Resembling her mother in both beauty and grace, Janhvi Kapoor on carrying forward Sridevi's legacy

...and the one thing that no one can take away from her.

What’s in a name one may ask? A lot if you’re in the Bollywood business. And, if it wasn’t enough being a Kapoor, she is also the daughter of the legendary Sridevi, who gave us hits like Chandni, Sadma, and Chaalbaaz to count a few. Yet, Janhvi Kapoor looks uber cool and self-assured as she sits down for a chat. Once considered the new-kid-on-the-block, Kapoor is now much more than a fresh face.

In an interview with Bazaar India, Kapoor speaks about living up to the family name, being inspired by her mother, choosing the right projects, dealing with trolls, and making bold style statements. 

Harper's Bazaar: It’s commendable to see how you face the camera, and deal with social media trolls with utmost confidence. Has the responsibility of living up to people’s expectations brought out the best in you?

Janhvi Kapoor: I think so. See, the person they are comparing me to is, I think, the best actor that Indian cinema has ever seen. So, if they are holding me up to such high standards, it’s almost like reaching for the moon; and at least I’ll get to the sky, which is a high enough place. That’s how I look at it. I think it keeps me from being complacent. I’m happy that they expect so much out of me, and why shouldn’t they? I’ll give it to them. 

HB: Did this mean you had to work harder than most people?

JK: I think the hard work that I’ve put in is very different from what others might have had to. A lot of people don’t see that side of my life—the pressure, the hustle, sometimes waking up and feeling that you’ll never be taken seriously just because of where you were born. But then, I’m so thankful for all of the things I have in life, the opportunities that I’m getting. I am doing what I love, so I have to keep giving it my all.   

HB: It’s unfair to compare the films you’ve done over five years to your mother’s, whose career spanned decades. How do you shut off all the noise?

JK: I don’t shut it down. The noise keeps me going. I want to be the best and the most-loved actor in this country. And I need to hear what they have to say, take it into consideration, and work on it. I know that I have something to offer. I don’t know if it’s talent or good looks, but I know that’s it’s my hard work. No one can take that away from me. I’m confident and secure in that. 

HB: Talking about Aldo and you being the face of their festive collection. What parts of your personality do you feel makes you the perfect partner?

JK: I think Aldo resonates with the part of me that is still figuring herself out. One day she wakes up and wants to be sporty and the next day she wants to be glamorous and wear heels as she steps out. It has something for all those personalities. 

HB: You’ve chosen a myriad of roles and directors to work with. What’s your first instinct while choosing a script?

JK: If I feel like the intention of the makers is correct, and if the story has resonated with me in any way. 

HB: It’s tough to not mention the huge influence that your mother has had on your life. As far as beauty and fashion are concerned, what were your biggest lessons?

JK: I remember how she was constantly evolving with time. She was always eager to learn, travel, and pick up new things. Her aesthetic was ever-changing and growing. And I think that’s the sign of a true artist.  

HB: Was she ever strict about the products she used and you did as well?

JK: Yup...I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup for a very long time. Even when I’d go out for events with her, she would only sometimes apply kajal and gloss. That was about it.  

HB: Given that you’re a youth icon, how important is the brand voice and purpose when you choose to be its face?

JK: I think it’s very important. With attention comes responsibility. I’m extremely honoured that I have a voice that people listen to. And I’d like to do good with that voice and stand for things that I believe in.