Meet Bollywood's Hottest Producer
If you thought Sonam Kapoor was the hot new bubbly star kid of Bollywood, think again. Her sister Rhea can beat her flat to it.
Together, they are a house on fire, and all you can do is laugh along.
At 23, Rhea Kapoor is probably one of the youngest producers in the industry. Her film Aisha, starring Sonam, Abhay Deol, Cyrus Sahukar, Amrita Puri, Lisa Hayden, Arunodhay Singh and Ira Dubey releases on August 6.
It was directed by first-timer Rajshree Ojha, and has foot-tapping music from Dev D composer Amit Trivedi.
Nithya Ramani has an exclusive chat with Rhea Kapoor, where she tells us how her dad Anil Kapoor tricked into film production and more! Just click on Next.
Image: Rhea Kapoor
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
'It was challenging to produce Aisha because it starred my sister
What made you take up film production?
Occupational hazards, I guess (laughs). I studied theatre and wanted to study performing arts but then I thought, why should I pay $40,000 a year in a school when I can learn it for free? So I decided to work on a film -- Wake Up Sid. By then, Sonam had landed Aisha. I was told to produce it. I must have been foolish to agree. As soon as I started working on Wake Up Sid, I decided never to act.
That was my next question. Why didn't you think of acting?
I have seen everything so up close and personal that I feel acting is not my cup of tea. Sonam studied direction and I studied acting. She vowed that she would never act and look at her now. When I see her, I am happy that I'm not acting. I've seen my dad act and now Sonam, I think it's an overdose (laughs).
What was it like producing a film starring your sister?
It was a little challenging because it starred my sister. You have to be professional. It was tricky balancing it but I did it.
Do you want to direct a film?
Yes. But I will produce a few more films before I get into direction.
Image: Sonam Kapoor, Anil Kapoor and Rhea Kapoor
'When I turn 45, my gorgeous husband and I will go to France and have a blast'
Javed Akhtar said that you are quite the taskmaster. How true is that?
I never lost my temper on the sets. I don't scream or shout. Everyone is equal on the sets. I cannot do my job without the spot boy and he can't do his job without me.
I've never lost my temper on the sets and don't intend to either because it would be in bad taste. If you respect everyone's work and their work ethics, they will do their best. They would want you to succeed.
We had a blast on the sets. We were only eating, playing games and wasting time. It was like a mad house. But we worked hard as well.
Isn't it too much of responsibility for a 23-year-old girl?
If not now, then when? I started the film when I was 21. Let me be responsible now. When I turn 45, my gorgeous husband and I will go to France and have a blast.
Have you seen or read Jane Austen's Emma -- Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Beckinsale's films?
Yes. I have seen and loved them. We have imbibed a lot from those films in Aisha.
What were your inputs into the film?
The clothes, the music, the make-up... I sunk my teeth into everything. (Director) Rajshree came to the table with a lot of ideas too. Everyone's ideas went into Aisha.
Did you ever match make?
No. Why interfere in someone else's life? It is none of my business. I never interfered.
Image: A still from Aisha
'It was easy for me to get into films because of my father'
How does it feel to be Anil Kapoor's daughter?
Horrible (laughs). Jokes apart, it's fine. When you ask me this question, it feels silly because I don't know what it is like not to be Anil Kapoor's daughter. I have always been his daughter. So I can't tell the difference.
It was easy for me to get into films. He has been in the industry for a long time and still loves to act. He is very inspiring, supportive and encouraging. He is open to new ideas.
How helpful was he on the sets of Aisha? What kind of help did you get from him in terms of production?
He played a trick on me. He kept saying that he would be with me on the sets and help me. Suddenly, he got 24 and left. That left me all alone to do everything. He was there only for the last schedule. But he was very helpful during post production. I wouldn't have been able to pull it off if not of him.
How different is Anil Kapoor the actor from Anil Kapoor the father?
Completely different. I've seen him on the sets. He is always intense and ready to go. At home, he is very chilled out and spaced out. He never loses his temper and never gets hyper. He's very laid back.
Image: A scene from Aisha
'Juhi asked me to dance with her during Deewana Mastana shoot'
Did you ever accompany your father to his shoots?
No way! Mom did not want filmi romantics at home. Besides, what would I do there? Sit like the hero's daughter? I visited him on the sets sometimes but I never sat around.
But I remember his Deewana Mastana shoot with Juhi Chawla. I have this vivid memory of this time when they were rehearsing their dance steps. Juhi looked at me and asked me to dance with her.
No! I can't dance!
Which is your favourite Anil Kapoor film?
Mr India. It was released in the year I was born and it was successful, so I take the credit (laughs).
Your brother wants to be a director?
No, he wants to act. He is 6' 2" and is gorgeous. He has all the awesome features to be an actor.
Image: A scene from Aisha