Actress Janhvi Kapoor is all set and rolling for her upcoming release, Mr. & Mrs. Mahi which is set for release on 31st May 2024. The actress has been vocal about the preparation and injuries she went through while filming but also about how proud she is of the final product.

In an exclusive conversation with IWMBuzz, Kapoor opened up on several things, ranging from how she is now gravitating towards the more commercial films, how she feels when she is constantly scrutinized and how much the box office matters to her.

You have had several films so far that have been received well, and you have been applauded for your performances as well. Now that you have some more commercial choices coming up, is it a conscious gravitation towards it or is it one of those things?

I think it is one of those things. Initially, I was also getting certain kinds of roles. I looked more like a kid early on, I think. And yes, I was gravitating more towards this kind of role, and I feel ready now to take on more commercial, bigger films. It honestly would have been the more conventional choice for me, and I feel it is something that comes more naturally to me. I did want to prove to myself that I could do things that were unexpected of me, and challenge myself. Hence, for the first 4-5 years of my journey, I felt like khunnas nikal di maine ki ab jo sochte ho main voh nahi karungi, main ulta karungi and karke dikhaungi (I removed that angst that what you expect of me, I won’t do that; I will do the opposite and prove I can do it well). Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

How much has Mahi affected you as a person?

It was very cathartic for me. Sharan Sharma (director) and I have been very close and he would always talk about the character and her journey, so I would share some anecdotes with him and then, he would find them intriguing and integrate them into Mahima’s life and even certain dialogues. So by the time the film came to me and performed the character with me on-set, I was so far removed from the girl that I used to be. I was almost judging Mahima, which was difficult because I was thinking, “How was I this girl? How stupid was I!” – so it was difficult for me to go back to that space – the traits that this character was derived from. When you get over a phase, there is so much hate and contempt for how you can put yourself in that situation, and so I was very blinded by that rage when I was performing the character. Through the course of the film, it helped me heal in several ways.

You do really care about numbers at the box office. With the film up for release, what are the kinds of expectations you have based on the current scenario?

You know it is so weird that I obviously want people to go and watch the film. That would mean a lot to me. But the expectation aspect of it, I have been liberated from it. Like you said, anything is happening and no one can predict anything. I am very confident about the film but this ‘anything can happen’ scenario has helped me understand that even if it is a great film, it might not work and at the same time, not feel defeatist that our film isn’t the big tentpole film, so there is no chance. I am very neutral, and I am very proud of the film that we have made. 10-15 years down the line, I will still be very proud of the film despite its fate now. I am very happy this will be in my filmography.

Do you feel immensely scrutinised? And do you feel disappointed that you are despite being real and prudent?

I have actually reconciled with it a little bit. I am an open book and I would like to be one with my audiences as well. But the media sensationalises everything, and I don’t trust that form of communication. They can’t get a true sense of me because of the way the information is relayed to them. Also, a lot of people out there are very attached to the perception they have of me – the whole privileged and nepo-kid and all that. And that’s fine. there is only so much I can do to change it. I don’t want to try so hard to shatter it because they are so attached to it. So, I am okay, and I am happy doing my work.