internet.
I have never been really overactive on social media. It’s not just now I like to post something when I really feel like. Otherwise, I am not so crazy about it. Especially in times like these, there are very little activities happening in one’s personal life, so I guess you also get very restrictive with the content that you can put out there.
With the number of protocols likely to be in place post lockdown, especially for film shoots, are you scared a bit about returning to sets or are you looking forward to embracing the new normal?
We obviously will have to take a lot more safety measures, but things will have to eventually return to normalcy. I feel more than being fearful, one will just have to be extra cautious and take preventive measures and try to be cautious. I just can’t wait to be on the set again and start shooting.