Bollywood star Sonam Kapoor, whose latest film, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, is about a lesbian romance, found romancing her female co-star easier than romancing a man.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga marks the first mainstream Indian film release to depict a same-sex relationship. Kapoor plays Sweety, who is conflicted with her feelings and struggles to come out in a conservative society. She falls in love with Kuhu, played by Regina Cassandra—and Kapoor said she had no qualms about filming tender scenes with a woman.
Asked about the difficulties of the role, Kapoor said she found playing a shy character harder than playing a gay character.
“It is one of the hardest films I have done. Not because of the fact that I was playing gay, that was the easy part. Romancing Regina was the easiest thing, it’s easy to romance a woman than to romance a man,” Kapoor told Firstpost.
“I was most comfortable doing that. But playing someone who doesn’t understand who she is was the most difficult part.”
The Bollywood actress continued: “The girl who I play is absolutely opposite of me. I am not shy. I have immense self-belief and self-confidence. I know exactly who I am and my parents have been extremely supportive. I don’t come from a small town. My character is very uncomfortable in her skin and I wanted her to be awkward.”
Sonam Kapoor on homophobia in Bollywood
The release of Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga comes after the repeal of Section 377, a colonial law banning homosexuality, in India last year.
However, Kapoor signed on to the film—which also stars her father, Bollywood legend Anil Kapoor—while gay sex was still illegal.
Speaking about the attitudes to homosexuality, Kapoor said, “We didn’t know at that time whether the film will get released, or will it get an A certificate.”
The actress also revealed that she has witnessed homophobia in the Indian film industry.
“I have had such a progressive, liberal upbringing, and, in fact, when I joined the industry I found it very homophobic, very sexist and coming from such a home environment into this so-called real world of this film industry, it was a culture shock to me,” said Kapoor.
“‘Are people really like that?’ I would wonder. I couldn’t believe that they made fun of the LGBTQ? For me it was quite shocking. Just because you have a different preference for who you want to love doesn’t make you any different from what we as a community considers normal.
“There is nothing abnormal about it. To judge them, or laugh at them, or stereotype them is very cruel.”