No stranger to the spotlight, Janhvi Kapoor lets us in on the trappings of being a Bollywood progeny, her unconditional love for the movies, and her busy year ahead
Everyone’s got their game face on at what is easily one of our biggest shoots of the year. Couture is being readied while lights and camera find their sweet spot. Somewhere between shortlisting locations and choosing jewellery, Janhvi Kapoor steps into the frenzied scene—barefoot and barefaced. In the few minutes since her arrival, she’s apologised profusely for having kept anyone waiting and has promised to start her first shot in short order—while flashing a smile at the crew. And in a jiffy, she’s off to keep her word.
Outfit: Shriya Som, Accessories: Earrings, bangles (left hand centre two): Khurana Jewellery House, Rings (left hand index finger and right hand index finger): Jadau Jewellery by Falguni Mehta, Bangles (left hand outer two): Rose, Ring (right hand ring finger and left hand ring finger): Raniwala 1881
Back in her room, a playlist of 1990s Bollywood hits reverberates through the speakers. From a distance, she appears almost like a seasoned actress— the focal point of the room as her team hovers around in perfect rhythm. When it’s time for our chat though, she straightens up in her chair and suddenly, her laid-back poise reveals a childlike innocence. “I am so excited!” she exclaims. “I’ve just wrapped the shooting for my film, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl.” Working on this project, as she describes it, has been an experience of a lifetime. Naturally, it is something she’s most eager to chat about. “Gunjan Saxena’s story and the simplicity of who she is as a person really resonated with me. Her motto of simply working hard towards one’s goals is as clear as it can get. Her approach to life has been an inspiration to all of us on set simply because we’ve lived with that material for so long,” she states. Excited to tell Gunjan’s story on celluloid, another one of Janhvi’s biggest takeaways from set has been her rapport with director Sharan Sharma. “We share a likemindedness, which added to the perks of working on such a compelling project. I feel a sense of calm because the process of making this film has been so pure and fulfilling; it’s been almost meditative,” she shares.
Outfit: Falguni And Shane Peacock, Accessories Necklace, Ring (Left Hand Index Finger): Rose, Bangles: Khurana Jewellery House
Her proclivity for creative compatibility compelled her to be a part of director Zoya Akhtar’s segment on Netflix’s Ghost Stories. “I was eager to work with Zoya irrespective of the medium or platform. It was such a rewarding experience for me,” she says.
Having flagged off 2020 with the release of Ghost Stories, the rest of her calendar is crammed with highly anticipated films such as Roohi Afzana, Dostana 2 and Karan Johar’s magnum opus—Takht. With the roles and characters distinctly different from each other, it’s been a whirlwind experience to shoot and prep for these projects. Janhvi, though, has loved every moment of it. “I enjoy everything about the movies,” she gushes, continuing, “You see, I am an escapist by nature so I enjoy portraying different people on screen. I am more comfortable playing someone else than being myself sometimes. You get to discover life, people and yourself in so many ways.”
Outfit: Akanksha Gajria, Accessories: Necklace: Raniwala 1881, Ring (right hand): Rose, Haathphool (left hand): Jadau Jewellery by Falguni Mehta
With 2020 set to be a big year at the multiplexes for her, she knows better than to look at her career through rose-coloured glasses. She acknowledges, “I feel a strong sense of responsibility to perform better than my last film. I can’t take my time in this business for granted— even for a second. Ultimately, it’s not just about having the opportunities, but also about making the most of them.” Though she sounds like someone who has it all figured out, Janhvi does admit to being particularly naïve, someone who believes in the best in everyone. “I am not cynical. In this day and age, it’s important to have a positive disposition. I’m all about working hard and with utmost honesty,” she shares.
Outfit: Tarun Tahiliani, Accessories Necklace: Khurana Jewellery House, Haathphool (both hands): Jadau Jewellery by Falguni Mehta, Green Bangle (left hand): Rose, Bangles: Raniwala 1881
Perhaps it is this optimism and determination that make her relatable to the Gen Z audience. But she’s also tethered to another generation of moviegoers—an audience of ardent fans she’s inherited, courtesy her celebrated parents. Does that in any way unnerve her? Or has the legacy of her dynasty prepared her for the big stage? “Nothing will ever prepare you for this,” she claims, adding, “Perhaps because I’ve been privy to the kind of attention my parents have received, I’m less starry-eyed about it. Attention and fame are two important features of an actor’s journey, but since I’ve [experienced this] through my family, it isn’t something I’m consciously hankering after as much.” With her creative pedigree and work ethic firmly in place—Janhvi’s Bollywood narrative is decidedly history in the making.
Photographs: Nuno Oliveira, Make-Up: Sonic Sarwate, Global Senior Artist – M.A.C Cosmetics India, Hair: Anchal Morwani (Hot Hair Balloon), Styling: Lynn Lobo, Creative Direction: Gopalika Virmani