She dropped out of college in the US when she landed a part in Teen Patti (2010). But not only did Shraddha Kapoor’s debut film fail, so did her next one the following year, Luv Ka The End. Kapoor’s career finally took off with Aashiqui 2 in 2013. Since then, the daughter of Shakti Kapoor and Shivangi Kapoor, and niece of Padmini and Tejaswini Kolhapure, has been on a steady rise. When we met, the 29-year-old was curled up on a sofa in her sea-front family home in Mumbai, in between shooting for Half Girlfriend and promoting her next release, Rock On!! 2 (in theatres in November). Edited excerpts from an interview:

Coming from a film family, would you say you had an easy transition into the industry?

Recognition or opportunities may come easier if you are a star kid, but that didn’t happen with me. The producer of Teen Patti saw my photograph on Facebook, thought I was cute. She saw that we had common friends and realised that she’d gone to school with my brother. That’s how she contacted me for an audition. I feel good that I bagged an audition without my father putting in a call to anyone.

In fact, my father has never called anyone because he has had a tough journey himself —he came from Delhi with some Rs800 in his pocket, so he strongly advocates that you have to audition. He was clear that he would not make calls. The early days were tough for me. Being so-and -so’s son or daughter is not enough.

Have you sung your own songs in ‘Rock On!! 2’?

Yes, I did. I remember seeing the first film with my parents and brother and when the movie ended I told my family that if they make a sequel to this film, I am going to be in it. I was crazy about the film, the boys and the band, and I thought, ‘They don’t have a girl, what if they have a girl in the next one?’ So it’s crazy that this has happened.

Do you have any background in music or did you undergo special training?

Since I come from a musical family, the basic sur (tune) has always been there. As a child I did a little bit of training with my nana, Pandit Pandharinath Kolhapure, and that is something I wish I had not stopped. Those moments with him were very precious. My mom is a terrific singer. I sit with her when she practises.

I enjoy singing but I don’t know how good or bad I am. For this film I trained with this utterly fabulous jazz singer and vocal coach, Samantha Edwards. We did some exercises for a while before I started recording. But I was very nervous about recording the songs.

You’ve worked with film-makers like Vishal Bhardwaj, Shaad Ali and Mohit Suri. What have you learnt from each of them?

From Mohit I learnt to be emotionally connected with the character, because he is so emotional on set. He will cry or laugh if he is moved by a take. From Vishal sir I have learnt how to be a lot more responsible for the role I am playing: to be more prepared, ask many questions, and know who the character is exactly. From Shaad sir I learnt how not to overthink. Sometimes there’s a lot of ease when you decide not to overthink and just trust. But I have a long way to go and many more things to learn from many more films, directors and life experiences.

What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses at this stage?

I want to become a better actor, form closer connections with the characters I play, and improve my Hindi, because my first thoughts are in English. I want to start thinking in Hindi, which I think will help me as a performer. I have been told by a lot of people that I am a very patient person, so I guess that’s a strength. People say they have never seen me get upset or angry or be hyper on set. I like hearing that.

Do you manage your own money?

I do not have a clue! I forget that I’ve been given cheques, or where I have put them. It’s very bad. Fortunately, dad is amazing with all these investment things. He is gladly looking after everything, so I can focus on what I like to do.

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