On the Road to Success! - Kashika Kapoor

She’s all of 19 but has already tasted success with the portrayal of Moco in the international video game, Free Fire. She even appeared in a music video by Sa Re Ga Ma and has modelled for several brands and designers. In addition, Kashika Kapoor is making her acting debut with Tollywood film True Love by Flick Nine Films alongside Hrithik Saurya. The young and vivacious girl is making waves wherever she goes. Read on as we chat with the powerhouse of talent about how she got to where she is and about her ongoing projects.

Congratulations on bagging your first Tollywood film. How difficult was it to get a break in Tollywood considering you come from a non-filmi background?
Thank you so much for your kind words. I’ve always believed in myself and my hardwork and have had the faith that I’d make it to where I wish to be in life. I’m a follower of ‘THE SECRET’ and a firm believer in the Buddhist philosophy of ‘Nam Myoho Renge Kyo’. My family too has always believed in me and my talent. As it is rightly said, “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”

When I was just 5 I had told my mom that I will definitely become an actor someday, and not just any actor but an established one who will be known for her acting. I want to do justice to every role that I play and will make sure to do so. My main purpose is to do what I love and to win the audience’s heart in the process.

I take pride in having let go of projects that weren’t meant for me and grabbing the ones that were. I’ve always known that I’ll get work but was waiting for the right project. I believe that getting work isn’t hard but getting the right kind of work is. I’m proud of the fact that I have got many offers and all have been decent roles; it is because of the way I’ve portrayed myself. My parents always taught me to work towards my goals with dignity, by keeping myself covered because acting means to act through the face, eyes, and expressions, and not by exposing my body.

At just the age of 15, I gave up on my social life completely. I sacrificed everything and started focusing on my career, by working hard each day, focusing on long hours of acting workshops, dancing, Kathak, mixed martial arts, workouts, all this while studying, side by side. I made a promise to my dad when I started out, that I will follow my dreams while continuing to succeed in my studies, and I did just that.

I started off my career by going for auditions with my mom at the age of 15. I enjoyed every audition and learnt so much from each and every one of them. I then started modelling for designers and doing ads at the age of 17. I’m 19 now and I recently did a music video called “O Mere DilKe Chain” sung by Shahid Mallya under the Sa Re Ga Ma label which won a millions of hearts. I’m also the face of the international video game Freefire, as Moco, and now, finally I have signed up for my debut, a Telugu film by Flick Nine Films called True Love starring Hrithik Saurya and I in lead roles.

Having been born and brought up in Mumbai, how comfortable are you to act in a Telugu movie?
I love the south industry. I feel like the people in south are so dedicated and passionate about their work and are all very grounded no matter how successful they are. There’s a lot to take back from this industry. Here, people get selected for their acting only and I’m proud to be one of those. I am grateful to be making my debut with in a Tollywood film. I love my script of True Love and have already learnt Telugu for the film. I’m really very blessed to have such a humble and hardworking co-star as Hrithik Saurya and a talented team of producers, directors and technicians. We can’t wait to light up your screens with our performance!

You’re the face of the international video game FreeFire as MOCO and the game has won millions of hearts in no time. How did you land the project?
I was training for martial arts one day when I got a call for this project. I immediately left for the meeting with my manager and my dad (PS: My parents always accompany me to every meeting/ shoot and that’s the cutest thing ever). The minute I met the director, he said to me, “Your eyes and expressions talk, you’re my Moco. ”So without any auditions, I was signed on for the project. My director Parakram sir and his wife Bhavini, producer Raj Roy  and the whole team are so passionate about their work that it inspired me towork even harder. I trained for hours and hours… the pain, sweat, and blood was all worth it!

What were the preparations you had to make to play the role and voice of MOCO?
I got trained by Sunil Rodrigues sir and his team (Rod Stunt Team). I practised for hours and hours on the various stunts, techniques, positioning, method of holding guns and knives, and method of shooting, until I got all of it right. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my work and performance being recognised and appreciated by the director himself. The whole team believed in me and that’s what kept me going.

At such a young age you have appeared in various verticals of the entertainment industry—advertisements, still photography, music videos, video game, and now in a film. How has the experience of each been?
Well, each of it has taught me a lot. Every shoot has been different and beautiful in its own way. The music video shows more of my natural, happy and fun side, the Freefire video shows more of my action side, and now there’s so much more to come with all your blessings.

Apart from all this, you are simultaneously pursuing your BBA. How do you manage your time?
I’m pursuing a BBA from NMIMS and it is distance education so I manage to study whenever I’m not shooting or working.I make sure to submit all my assignments in time and never keep a backlog. For me, knowledge is power.

I never want to stop educating myself, no matter how big I make it, because an empty mind is a devil’s workshop.

Did you undergo any special training or course in acting?
I believe that one can never learn acting, it is in-born. You can only practise to improve your skills. Having said that, I did pursue a three-year acting workshop from NYFA alongside my studies. It helped polish my skills and prepare for scripts.

Having been an athlete all your life, didn’t you want to pursue a career in sports?
I’ve been playing sports all my life. I wanted to pursue basketball, but always as a hobby, never a career. I was a national level basketball player and a national level runner, swimmer, tennis and table tennis player. My home is filled with my trophies and medals and my parents would always be called on the stage to award me, then for my education and sports and hopefully soon it will be for my acting career.

With the festive season right around the corner, how do you plan to celebrate the festivals of Dussehra and Diwali?
I want to spend all this time, especially during the festive period, with my family before my movie goes on floors. I’m extremely religious and spend the festival of lights being around my family and loved ones, because they light me up even more.

What do the festivals mean to you?
Diwali signifies the victory of good over evil, hence, Diwali means lighting up every house and every heart with pure love, positivity and kindness. It is also a time for welcoming success into our homes.      --- as told to Niharika

Styling and Shoot direction: Niharika Keerthi; Shot at the Lawns, ITC Kakatiya; Photography: Kishor Krishnamoorthi; Videography: Jagadeesh Bandaru;
Hair and makeup: Emraan Artistry; Clothes: ASAL by Abu Sandeep, Hyderabad; Jewellery: Tirumala Jewellers, Jubilee Hills