Actors constantly have to deal with the pressure of maintaining an image in the public eye. And there are times when posing an opinion isn’t the right thing to do. So, it’s almost refreshing when they do take a stand, or say it like it is. However, there’s a fine line between being blunt and being ignorant. An old video of Sonam Kapoor from a discussion is making rounds on the internet yet again, for the same reason.
Certainly, people change over time, there’s a lot that doesn’t come across in interviews and of course, discussions around films are mostly subjective. But, it’s the lack of awareness in this video, that people are pointing at. These are bits from an old conversation with Film Companion, where Rajkummar Rao and Sonam Kapoor were promoting their film. They talk about techniques, their experience in film school and a number of other things that sound productive for anyone interesting in film-making.
There are, however, also points in their discussion where Sonam Kapoor not only dismisses Rajkummar’s opinions, but also says things that are more than just ‘tongue in cheek’ remarks. For instance, the actress talks about how “not all people”, specially the ones who “come from his sort of background” have a certain notion about her. While it is the actress’ personal experience, the statement reeks of entitlement and hypocrisy – where she questions people who judge her, but literally ends up doing the same thing.
Later in the conversation, she questioned Rajkummar Rao about his opinion on nepotism, and if he thinks that star kids have it easy. When he explains his side of the story, she takes over his point and goes on to explain how star kids work hard. The thing with the discussion surrounding nepotism is – a lot of it is grey and based on experiences. It surely exists in more fields than just the film industry, but that doesn’t mean, we dismiss it. When people or ‘outsiders’ talk about the easy access that most star kids are exposed to, they’re not dismissing the efforts that they put in. It’s just that, some people, with just as much talent, miss out on opportunities due to the lack of these connections, so to speak.
The actress mentioned that she wanted to intern with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, but her father insisted that she start with someone else. And to say that it’s the same for everyone, reeks of privilege, that lacks acknowledgement.
When Rajkummar Rao asked her about the importance of looks for an actor, she rightly said that talent matters more. On other hand, she pointed out a notion mentioning that people who are “conventionally good looking” aren’t perceived to be good actors and vice versa. Again, it’s the way the actress puts it that nullifies the substance in the answer. And in many ways, it normalizes arrogance for when you’ve reached a certain point in life.
Understandably, these opinions are subjective. But the way a number of them were presented, sound disrespectful to people who’ve had different experiences or come from a different place. It’s definitely good to be honest, to take a stand, but it hardly makes sense if you do not acknowledge all sides of the story. It’s like doing what feels right for oneself, without considering others.
Watch the full conversation here:
There’s a greater responsibility when your opinions reach a large number of people. And too many people let it slide.