Actor Sanjay Kapoor and jewellery designer Maheep Kapoor’s daughter, Shanaya Kapoor, marked her foray into the film industry with Gunjax Saxena: The Kargil Girl (2021). The film that starred her cousin, actor Janhvi Kapoor, saw Shanaya don the hat of an assistant director. And now, she is all set to make her debut as an actor with Karan Johar’s upcoming production Bedhadak, which also stars Gurfateh Pirzada and newbie Lakshya. The Shashank Khaitan directorial is all set to hit the screens next year.
But even before she makes her much-anticipated debut, Shanaya seems to have become a favourite with brands. She has now been roped in by travel brand Booking.com as its APAC explorer for the second edition of the Booking Explorers campaign. In an exclusive interaction with News18, she opens up about her love for travel and starting her journey in the film industry. Excerpts:
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Now that you are kick-starting your career, do you feel jitters or are you confident and excited about it considering you have seen your dad and cousins do it for years?
I think I have a mix of all these feelings. It’s something that I’ve looked forward to since I was a kid, and now that the time is finally coming closer, it’s of course making me nervous and excited at the same time, but I do know I have worked on my craft and prepped for this moment. So, I’m happy about that. I think every actor has their own journey, so I don’t think that looking at others’ debuts or careers can fully prepare you for what is in store for you.
Is there a piece of career advice that has stayed back with you?
Rachit Singh (actor) is someone who I’ve done two workshops with and he’s always told me to just be in the moment and feel it. I also learned to not try and create the emotion but feel it from inside and it will show on your face. It’s about being honest.
How do you see yourself as an artiste a few years from now?
I want to be extremely versatile, do all kinds of films, and play all kinds of characters. I aspire to challenge myself as much as I can. I want to be the best student of cinema and acting. I want to be both spontaneous and also someone who works very hard on preparing for her roles. I want to be known as someone who can be counted on to do whatever it takes to create a convincing character.
Coming to your love for travel, how has it shaped you as an actor? It’s said that travelling opens up your mind to multiple cultures and people which eventually shapes you as an individual.
As a young actor trying to work on my craft, I feel there is no better drama school than travelling into the unknown. As an actor, we play a lot of characters and do different roles portraying different personalities. To play these roles, observation is a very important aspect. When you travel you find inspiration from new cultures, meet new characters, learn from new friends, try new food and be exposed to a variety of dialects, architectural styles and religious beliefs. Traveling gives me a variety of ways to feel alive. It alters how I see the world and puts things into perspective.
What’s your most memorable travel story?
Travelling with Ananya (Panday), Suhana (Khan), and our mums (Bhavana Pandey, Gauri Khan, and Maheep Kapoor) have been the most memorable, we used to go to London every summer and spend a month or two months there.
What are the some travel hacks up your sleeves?
I personally love traveling which is why I am really excited to associate with Booking.com and be a part of the Booking Explorer campaign that celebrates the relentless spirit of travel in a more meaningful and responsible way. For me, travelling is a great stress reliever. I prefer planning a bit in advance as it helps to avoid the last-minute stress of flight and hotel bookings. It is important to travel light and pack according to the destination you’re planning to visit. Enjoying the food, the culture and the environment for me is really the key to traveling. Researching well about the place you are planning on visiting is important as it helps to plan a few things better, and rest you can just go with the flow because it’s said, ‘Unknown roads lead to beautiful destinations.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
It’s always going to be New York. It holds a very special place in my heart. I would recommend having the pretzels they sell on the street or grabbing an iced coffee from any café. It’s my go-to morning routine in New York. I love going to Soho to shop and eat Lombardi’s pizza. It’s the best!
Are your getaways also about indulging in cheat meals?
I always eat ice cream when I’m on holiday. It’s my favourite dessert and then I work out by just swimming or walking the whole day instead of taking cabs or going for a fun gym class with a friend.