She’s a perfect example of beauty with brains, and one of the few actresses who exactly knows her mind. Meet Seerat Kapoor – a multi-talented PYT, who was born to perform. Living life on her own terms, she’s followed her heart and come this far. In a heart-to-heart with this soft, doe-eyed beauty, we found out more about her story, life and work.
By Anahita Ahuja
How did acting happen?
Great question. I like how our interview begins on a note so rare! (smiles). I come from the world of dance and music and have trained in Indian classical vocals since the age of 12 and Western dance forms at age 15. Having grown up amidst the creative fields, it was a natural transition from dance and music to acting. Except only… I wasn’t as genius to have known this very simply put fact, as early. The opportunity on the contrary apparently was and thus presented itself. Back tracking – the sound of it grabbed my attention at first; the girl was left amused, hence turned a good listener to fate, perhaps is now making herself seem a lot more wiser and Hurray! Alas! Seerat Kapoor is here today.
Tell us more about dancing…
Dance is passion. At the age of 15 I chose to join ace choreographer Ashley Lobo’s company – The Danceworx, Mumbai. Nothing to be awarded for because Hey! Apparently that’s what all young teenagers do anyways. I registered myself as a student and lucky for me, got promoted to wear the badge of ‘Company Instructor’ within a month to be precise. To me, the sun seemed a lot brighter, earlier that day! Ballet was our mandatory foundation which I remember I would often debate. Coming to the 15 year olds wise opinions of the “cooler” dance forms; I discovered my signature groove in funk, street jazz and hip-hop. Contemporary too was a significant style of our company’s identity.
Did you ever consider modelling?
By now I had grown to hit sweet 16, I was introduced to voluminous mascara and a pair of waxed legs. I actually instead thought modelling was considering me. It’s only when I took forward the journey that I found myself to feel still, a certain void. I felt almost there, just not there yet completely. What next? Run Raja Run showed me the magic of a motion camera within which I found my sanity. Music, dance, expression had all come together as one. I felt myself come alive – I found my calling and Ahem ahem! Also my day to day, stability.
Please run us through what all happened when you were offered your first film?
My first offer was titled ‘Run Raja Run’. I remember briefly receiving a call from my manager mentioning to me of; a South production on the hunt for a fresh face. They had seen my photos and had offered to fly me down for a meeting. No questions asked, short and sweet I flew into the city the very next day. This was also my first visit to Hyderabad. Now we all remember our firsts, don’t we? (smiles). Until then, I had never watched a south film! So basically I shared my trip in the cozy company of two; my first and most favourite manager Harlene Chandok now Mrs. Gill and Google while also sipping on IndiGo’s Rs. 100; Oh-So-Delicious hot coffee! I kid you not! I have never explored googled to such excruciating detail, as I did back then. I looked up UV Creations, read about Sharwanand, my director Sujeeth, and their forthcoming chivalry towards the villa of my dreams! Just kidding. I wanted to study the ethos the south industry relates to. I landed into Hyderabad and absolutely loved the feel the city had – especially the airport road’s stretch! I remember asking myself what I was doing in Mumbai when there was so much beauty with space, here. Yeah! Women prefer that combination too. Just then the stretch was over, we hit the traffic – And that’s exactly when I kind of felt at home. On reaching their office, I met the director. I was escorted to the makeup room to freshen up. I thought for it to be a simple audition, but to my surprise I had a hair and makeup artist already working on me. Honestly, I was a tad bit taken a back because of the degree of unexpected trials with me. Somewhere there, Sujeeth causally handed over a dialogue piece of paper and we started rolling. As the cameras came on, I forgot that I was in for an audition. I wrapped my scene, met the producers, Sharwa and went back to the hotel, smiling at the experience and not a single thought more or less. In no time, my manager Harlene; receives call back, she jumps uncontrollably in excitement screaming – Seerat! You’ve bagged your first film!
How much do you relate to personally, with your characters?
There’s a part of me in every character I’ve played, but the most familiar I’ve felt with myself was; in the skin of the role I played in ‘Okka Kshanam’. Although I portrayed a married woman, it was her free-spirited, inner strength and ballsy nature that I could strongly relate to.
If I really got to know you, what would I know about you?
The common impression I have on people who don’t know me, is of someone who is too snooty to speak to. Apparently I am not easily approachable, and I also make for a personality highly intimidating. This is what I have heard from people who have now turned to become my closest friends. Well, I’m not complaining, it works in my favour for those I prefer to keep at a good distance! To be true though, I am quite the contrary. My intimate circle calls me quite the sucker, as I am gifted with a whirpool of emotions and trust people irritatingly-easily.
