Acting Up - Seerat Kapoor

A Telugu actress who began her acting career in 2014, Seerat Kapoor has already managed to make a name for herself – and not just as a glamorous diva, but as a powerhouse of talent. She’s attractive, intelligent, and chirpy, and next in line to be a superstar!

What kind of reviews have you received for your recent release, Touch Chesi Chudu?
They’ve been mixed so far. While the masses really like it, the critics have written off the film. But what is important to me is that the audience likes the movie and my work, because at the end of the day we make films for them.

Tell us about your current projects.
I’m currently wrapping up the shooting for Ravikanth Parepu’s upcoming film under Suresh Productions, co-starring Siddhu Jonnalagadda. I’ve also signed another film with Siddhu that will be directed by Sreedhar Seepana and produced by Lagadapati Sridhar.

What made you choose acting as a career?
I come from a dance and music background; I’ve been training in Indian classical music since I was 12 and Western dance since I was 15. Having grown up amidst the creative fields, it was almost like a natural transition from dance and music to acting. However, it wasn’t something that I had planned. The opportunity came my way and although it amused me at first, I decided to give it a shot, and here I am today. To me, acting is a form of expression, as are dance and music.

How did your interest in dance come about?
I’ve always been passionate about dance, so when I was around 15 years old, I joined ace choreographer Ashley Lobo’s dance classes – The Danceworx in Mumbai. Although I got into the company as a student, within a month of joining, the CEO of the company asked me if I’d like to join them as an instructor. I was only a teenager then and the offer really excited me, so I jumped for it.

The Danceworx was a Western dance studio and hence the basic form taught there was ballet. Since ballet wasn’t experimented with in India much at the time, we had foreign instructors come and teach us. It was a great learning experience. I would learn during the day and practice in the evening, and before I knew it I had my own batch of students – people of all age groups. It gave me the opportunity to prove myself. It’s really a great feeling when you’re that young and you have people looking up to you.

What’s your favourite dance form?
My forte is street jazz and funk, but I’ve trained in ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, and many others.

What would you say was the turning point in your career?
I don’t think I’ve had a turning point so far. In fact, I feel that every film teaches you something about yourself. For me it’s more about the journey, rather than one particular film. I learn something from every team I work with.

Do you relate to any character that you’ve played on screen?
There’s a part of me in every character I’ve played, but the most comfortable I’ve felt was in Okka Kshanam. Although I played a married girl in it, it was her free-spirited nature that I related to.

Is there any role in a film that you wish you had done?
Nothing in the recent past, but I wish I had played Alia Bhatt’s role in the film Highway. It was a really challenging character, and given a chance I’d love to be part of its remake.

How comfortable are you with Telugu? Do you think language is a barrier?
I’ve been in the industry for quite some time now so I understand 80% of the language. But I want to learn it better and be able to converse in it, too.

No, I don’t consider it a barrier at all. Actors today can act in languages that they don’t know at all, as long as they are comfortable and confident about it. Today, more than just the language, it’s the culture that comes into play. I’d love to breakthrough every industry.

If not an actor, what would your alternate career option be?
Since I was connected to dance and music in an era when Shakira and Beyonce were the rage, I saw myself as a performing artist who could do both–sing and dance. It’s prevalent in India now, with performers like Armaan Malik doing it, but it wasn’t common when I was young. Having said that, when acting happened for me, it was natural, my talent in dance just added extra value. The common ground was expression and emotion.

Will we be hearing you sing in any of your upcoming movies?
(Laughs) It’s a dream for me to sing in a movie that I’m acting in, but it should make sense for the project. In fact, not too many people know about my interest in music. I’m still quite shy about singing in front of too many people. It’s a very personal thing, a silent part of who I am. I’m looking for the right opportunity to showcase it to the world.

What’s your current favourite track?
‘Haareya’ from Meri Pyaari Bindu starring Parineeti Chopra and Ayushmann Khurrana. I connect to songs with a lot of melody.

Given the fact that the industry has more glamorous roles than performance based ones, for actresses, how hard is it for you to get an opportunity where performance is the more dominating quotient?
I can only speak for myself. Out of the roles that I have played in the recent past, I think I have struck a fair balance between both the worlds. While Raju Gari Gadhi 2 was more on the glamorous side, Okka Kshanam saw me playing an intensely performance-oriented role. Thereafter, Touch Chesi Chudu was a subtle mix of both. In my opinion, the industry gives us actors a diverse set of opportunities to choose from. It all boils down to the kind of roles you pick out of the films that reach you. As an actor I aim to make the best of the opportunities that surround me; I don’t spend my time dwelling on the difficulties that may or may not follow.              --- as told to Niharika