Sonam hopes for roles with substance, not skin

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By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Nov 24 (IANS) Sonam Kapoor, who's had a dream launch in "Saawariya", wants an image makeover in real life. But as far as film roles are concerned she will go by the choice of her parents who, she says, are a little conservative.

"I've to now stop wearing only Indian clothes. Everyone at home is shouting at me about it," Sonam, the daughter of Anil Kapoor, told IANS.

"I'd love to do conventional roles, but within the limits imposed by my parents. You know they're slightly conservative. So far there has been no occasion to cross my boundaries."She added, "I hope I get roles that require more substance than skin. If a particular situation demands me to break my self-imposed censorship, then I'll do it."

Moving away from the safety of her mentor Sanjay Leela Bhansali's workplace, Sonam is preparing herself to enter the world of cinema on her own.

"I'm going to be on my own now. Everything so far in my life has been guided by my dad and Sanjay sir, but from now on I've to stand on my feet. And that's scary. After being in the comfort zone all my life it's scary to think of what lies ahead."

Excerpts:

Q: Were you nervous about "Saawariya"?

A: It's more exciting than scary. My best friend Navneet came down from Kuwait for the premiere. She got married just last week. I said, 'Listen, that was your wedding. This is my wedding.' I don't know when I'm going to get married. But the premiere was the most important day of my life.

Q: You've been starving yourself to look slim and slender.

A: Not exactly starving but, yes, I've been on a rather unhealthy diet. I've no choice. Nowadays a Bollywood girl has to look hot. I've to now stop wearing only Indian clothes. Everyone at home is shouting at me about it.

Q: How has the promotional whirlwind been for you?

A: You said it. It's been a whirlwind from morning to evening for two months. Ranbir and I have been talking non-stop about "Saawariya". I'm quite shocked at the response to me. I thought Sanjay sir (Bhansali) and Ranbir being who they are would naturally attract attention. But me?

Some of the questions, especially about my friendship with Ranbir, were too funny to be embarrassing. I guess I've to get used to being asked strange questions. When you become an actor you become a public figure. I've had 14-year-olds asking me for autograph. So I realise I do have a responsibility towards the public. I've come to this industry with my eyes open, and I can't shy away from being answerable. But, honestly, I didn't expect this kind of response.

Nobody recognises me without makeup. So when we went to Shree SiddhiVinayak Temple and saw a crowd there, I told him it was his (Ranbir's) fault.

Q: Are you afraid of leaving it behind?

A: Oh yes, especially Sanjay sir. For two years he has been a father away from home. He has moulded me into who I am. Now suddenly I'm the bride that he's giving away to the world. It's a gut-wrenching break.

Q: You won't get the same kids' gloves experience now.

A: I know. I'm going to be on my own now. Everything so far in my life has been guided by my dad and Sanjay sir, but from now on I've to stand on my feet. And that's scary. After being in the comfort zone all my life it's scary to think of what lies ahead.

Q: After playing this classic queen of enigma in "Saawariya" would you like do more conventional roles?

A: You mean get into short skirts and all? But why do I need to wear short skirts to be glamorous? I'd love to do conventional roles, but within the limits imposed by my parents. You know they're slightly conservative. Even Sanjay sir has been very protective. So far there has been no occasion to cross my boundaries. I hope I get roles that require more substance than skin. If a particular situation demands me to break my self-imposed censorship, then I'll do it.

Q: What kind of offers are you getting? I believe Vishal Bharadwaj wanted to sign you.

A: Yes, he did come to my dad. You know how it is in the industry. All the offers for a heroine come through the father. And with his vast experience I trust my dad to make the right decisions. As of now I haven't decided what I want to do next. Let dad decide. I don't want to follow any rules. It can be any project as long as it's a good script.

Q: Your most memorable "Saawariya" experience so far?

A: The music release. It made all of us cry. It reminded me that the film was coming to an end. It was the culmination of a big part of my life.