Shraddha Kapoor: “What do you call a fish with no eye? “
The interviewer: “I don’t know. You tell me.”
Shraddha Kapoor: “A fsh”
You know an interview can go in any direction when it starts with a joke like that. That Kapoor is a humourous girl is out there on her Instagram Reels and in her genes, being the daughter of one of India’s finest comedians, Shakti Kapoor. This month, for a cover story interview, we met her on a quiet Sunday afternoon. She sat there donning a satin neon green Rahul Mishra number with absolute nonchalance and cracked several dad jokes. “You don’t need to play my songs just because I’m on the set,” she teases our production manager as tunes from Aashiqui 2 coo from a speaker.
One thing about Kapoor is evident, she likes to lighten up the mood wherever she goes. This is even reflected in her recent choice of work, where humour is packed even into her horror films (Stree) and what she likes to watch in her downtime (Fleabag and Schitt’s Creek). Alongside, there are roles that include action, drama, musicals, and romance—there is little she can’t or won’t do, including singing for the Jio Plaza opening ceremony. In an exclusive conversation with Harper’s Bazaar India, she lets us into her world including films, family, and beyond.
Sonal Ved: Your latest film, Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar, was focused on a woman who prioritised self-love and self-respect. In your personal life, how do you practise the same?
Shraddha Kapoor: I meditate, spend time with my dog Shyloh and my loved ones, blast some good music and dance in my room, and whatever else that instantly makes me joyous. I realised that it’s important to give myself some “me” time because the most important relationship that I have in the entire universe is with myself.
SV: In your films or on the red carpet, Shraddha Kapoor is often seen wearing minimal and meaningful jewellery. Over time, how has gold jewellery become a means of self-expression?
SK: I’ve realised that there are a lot of things that have remained constant about me, ever since I was a teenager. I’ve never been a follower of trends and have always followed my heart. The most precious gold jewellery that I have is a pair of bangles that are my nani’s (maternal grandmother). My mom handed them down to me.
SV: You’re one of the three most followed Indians on Instagram currently. What do you think it is about your profile that draws people? Take us through your thought process (and social media strategy) when it comes to being relatable, noteworthy, and inspiring on social media.
SK: There is no strategy. I simply post what I feel like. I express myself authentically. I love to interact in my comments section. It’s a lot of fun and it makes me feel like they’re my friends. I’m also tremendously blessed to have a very special relationship with my fan clubs.
SV: From narrating accents from around the world to cracking some dad jokes, your Instagram posts bring joy to your followers. What brings you joy?
SK: It brings me a lot of joy to stay true to who I am. I am my biggest supporter. Also, people uplifting one another gives me a lot of joy.
SV: Your bio reads, “Living the dream”. What is this dream and how do you stay committed to it? Has Shraddha's dream changed from the time she was a little girl to now?
SK: Living the dream is, simply put, my everyday life. It is me living my life exactly the way I want to. I embody my fearlessness very lightly, very softly. My dream—that I am unfolding every day—is to continue maximising my fullest potential as a human being. My dream has actually been consistent since I was a little girl—I want to reach for the stars with my feet on the ground. And I live this every day, thanks to my humble family for bringing me up in the most simple way.
SV: You’re Bollywood’s golden girl, with a sparkling mix of vivaciousness and self-assuredness in your personality. What makes you resonate with gold?
SK: I am fearless when it comes to my choices. I know unabashedly which direction to go in. Clarity is my fire. I believe in myself the most and from that, I know how powerful I am.
SV: Over the last few years, the Indian audience has never failed to point out when a star kid gets a break, but in your case, your talent shone from your first film, Aashiqui 2. How do you stay true to the craft, and does your dad advise you on the roles to pick or scripts to consider?
SK: Yes, I do bounce off thoughts with my family. I would be silly not to since he is such a legendary star and is still so relevant and loved today. My family always supports me in whichever films I decide to do and the final decision is always mine. I am clear in the kind of work I want to do. It has to be an amazing story that I feel like giving my heart and soul to. It takes months and years sometimes to make a film, so I am picky about what I want to immerse myself in.
SV: Which character from your films do you resonate the most with and why?
SK: Ayesha from Ek Villain. I like her for her adventurous spirit and ability to be joyous.
SV: You're a goofy girl, why have you still not done a hardcore comedy? And do you think the Indian audience is ready for a witty female actor?
SK: No one has offered me anything in that space. I feel first and foremost, the audience wants to watch a film that is entertaining. Then, if the film consists of funny characters that are well-written, I’m sure they would appreciate it. Take, for instance, my dad’s ‘Crime Master Gogo’ character, which was part of the iconic film Andaz Apna Apna; the film still garners eyeballs because people love how entertaining it is.
SV: What does your father have to say about your sense of humour, considering he himself has impeccable comic timing?
SK: I am my truest self with my family and loved ones, so my father knows a side of me that is unfiltered and raw. He says that I have the ability to make him laugh and the ability to behave like a strict mother figure. I don’t think twice about what I say or how I behave in front of him. We are always having a blast when we are together.
Editor: Rasna Bhasin (@rasnabhasin)
Interview / Digital Editor: Sonal Ved (sonalved)
Photographer: Nishanth Radhakrishnan (@nishanth.radhakrishnan) / Feat Artists (@featartists)
Stylist: Devanshi Tuli (@devanshi.15)
Cover Design: Mandeep Singh (@mandy_khokhar19)
Editorial Coordinator: Shalini Kanojia (@shalinikanojia)
Hair Stylist: Nikita Menon (@nikitamenon1)
Makeup Artist: Shraddha Naik (@shraddha.naik)
Assistant Stylists: Junni khyriem (@junni.); Bhavna Rajani @bhavnaaaaa.r; bidipto das @iambidipto_
Brand Partner: @gjepcindia, @mygoldguide
Cover image credits: Shraddha Kapoor is wearing Silk Satin Twist Dress in Chartreuse with Exaggerated Power Shoulders, AFEW by Rahul Mishra (@afew.rahulmishra)
Look in image 2: Shraddha Kapoor is wearing black strappy dress, George Keburia (@georgekeburia)
Look in Image 3: Shraddha Kapoor is wearing Blue Keiko Coat, Amrich Designs (@amrichdesigns)