Actor Vaani Kapoor has mastered the art of sidestepping questions related to her love life with a subtlety you’d expect from someone who has spent six years in the public eye. “You know, I want to talk about it only when I’m super-confident about someone. Until then, I’d like to protect my private life for as long as I can. But I do have a huge crush on Bradley Cooper,” she jests. She does tell us, though, that the first thing she notices about a man is how he carries himself—“not just the clothes and shoes, but how he conducts himself”. Her prospective man should respect women and be self-assured. And infidelity is an instant deal breaker.
Anyone who’s seen her films will concur that Vaani, today, is a perma resident of ‘hot-bod, great-looks’ land. But what not many people know about the actor is that she wasn’t always like this. Growing up, Vaani was “actually a chubby teenager with braces”. And by her own admission, still needs to really watch her diet and exercise rigorously to stay in shape. Having been on both sides of the fence, what does she feel about body confidence and the pressures women have to deal with? “I won’t deny that people in our society are obsessed with appearances. And in the film industry, especially, you are required to be presentable. But, honestly, it should never be about size—about being thin or fat. It should only be about fitness and health. Thankfully, that mindset is changing, and people are getting smarter.”
As we near the end of our chat, we ask Vaani what she considers her most special achievement so far. “It’s a personal one, actually,” she smiles. “The ability to take care of myself financially. It makes me extremely proud,” she beams. “I stopped taking money from my parents as soon as I began working at 17, and I kept it that way, even if it meant cutting down on expenditure. It’s the same even now. You feel so empowered when you’re not dependent on anyone monetarily.” And what’s her biggest fear? “I’m fearful of fear...of living in fear. I hope I never have to, nor in the insecurity that comes with it.” Amen to that.
The Cosmo Quiz…
1) The one thing that I’m totally hopeless at...is lighting a matchstick. I have paranoia of fire.
2) I don’t know how to...cook.
3) The causes that I hold close to my heart…sustainable, environment-friendly clothing and shoes. My parents run an animal welfare NGO, and my mother organises anti-polio campaigns. Those are some other causes that I feel strongly for.
4) One thing people don’t know about me is...I can be very funny.
5) Never have I ever…skydived, but I will soon.
6) My New Year resolution is...never to set any for myself, because: no pressure!
7) In 2020, I want to...do a lot of good work, get fitter, and travel a lot... I really want to visit South Africa and Japan.
8) My hidden talent is...not-so-hidden anymore: I can eat a lot.