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Friday, September 22, 2023

Vaani Kapoor Back With a BANG in Yash Raj Films’ War

A chiselled physique, gorgeous look and excellent performing skills… Vaani Kapoor is a fine discovery by Yash Raj Films.

From her debut role in Shuddh Desi Romance to Shayra in Befikre, her characters break the glass ceilings of traditional girl-next-door portrayals. 

Even in Aaha Kalyanam, the Tamil remake of ‘Band Baaja Baaraat’, she presents a fresh twist to the Shruti character, which was originally essayed by Anushka Sharma.

Post a 3-year hiatus, Vaani has returned to celluloid with Siddharth Anand’s War, which marks the FIRST ever film to unite handsome hunks – Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff.

Plus, she has also been busy shooting for the dacoit drama Shamshera, directed by Karan Malhotra, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt. 

In a special interview with Filme Shilmy, Vaani talks about packing a punch in War and what kept her waiting for the last couple of years.

Since Befikre, we will be seeing you in two back-to-back major Bollywood films – War and Shamshera. How has it been juggling them both?

It’s pretty well-planned. I just finished War and now we are in the midst of shooting Shamshera so it is all flowing according to plan.

It is such a great feeling to be working with two amazing filmmakers and they have been so kind enough to consider taking me on for their films.

So I’m just really enjoying the moment.

The film is an action face-off between Kabir and Khalid. How (if at all) does your role contribute to this ‘War’?

I can’t reveal much about my character, but it’s a small role – which is very well written and something that is relatable.

All I can say is that I am (my character) is critically linked to the film’s storyline.

It’s a very exciting thing for me because I’ve never played something like this before in my previous films.

It is a new role altogether and I had a lot of fun shooting for it.

During Nashe Si Chad Gaye, Hrithik was quite impressed by your dancing skills. What was it like to finally share screen space with him?

Oh, it is AMAZING! A huge honour that I get to share screen space with Hrithik Roshan and dance in the same frame as him.

I’d be delusional to think that I can be as good as he is… The experience was so awesome.

There was never pressure. In fact, he and Siddharth Anand (the director) were always encouraging to have fun and I really did.

Eventually, when I saw the song, I was like “Oh my god, I was having way too much fun” (laughs).

I had put in a lot more effort in as well.

A phenomenal opportunity it was.

Apparently, you performed acrobatic stunts without a body double. It must’ve been quite a difficult experience? How did you train for that?

I did almost 2-3 months of rehearsals for the swing pole and Cyr wheel section of ‘Ghungroo’, which was completely alien to me.

I spent 4-5 hours each day for the duration of rehearsals to get that body posture and balance correctly.

From the technique to the hard-work, there was a lot required. 

Plus, we had to make it look effortless.

I’m just glad that people have liked it and are saying lovely things… Such reactions just make the entire experience worth it.

Your last film Befikre was a dream project which didn’t quite live up to expectations. How did you deal with that phase?

Honestly, but from a neutral audience perspective, I genuinely liked that film.

I never judged it for anything else than what it was. I think a lot of people ended up having a preconceived notion about it.

But each to their own. Of course, there will be people who applaud you for something whilst others may reprimand you for the same.

Other people’s reactions are never in our control but we tried to give it our best.

Initially, you hope that the film will turn out the way you expect it but at times the outcome doesn’t.

You just have to deal with failure as normally as a success.

One cannot get attached to success or failure so easily.

You’ve just got to move on, let go and focus on what’s ahead.

We will be seeing you back on the big screen after a gap of 3 years. What kept you motivated during that break?

I never stopped believing in my potential as an artist. I feel like you’ve got to be patient for something better to come along.

It was a conscious decision that I took and there were a lot of scripts which came my way but there was always something or the other that didn’t quite click.

So I didn’t feel deeply passionate about it. I always hoped that something better would come along.

I’ve never regretted the wait and I’m living life on my own choices.

With regards to competition and exterior factors around you, the more pressure you take, the more negative you will feel.

It’s best to nurture whatever opportunities you have and make the most of it. 

Now that you’ve returned to the big screen, what will be your personal and professional mantra going forwards?

Honestly, I just try to live and enjoy the current moment. I try not to worry about the future or what ‘could’ happen.

I make my own decisions in life and my parents always instil their faith in me to live by my own choices. 

Regardless of how the choices are, good or bad, they are mine.

So it’s great and I think life is all about learning. 

I hope I stay this positive and good work keeps coming my way.

The film revolves around an Indian soldier Khalid (Tiger Shroff) who is assigned to eliminate his former mentor, Kabir (Hrithik Roshan), who had gone rogue.

War is a high-octane action entertainer that promises to be the biggest action spectacle from Bollywood.

Produced by Yash Raj Films, the film is set to release in cinemas on 2nd October 2019.

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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