Sonam Kapoor is only 26, but she has learnt — the hard way, no less — to be diplomatic rather than honest, just like her father Anil Kapoor. Her bluntness has often landed her in controversies and she's having none of that anymore. Here, she tells TOI what made her change and why she now prefers being nice but not natural.
Not too long ago, it was reported that Abhay Deol had made rude remarks about your father. But you patched up with him recently?
Patch-ups don't work like that in the real world. I have issues with anybody who speaks badly about my father. At that time I was upset, but now it's time to move on. There were issues with Abhay, but we had a good working relationship as actors. We tried to work together again, but that project fell through. Now, he is supposed to do a cameo in Raanjhna. I am very excited because I loved working with him. Abhay is a fine actor.
Your father is very diplomatic, while you are very blunt.
Honesty is frowned upon in B-Town, though it makes you a media darling. People are hypocritical here. Honesty gets misinterpreted as rudeness and lost in translation. I love Katrina Kaif and have said amazing things about her, but people have taken one statement and twisted it saying I called her shameless! I just said that I wanted to give her a bouquet of flowers as I love what she does. As an actor you need to be without inhibitions, listen to the director and do what he tells you. I want to be like her.
So now do we get to see a more polite and less honest Sonam?
Yes. I can't be so sensitive. I need to shut my mouth and not comment on anything. People think if you are honest it's not right. So now I will be diplomatic rather than blunt. I have learnt in the last one year that it's not good to be honest. Dad has always been very diplomatic and I should have learnt from him but I was naive and idealistic. I have learnt a lot about how to detach from the way Vidya Balan conducts her life. She's very inspirational in many ways because she takes everything at face value and then throws it out of the window. She's completely untouched and doesn't care about it.
Some actresses like Sonakshi Sinha have taken pot shots at you saying they don't want to be known as fashion icons but as actresses.
I have learnt to be blase about these things because those very same actresses are hiring stylists and wanting to dress like me. They hire my stylists and makeup artists and tell them that they want to do the same thing. I know Sonakshi and I love her. She's a good girl compared to the rest. She's grown up in my house so I don't think she meant it in that way. Even I said plenty of foolish things when I was at that age. I give everyone the benefit of doubt.
Did you check with Sonakshi if and why she made that statement?
If she wanted to clear it up she would have called me... I haven't done anything wrong so I don't need to check with her. I really don't care if she's said it or not. I won't be working with her so what's the need to clear the air? Even if I do work with her, everything will be forgotten by then. That's the way the industry works. Nobody holds grudges. There's a fight and the next day we hug and make up.
Recently, Shahid Kapoor made fun of your father at an international event...
I don't think he could've done that. Even if he said something it must've been tongue-in-cheek. I know Shahid very well. He has good values. If there was anything derogatory in the script, he would've told the organisers that he wouldn't do it. I am positive he hasn't said anything nasty about my father. It's upto you to take a joke in the right spirit.
Is it true that you didn't want to work with Shahid after Mausam?
I would love to work with him, but it has to be the right thing for both of us. An article was completely made up saying I had trashed Mausam. I stand by what I say, no matter how inflammatory it is but I never said anything like that. I think Pankaj Kapur is one of the most talented directors I've worked with and Shahid was a pleasure too. He's one of my dear friends. Mausam is a film that I worked very hard for. I got critical acclaim to another leveI. I am proud of it.
You said in an interview: "None of the actresses have benefited from being a Khan heroine."
I didn't say that. I was misquoted. I didn't talk about any of the Khans. I would love to work with Shah Rukh, Salman, Aamir and Imran but they would have to love to work with me as well. They are icons and to work with icons is an achievement, a privilege.
Do your parents scold you for being so honest?
My parents find me hilarious. They don't pull me up for anything because I'm a good daughter. I stay at home, don't party too much, people don't talk about my affairs or that I am unprofessional. In fact, people tell my parents that I'm so well-brought up. Yes, I tend to shoot my mouth off but they don't pull me up for that.
Whom do you listen to in your family?
I listen to a lot of what my sister Rhea says. I give her a lot of credit for my stuff. When people give me credit for my fashion choices, it's my sister who creates them. This whole fashionable avatar has been created by her. It's her brainchild. It's not me at all. Rhea really takes care of me, though I am older than her.
Your brother Harsh wants to be an actor...
Hopefully. He's very confused. He's just 21-years-old, 6 feet tall and very, very good looking. He knows it, but he's too young right now. He wants to write, act and direct. He's only just graduated, so there's a long way for him to go.
Everybody says you are fashion icon at such a young age. How do you react to such things?
I am flattered to be known as a fashionista at the age of 26. Elizabeth Taylor, Meena Kumari, Audrey and Katherine Hepburn are all fashion icons. It promotes an image that is aspirational and I would rather be iconic for those things than for the wrong things. I like wearing beautiful clothes but that does not translate into my work. People don't like to see me as a glam doll in my movies. My audience and the media love me with two different perceptions. It's a strange, crazy situation.
Does the fact that you were fat earlier make you paranoid about putting weight now?
Yes, I am paranoid about putting on weight. It's not okay to be fat not because of the way you look, but because it's unhealthy. I have experienced hormonal problems, bad skin, immense laziness and back and knee pain. It's not fine to be too fat or too thin! Anything in extremes is wrong. I am afraid of putting on weight because I don't want to develop health problems. I want the quality of my life to be good.
You have been linked to I Hate Luv Storys director Punit Malhotra. Comment.
I never talk about my personal life, so I will always be single. There will always be speculations about my love life. I would prefer to date someone from the industry as he will understand my work. I don't want to date an actor though. Till I don't decide that it a serious relationship culminating into marriage, I won't talk about it. I don't even tell my parents. If I have a future with him, then maybe I'll tell everyone who I am seeing.