Sonam Kapoor is one actress who is known more for her amazing fashion sense than her acting talent. Since her debut she has been accused of getting it easy when it comes to films, because of her family connections in the industry. In fact, after the release of ‘Neerja’, that released in February this year, it was for the first time in her nearly decade long career that she was praised for her acting chops. Recently she revealed to Huffington post that how she felt guilty about her being part of a filmy family, but it was tough to articulate that inner conflict and, more importantly, find someone who’d understand her predicament.
Sonam in an interview revealed some shocking details about how Salman Khan wasn’t willing to work with her in ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’. She said, “I lost out on a lot of films because of my father. Salman Khan didn’t want to do ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ with me. He was like, ‘‘Anil Kapoor has been my close friend. How can I romance his daughter?’’ It was really difficult and weird.”
“It took me a while to shake that off because I was surrounded by people who constantly made me feel like I was some entitled brat. I refused to take anything from my father (Anil Kapoor) because of that and he used to get frustrated. There were days when he’d say, ‘What’s the point of me having done so much in the industry when you want to do everything on your own?’ Now, I’ve made peace with it as I feel I’ve been born into a family, given this talent to make a difference and I’m not going to let some outsider guilt-trip me into believing that I’m just a girl born with a silver-spoon who had it easy in life. That’s very unkind and an unfair judgment.”
When she was further asked about her getting roles easier due to her family connections similar to Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi Sinha and even Kareena Kapoor. She responded, “But the top heroines today—Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra—are both women who aren’t from the industry. And are you telling me that Alia Bhatt is where she is because of her family and not because of her talent? Nepotism exists everywhere but that doesn’t make the journey any easier.”
She points out that all the directors she’s worked with—from Sanjay Leela Bhansali (‘Saawariya’) to Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra (‘Dilli 6’) to Ram Madhvani (‘Neerja’)—have never been professionally associated with her father Anil Kapoor. She seems keen to establish that despite being Anil Kapoor’s daughter, the work she has got was solely on her merit and not because of her father’s goodwill or his connections.
“Farah Khan is one of my mother’s best friends and yet I haven’t done a Farah film, nor does she look at me as an actress she’d want to cast. It’s a different, non-work relationship,” she says in a self-assured tone. “It doesn’t suit the popular narrative, which is that of an industry girl having it easy. This version almost contradicts it. At the end of the day, people, including journalists, are biased and believe in what they choose to believe in,” said Sonam.
In order to prove her point further and how hard she works to bag the roles she’s bagged, she added, “It’s a business and nobody will invest crores in the film’s production, and another few in marketing only because you’re related to someone… and completely talentless. It just doesn’t add up. You audition. I auditioned for ‘Saawariya’ along with Shivani Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor and Deepika Padukone. There’s a process and we are all equal when we go through it. I even auditioned for ‘Delhi 6’ and projects for Yash Raj Films. I didn’t just wake up one day to have all these films in my roster!”