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Despite two back-to-back blockbusters — Raanjhanaa and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag — in which her roles were appreciated, box
office glory has continued to elude 10-film-old Sonam Kapoor. Often, her style has been more analysed than her
work.

So is she an actress ripe for insecurity? “Life has been good,” the actress says, over the phone from Mumbai. “People have always liked my work. But there are people like you who still ask me if I am talented or not … You just  have to prove yourself over and over again,” Kapoor said.

Dutifully — if not enthusiastically — promoting her latest romantic comedy, Bewakoofiyaan, releasing in the UAE today, Kapoor was defensive when asked if she had to step up her game against talented co-actors Rishi Kapoor and Ayushmann Khurrana. “Are you saying that I am not talented?” Kapoor asked indignantly.

She took the bite out of her words with a laugh. “Nothing has come easy to me. I have to work very hard for my roles,” Kapoor said. Saluting her skills is her co-star, Khurrana. Initially, he was wary of Kapoor’s fashion icon image. “Honestly speaking, I was a bit sceptical about what kind of chemistry we would have. She is a fashion icon and I am the boy next door. But that perception changed
quickly. Sonam is a simple girl at heart and she’s a brilliant actor. You can’t deny her that.”

Love in testing times

Directed by Nupur Asthana, Bewakoofiyaan is being touted as a romance set against the backdrop of recession. Khurrana plays Mohit Chadha, an airline executive, who is in love with Mayera Sehgal, his high-flying girlfriend employed with a giant bank conglomerate.
But their drama-free relationship is put to test when Mohit unexpectedly loses his job. Apart from tackling financial strains that were set off by his out-of-job status, he is also tasked with impressing his overtly critical father-in-law played by Rishi.

“This subject is very relevant even today. I remember I had friends in Dubai and other parts of the world in airline/hospitality industry who lost their jobs and houses when they got handed their pink slips. It brought such upheaval in their lives and I am familiar with such a world,” Asthana said.

She intends to re-create a drama that thrives on materialism. “These days, it’s more about what car a guy drives or what bag the girl carries. It’s getting increasingly about acquiring aspirational goods. It’s a slice-of-life film,” Asthana said.

While the trailers may remind you of Hollywood hit Meet the Parents, the crew of Bewakoofiyaan vehemently deny that their film is inspired from the popular Robert De Niro comedy. “What you see is just the first layer of the film where the father is obnoxious towards his future son-in-law. There’s lots more to it,” Asthana said.

“Bewakoofiyaan is like fast food,” says Kapoor. “It’s yummy, it’s quick and incredibly satisfying and sometimes it
can be good for you as well.” Hopeless romantic For Kapoor, her decision to accept a role in the project was simple: “I am a
hopeless romantic and so is Mayera. I always believe that it’s better to be idealistic
in love than be that cynic. That’s the only way to survive a relationship.”

In the film, she’s seen advocating wanting a sturdy guy with a golden heart rather than a diamond rock on your finger. But are such saintly sentiments practical in today’s times? “I do believe that. When you love and respect a person and you are convinced
that you want to make it work, then such thoughts are natural. To all the guys out there, I am the model girlfriend.”

While we were tempted to remind her that letting small things slide were another quality that made for a model girlfriend, Kapoor forges ahead uninterrupted. “It’s not about love blossoming during recession. It’s more about how does love survive during recession,” Kapoor said. Plus, she plays a girl who’s obsessed with owning fabulous shoes.

“I play a banker and she’s not fashionable per se. She’s staid and proper when it comes to her clothes, but for shoes, it’s another story,” Kapoor said. The real-life fashionista was also kind enough to lend her shoes for this project.

Shoe fetish

“What you see on Mayera is mostly  mine. I have an unending shoe closet. In fact, I don’t even know how many shoes I have,” said Kapoor, who counts her black suede Christian Louboutins as her most precious pair. “And no, they didn’t pay me for that,” said Kapoor with a laugh.

For her on-screen hero Khurrana, who made a spectacular debut with Vicky Donor, it was the prospect of acting in a Yash Raj production that did the trick.

“It’s on every actor’s bucket list to be a part of Yash Raj films. Nupur is known for her urbane sensibility and that interested me. She keeps her characters real and everybody will be able to relate to our relationship and its twists. It’s a young film that will entertain you.

It may not be a Dhoom 3, where I need to show off my abs. But it’s a film that’s close to how life is,” Khurrana said.