Sonam Kapoor has not been on a film set for over a year now. She is probably missing it, but that’s an actor’s life. Her closest rival Deepika Padukone didn’t even have a release in 2016. Sonam was to start work on her home production Veere Di Wedding, which was pushed to this year. The film kicks off now in May. Meanwhile, the actress has been basking in the glory of her last performance (and awards) for Neerja. Here, she talks about her upcoming films, insecurities, rivalry and equal pay for women. Read on….

Losing to Alia Bhatt at Screen
If I haven’t won it, then I believe that it was what they thought was the best. That’s up to Star Screen. I was not offended. I am just excited to be nominated, it makes me feel really good. I don’t know if it’s important, but it does make you feel good about yourself. If the audience thinks I deserve to win, I am thrilled. Getting the audience’s love is all an actor craves for. So when they feel I deserve it, it means the world to me. But how can I force someone to give me an award? Maybe other actors can, but that’s not my personality. I don’t think I would change who I am to just win an award. I am really glad that the audiences think I should win, but I also believe it shouldn’t be about winning. It takes away from Neerja and it makes me feel uncomfortable after a point.

Constant reinvention is key
I am very excited about my line-up of films. I wanted to do interesting projects which are different. It’s important to keep changing the tracks and finding new ways to reach out to your audiences. What’s important is to keep reinventing yourself. The fact that there are four women in a project is amazing and I am super-excited about it. Bebo, Swara, Shikha and I are all excited about Veere Di Wedding. We are working very hard to make Veere a fun, successful film which everybody can watch.

Why so serious?
I don’t like the term ‘women-centric’ films at all. I don’t understand why people think that strong female characters can’t be fun. Why is it not commercial? It is important to realise that we can also do that. With Aisha and Khoobsurat, that’s what we were trying to do. Just because it’s helmed by a girl, it doesn’t have to be a serious film or it has to be a film that is not beautiful-looking or isn’t glossy. Khoobsurat encouraged us in the way that it made us realise that we can have great films with great directors and great songs. But it can also be a happy film at the end of it all and it can have women who are commercially viable actors.

Enough insecurities
See, there are a lot of insecurities that people go through. We are not competing with each other. Rather, we are just competing with ourselves trying to better our previous work. It’s important for women to support other women, especially in a patriarchal society like ours. That’s the only way we can go forward, not by being stupidly competitive with each other and pulling each other down. For Veere…, Kareena and I hope that we can change that perception.

Kapoor-Kapoor connect
Our families have been friends for three generations now. That’s reason enough for us to be as close. I am so glad that we bond so famously well. Her dadi and my dadi are best friends. Raj (Kapoor) sir and my grandfather used to work together. Our families have been very, very close and I don’t think that should ever change. The way Bebo and I think, there’s no negativity. The way we live our lives or even our perspective towards life in general, is very similar. We like to have fun and at the same time, bring in some integrity to our work or a film we are a part of. And above all, we are very straightforward.

Not on equal footing
Definitely, in this industry, there is a pay disparity. Women, no matter how successful they have been, in the past one year or more, are still not given the same respect and the monetary compensation they deserve.”