Woman of action

Woman of action

Bollywood buzz

Woman of action

The Aashiqui 2 babe is no longer what she was in her last few films. She may not be the spitfire avenger of Luv Ka The End, but definitely does kicks butt with some tough action in her newest film, Baaghi.

Shraddha may not have co-starred with her illustrious father Shakti Kapoor in any film as yet, but at last, she has got something professionally in common with him — twice over! The senior Kapoor, whom Shraddha has always credited for her acting skills, had starred in both the Baaghi versions released in his time — the Salman Khan hit in 1990 and the Sanjay Dutt flop in 2000!

Heroine like no other

But the petite actor accepted this film for different and more valid reasons. As she puts it, “I signed Baaghi because it is the first mainstream commercial film I was offered, and the icing on the cake is that it is a fabulous character. I get to do action, dance and sing and do all the things a heroine does. All my films have been different so far, but none were in the regular commercial space. Yes.”

This trait of ending all her remarks with a stressed affirmative is peculiar to this actor, but it is difficult to fathom where it comes from! Is she trying to reaffirm her belief in what she has just stated? Or is it that she has finally had clarity of thought on the question and expressed her answer clearly? One thing we are sure of is that we cannot ask her about it.

But Shraddha is happy that her character in this film is still relatable to today’s audience, and is not a typical heroine of yore. “When challenged, she can take care of herself. She can stand up to others and isn’t scared,” she says, and adds, “Yeah.”

We ask her about her tryst with action in this film, and her director Sabbir Khan’s declaration “There are fit actors, and there are actors fit enough to also look good in action, and Shraddha falls in the second category.” Ruminating on that for a few seconds, she says, “He’s being kind. The truth is that in his film, it is Tiger all the way. I have a few action scenes and he has so many, which is how it should be.”

However, Shraddha reveals that she really enjoyed her few action sequences, as it was a first for her. “I had to do some basic action that was not so demanding. I trained in Bangkok, where we were shooting, and a little bit in Mumbai with Master Shifu, who was working with Tiger.”

Tiger, she raves, is someone who is so focussed on his work. “From today’s new stars, no one can do what he can!” she declares. “In action and in dance, for example, his moves are so smooth, and he gives a 100% to his films. I have known him since our schooldays and so there is a comfort level too.”

Another aspect that isn’t really new to Shraddha, in this film, is her rendition of the now-hit song ‘Sab tera’. How did that go, and why did she not sing the lovely song ‘Chham chham’ as well?

“I think they are promoting all the songs one-by-one,” she answers. “I had told Sabbir-sir that I would love to sing for the film, and chose ‘Sab tera’. I was quite surprised, as I was a bit worried about my ability to sing such a high-pitched song. But he confidently stated that he thought I could manage it. ‘Try it in the studio,’ he told me. ‘If it happens, it happens, otherwise we will see what we can do.’ ”

Being vocal

In times of such self-doubt, how does the composer take care of the situation?
“I would give full credit for ‘Sab tera to Sabbir-sir and (composer) Amaal Mallik,” she declares. “In the studio, Amaal was cajoling me when I was behind the microphone and unsure whether I could do it. ‘Try it!’ ‘Let’s do it again!’ and ‘You are almost there!’ were the kind of remarks that encouraged me. It took me a few hours, but I did it,” she smiles. “A few continuous hours of singing makes my voice tired, as I found when I was rehearsing for my songs in Rock On 2!!. But here, things went fine.”

Her dream today is to act in more and more films that people would want to go and see — good films that will go down in history. “I feel blessed that I am a part of such films already, like Aashiqui 2, Ek Villain and ABCD 2. In ABCD 2, I got to dance for the first time. And in all my films, especially Aashiqui 2, I got opportunities to show my talent in many sequences. Haider too is precious to me.”

A special ambition, in common to so many of her colleagues, is a desire to act in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film! “The way he presents his story and characters is superb, and the way he shows his heroines.”

Shraddha is not really keen on doing remakes of classics. “I think classics should not be touched at all,” she says emphatically, with a grimace on her countenance. “Most examples so far have proved this. On the other hand, films like Priyanka Chopra’s Mary Kom or Kangana Ranaut’s Queen are the new path-breaking films that will become classics.”

Shraddha is now neck-deep in work — and loving it! “I am literally living from set to set for the last one year!” she says. “After my promotions for Baaghi are done, I will complete my work for Rock On 2!!, then get started on OK Jaanu (the Shaad Ali remake of the Tamil film O Kadhal Kanmani) and Mohit Suri’s Half Girlfriend and get back to promoting Rock On 2!!.”
Phew, girl!

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