As actress Sonam Kapoor Ahuja is being lauded for promoting the LGBTQ community in her latest release "Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga", her father and actor Anil Kapoor, who has shared screen space with her for the first time in the film, says she is making brave choices in her film career.
"She has made herself. She has worked hard to become what she is. She is the kind of person who gives a lot of love and affection. And, it comes very naturally to her. She is a very sensitive person," Anil said.
"She is making such brave choices. 'Neerja' was a film that broke many myths. It gave Sonam a chance to prove herself as an actor. I am thankful to (director) Ram Madhvani for believing in Sonam.
"Now I feel 'Ek Ladki...' gives Sonam another opportunity to prove what she's worth. Her performance is not overpitched. She is never over dramatic because she relates to real people and situations through her first-hand experiences. She's widely read and traveled. She connects to her character in 'Ek Ladki...' and expresses the character's emotions with such natural grace," Anil said with pride in his voice.
According to Anil, it is necessary for an "actor to make risky choices in life" and he is "glad" that Sonam has played the role of a lesbian in the film.
"Whether it is mainstream actors or filmmakers, they've always done the unexpected. Raj Kapoor Saab's 'Mera Naam Joker' and Guru Dutt's 'Kagaz Ke Phool' didn't work at the box office on release. In retrospect, they are regarded as masterworks. One has to make risky choices in life. I am so glad Sonam is doing it so early in her career," he added.
How's your experience working with Sonam on screen?
He said: "Apart from the beautiful script, she is the main reason why I did 'Ek Ladki...', we waited to do the right film together and not just share screen space as a gimmick. And I am very impressed by her dedication."
Anil also shared that he wishes to direct Sonam in the future.
"If I ever direct a film it will only be so that I get to direct my daughter. Yes, my film as a director would have Sonam and no other actor, as the protagonist."
The title track of "Ek Ladki..." is taken from Vidhu Vinod Chopra's "1942: A Love Story", in which Anil was the lead actor.
Reminiscing "1942...", Anil said: "Vinod and I go back a long way. The title of 'Ek Ladki...' comes from Vinod's '1942" A Love Story'. That's the last time we worked together. And now we've collaborated again 25 years later, can you believe it!"
He said that while filming "Ek Ladki...", he used to become nostalgic on the sets.
"That song is iconic. I remember when we shot it, every detail comes flooding back. Now, that same song plays an important part in my new film. I also had Juhi Chawla as my co-star after so long. We did some fun films in the past. This one was fun too. And yes, I am very happy just to be part of a film where I share screen space with my daughter."
Talking about escaping Bollywood stereotypes, Anil said: "I started my career with 'Woh Saat Din', where I played a role of someone who comes from Patiala to become a music director which was very unconventional at that point in time.
"It was totally opposite to what everybody was doing around me. That included the lead actors riding horseback or a motorbike or even playing a guitar. No actor would be launched in the same manner that I was."