Janhvi Kapoor on Digital Toxicity, Self Care and Her Upcoming Projects

'People have a tendency to beat themselves up for prioritising their needs, no matter how reasonable or unreasonable they might be. The first step to self-care, for me, is to be okay with who I am and what I want, and not judge or be harsh on myself for it.”

Behind the glamour, Janhvi is every bit the girl-next-door, who likes to “look cute” in photographs on social media, who stands by her girlfriends as the ultimate wingwoman, and dreams of what her perfect wedding would look like (an intimate affair in Tirupati). Read on to get to know the Dhadak actor, and perhaps, fall in love with her...

You have a horror-comedy coming up. Did you watch any horror films to prepare?

Janhvi Kapoor: Honestly, I love watching horror films. So, horror, as a genre, came more naturally to me thanother films. I watch a lot of horror movies and I am absolutely fascinated with paranormal activitiesand stuff like that.

Which is the best and the worst horror movie that you have ever watched?

JK: The Exorcism of Emily Rose is great—what the lead character has done in that film is unreal! The worst horror film would be this Hindi movie that I was watching on television recently, Dar @ the Mall. It wasn’t all that bad, because I was enjoying it, but I think it wasn’t a technically-advanced movie. It was, actually, very funny.

What is your relationship with social media?

JK: I’m definitely a scroller...I scroll quite a bit, actually. Although, I am told I need to be more active about uploading posts, I end up putting up something only when I feel like it. I do think social media is great to see what’s happening around the world, it makes you feel connected. But as I said, we are all getting a bit too dependent on it. Even if you’re not posting often, you have to admit that when you do post, and get all those comments and Likes, somewhere, perhaps subconsciously,it is a confidence boost. I think it is essential to, kind of, distance yourself from that. Having said that, I am like any other girl—I like to look cute in my photographs, I like to post nice images. But I also know that it is just a virtual world, not a real one.

And what are your thoughts about digital toxicity?

JK: Again, I think that is because we attach too much value to our digital lives. Often, our own self-worth is based on the reactions we get on social media. One has to understand that a huge part of that is manipulated. I noticed the rise in toxicity during the lockdown. Maybe I’m being delusional, but I feel it has abated a bit now...or maybe I just haven’t been reading those comments anymore! I think people just wanted to take their bhadaas (outburst) out. Or, perhaps, it was cathartic in some way for them and they will, hopefully, calm down now. I am not very active on social media at the moment, so it’s fine. I’m not sitting and crying about what they write. I used to, but not anymore.

How did the negativity affect you in the past?

JK: You know, people can say some really nasty things, only because they’re faceless. It’s like when you give a kid a microphone attached to large speakers—just because everyone can hear them, they want to speak rubbish into it. I feel people on social media are like that sometimes. All of a sudden, they’re all entitled to an opinion, even if it doesn’t mean anything. And they say mean things, that are morally incorrect and ethically messed up. The fact that someone is capable of having these bitter thoughts—and wanting to put others down—is disturbing.

1_012921122242.jpgBlouse and dupatta, RI.Ritu Kumar. Jewellery, Harit Zaveri Jewellers.

Moving on to happier things, what brings you joy?

JK: My family and work.

And what does self-care mean to you?

JK: I think it’s okay to be selfish, sometimes. People have a tendency to beat themselves up for prioritising their needs, no matter how reasonable or unreasonable they might be. The first step to self-care, for me, is to be okay with who I am and what I want, and not judge or be harsh on myself for it.”

What is the biggest misconception that people tend to have about you?

JK: People think that I am very proper. I don’t know why they have this impression of me...that I always sit with my legs crossed and talk like I’m having high-tea with the Queen of England. I’m really not like that—I am quite the opposite!

Do you have any ‘strange’ habits?

JK: Quite a few. Like, every time I enter a film set, or someone’s home for a meeting or for anything important, I always enter with my right foot first. I have to eat honey with Chinese food. Every time I watch a film, if I like a scene, I pause it and watch it again, at least five or six times, and then go in front of a mirror and re-enact it—only then does my soul allow me to continue watching the rest of the film. When I am singing along to a song and miss a lyric or don’t get it right, I start the song all over again. And I am obsessed with working out—I act like I have committed a sin if I ever skip a workout, likeI don’t know what’s going to happen to my life.

You share a very strong bond with the women in your life... What, according to you, is the importance of solid female friendships?

JK: It’s extremely important! Growing up, I had more guy friends, but of late, I have realised that having that female support, that sisterhood, is irreplaceable. That comfort level, understanding, and the sense of reaching out and celebrating each other is wonderful...and so healthy. It’s also a way of breaking away from the shackles of patriarchy—because once you become aware of that kind of strength and begin to take yourself seriously, other people will see it, too. I’m sounding so wise (laughs)!

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