Here is Janhvi’s exclusive conversation with ETimes:
After coming back from the US, you deepdive into Karan Johar‘s film ‘Dostana 2’. Priyanka Chopra‘s bikini avatar in ‘Dostana’ made a lot of headlines. Are we going to see Janhvi in a bikini in ‘Dostana 2’?
I really don’t know as I haven’t got all the details yet.
After that, you move on to the remake of ‘Helen’. In some of your interviews, you lamented that a lot of time has been lost in the past one year…
That’s right, I was lamentful. But there’s a flipside to this as well. We have learnt how we can spend time with ourselves, how we necessarily need to spend time with ourselves. In this everyday rat race, we had just struck that off from our lives. That me-time gives you a good assessment of ground realities.
What’s your take on the paparazzi cameras coming dangerously close to your face sometimes?
To be honest, their cameras haven’t come dangerously close to me. At least, as far as I am concerned, they have been pretty nice and understanding. If, on a couple of occasions I have told them to not take my picture, they have complied. Actually, they are a kind lot. We need to respect their profession. As much as they need to click our pictures, we need them to do that because they help us to reach our audience.
Are you obsessed with vanity like quite a few others from your fraternity?
No, I am not a vanity freak. In fact, in my latest shoot of ‘Good Luck Jerry’ in Punjab, I tended to eat so much that I got a double chin and my DOP had to change camera angles. I don’t brood over such things. I don’t bother if I gain weight. But yes, I am bothered when it comes to performance.
“Why would two actresses fake it for the camera to portray that they are friends?” – Janhvi
Your sister Khushi, who you have often said is your best friend, must be your first critic?
Khushi is very honest about what I do in my films and how I do it. She never falsely praises me. But a special mention here of Anshula didi; she is brutally candid.
Judging by your previous answer, I think film reviews matter to you…
Yes, film reviews do matter to me. I read them and take the criticism constructively. That matters to me more than the compliments. But I also come to know if someone has written with vendetta in mind. I have reached a stage where I can filter honest opinions from vindictive ones. A person knows his limitations and what he/she needs to work on.
“I don’t bother if I gain weight” – Janhvi
There’s been a school of thought for many years that film reviews should be published on Monday, as films get rated in a few minutes on Fridays in the current age of smartphones…
I don’t subscribe to that. The critics are doing their job, just like we did our job in making a film that we wanted. If a review is done after three days, the critic might be swayed in writing as per the public’s response to the film, and his/her perspective might not come out in entirety.
Do you get upset if a wrong story is published about you?
Not about me, but I get upset if it’s about my family, and even if someone passes a wrong remark against them.
“Film reviews matter to me.” – Janhvi
Was this the case even when you were a teenager?
Yes, it was just that at that time I was viewing it from the outside and today I am out there, as a part of the acting fraternity.
Do you enjoy the publicity part when your movies are up for release?
No, I don’t. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I know that it’s necessary and this time, during ‘Roohi’, I found it to be fun as it was happening after a very long time – but otherwise, I honestly don’t. Preparing and shooting for a movie is a holiday for me – but being a part of publicity campaigns is a task.
“We need the paparazzi.” – Janhvi
Are you ruffled when trolled?
I have got used to it. So, now, I don’t get ruffled. I have learnt to not take it very seriously. You are out there asking for people to like you, but you need to understand that everyone in the world cannot like you.
As a single parent, does your father Boney Kapoor get paranoid if you’re late or he’s unable to reach you?
No, in fact, he has become a very close friend. A very new equation has developed between him and me. Today, I can talk to him about everything.
Very excited. We really wanted him to do the role. He was quite apprehensive when the offer came along but Arjun, Anshula, Khushi and I drove him to do it.
Did you go on the set to see him acting? You must be curious how he’s doing…
Well, I was busy with a long stint of ‘Good Luck Jerry’ in Punjab hence I didn’t get the time. But I would have felt awkward to go to his shoot as I have always seen him giving instructions and not taking them. Let it all unfold on the big screen. You know what, it will be really cool to see him acting; I have often seen him emoting and feeling songs while he watches them on TV. He loves to do that with songs on a few music channels. I’m sure he’ll do a good job.
Do you consult your father on every script?
Yes, I look up to him for the advice. Saari industry Papa ko phone karti hai unka opinion mangne ke liye (The whole industry calls him up for opinions). I have access to him. Why wouldn’t I avail of it?
And what if you’ve liked a script immensely and after he hears it, he says no?
That hasn’t happened till now. Besides, after offering his advice, he leaves the final decision to me.
It’s said that two actresses cannot be friends…
I don’t think that’s true. I am friendly with all my contemporaries.
So, those pictures of the present generation we see in the media are not just for the camera…
Why would anybody do that for the camera? You invite people and hang out with them only if you genuinely like them. In fact, many contemporaries get along as they, too, go through similar situations in their lives as they are navigating through a similar world. And, many times, one ends up learning from each other. It’s just that we all get very little time to meet each other than on occasions; in today’s hectic world it has become tough to spend time with family!
Are you satisfied with the response ‘Roohi’ received?
Yes, pretty much. I came back to Mumbai from Punjab just yesterday and people were complimenting me about ‘Roohi’ at the airport. It felt really good.
Which has been your most challenging role till date: ‘Dhadak’ or ‘Gunjan Saxena’? You impressed in both…
My most challenging role is yet to come. I am sure it will require a lot more out of me and I shall give it.
Off to the US, you must be really looking forward to spending time with your li’l sister…
Yes, but I am really worried at the same time that Papa will have to stay and manage everything alone.
So, on this trip, you will help Khushi choose an acting institute and course. And considering that she is likely to be launched in 2022, how does it feel?
Terrific! It will be a moment of extreme happiness.