But there still is a slight wall around you…
Isn’t there a wall around us all? I just chose to have a slight one, instead. Suddenly sounds better doesn’t it? For the person I am, there is a lot I carry internally. My idea of expression isn’t always necessarily in your face; it is actually more internal and closely knit to myself, my whole being. For example one could say, even if I was extremely excited given a situation; to the distant observer, it may still seem hidden. Hold on to that thought there. There’s a reason I called the observer, distant. There is this life inside me – thoughts that feel liberated and free. I’m always in conversation with myself. This protective wall is about who resides within and less about what’s around me.
Apart from acting, what else are you most passionate about?
I don’t look at life from just a professional perspective. I feel there is so much more to who I am, my purpose and what I must aim to achieve. To the world Seerat Kapoor is an actor, a dancer, a singer but to me she’s first a human being. I am very compassionate about the notion of love and that carries with me wherever I go. I have a few but strong set of gems who know me inside out and vice versa. When in my professional space, I often find myself naturally dwelling into more than what meets the surface. I often find myself, zestful to strike meaningful bonds. The minute you expect me to do something half-heartedly, it would not be me.
When you started off, how welcoming was the industry?
Most of the industry felt very warm. Beyond that, I remember there was a constant positive talk I would consciously infuse inside of me. It was enough to never wander about any sense of negative outside, which I’m sure must have existed and in its rightful proportions. You see, both positive and negative form our sphere. A little bit of both, is balance, is life, is reality. I was rather focused on counting my blessings – a stellar launch, and an exceptionally hardworking team. Yes, one is bound to have doubts and insecurities but how much time do you dwell in there? Is the real question. I was too immersed in performing my share of responsibilities and the learning from the curve of lessons that came along my way; that I honestly rarely spent time in analyzing what another’s opinion was of me.
How have you evolved as a person through your career?
I think I have evolved by becoming more vocal. I was extremely shy, and would keep things a lot more within me earlier. Thanks to the exposure and the field that I am in, now I organically find myself voicing them. It’s interesting to discuss that there are a section of people who look at it as the same as confidence – but to me they are different. I believe, one can be introverted yet self-assured, it all boils down to knowing someone better. I was more reserved back then and that too was a very comfortable space for me. Now, through experiences and growth I have evolved towards becoming a more audible voice and its reflection is noticed as Seerat Kapoor, the actress.
What in life makes you feel the most fulfilled?
If I can go to sleep feeling true to myself and honest to myself – I experience the feeling of contentment. It stems from cleansing my soul. Not in terms of my food or lifestyle, but in direct terms of thoughts and gestures. Apart from this, the happiest I have found myself is every single time I have chosen to do something for another – I thrive on contentment that is released from the act of giving. It is happiness non- combatable!
What would you liked to be remembered as?
As an actor one: who could sink into the skin of all characters and play them bold and convincingly.
On a personal level: I aim to be remembered as one of the nicest human beings to have ever lived. Trust me you, the latter is factually the harder to lead.
According to you – what is your biggest accomplishment?
Being able to chase my dreams. Accomplishment to me is a journey not a reaching end. It is a state of mind which must be awakened and alive at all times.
What scares you?
The bonds I have made. However, it’s a fear I would never want to fight; for it is this fear which humbly also teaches me their true worth and value.
What advice would you give to younger Seerat?
My dearest young and dainty blossoming flower! Your gift is your vulnerability. Trust wisely, for it is you who will bear its valuable price as owner.
Your dream role would be…
A performance oriented role, while depicting a dancer and a play back singer.
If you could go back in time – one thing you could change?
Absolutely nothing. I believe that each one of those decisions I have made along the way have led me to the path, on which I stand strong today. Everything has a reason, I don’t question what I don’t know. I am a traveller, I trust in my journey and pay close attention to the signs that grace my way. I lead with emotion. My own very intuition and this is how I chose to carry forward my own weight.
On a lighter note:
What celebrity would you rate as a perfect 10?
The celebrity who earns your valuable time.
One super power you wish you had?
It’s not a wish, it’s a virtue – To be able to fly!
What would be a good theme song for your life?
When I have it composed, you wouldn’t need to ask.
What is your most annoying habit?
Midnight cravings between 3-4 AM
Your biggest OCD?
Home needs to be crystal clean!
Movie: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Piece of clothing: “Hey Anahita (since you’re also my stylist), one pair of cotton palazzos, a bush shirt, punjabi juttis, delicate silver jhumkis and a sling bag please!
Makeup essential: Sunscreen, Thick brows, a pinky-nude Matte finished lip and generous amounts of mascara!
Co-star: Hey! If he were to be a favourite you’d have to perhaps rephrase the question, pun intended.
Dish: Pasta, Lasagna and homemade Indian food but above all chai!
TV Series: Game of thrones has all my current attention, specifically.