Actor Janhvi Kapoor has said she agreed to feature in Zoya Akhtar’s short in the horror anthology ‘Ghost Stories’ because she finds herself drawn to “slightly tragic characters”.
The Dhadak star is featured as a home nurse tasked with taking care of an elderly woman played by veteran actor Surekha Sikri.
Janhvi said she wanted understand how the filmmaker creates Zoya’s characters. The project gave her the opportunity to understand the world Zoya Akhtar creates which is quite unlike any other.
“The way Zoya sees her characters and writes them, they are grounded in reality. They are detailed and never one dimensional, she layers them in a way I don’t think many filmmakers have cracked.
“I wanted to be a part of this world and get to know how these characters are made. It was just curiosity,” Janhvi told Indian news agency PTI in an interview.
The actor said the story and the character resonated with her on a very weird level. “I think I am fascinated with slightly tragic characters,” she adds.
Calling Zoya an incredible storyteller, the actor says the director handed over her a five-page backstory for the character before the film rolled.
“A lot of discovering who my character was, was also about her physicality – the fact that she was a nurse, there was a certain body language.
“The way she would dress while working and not working dictated a lot of her intentions. She had a specific way of talking.”
The actor was shooting for Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl and Dostana 2 when she landed on the sets of Ghost Stories and was told at the last moment she had to put up an accent for her character.
“Zoya asked if I speak Tamil or Telugu. I said I don’t so she asked me to do an accent. I did one, because my DoP in Gunjan is a south Indian. Zoya was like great, lets do it.
“Imagine she is a nurse — an orphan, part of her backstory — who has grown up around those Kannadiga sisters who bring up orphan kids. This happened on the spot! Luckily that day I had only one-two dialogues,” Janhvi adds.
The 22-year-old actor says she has picked all her projects purely because they offered new opportunities for her to learn.
Ghost Stories would be the follow-up to her 2018 debut Dhadak and will stream on Netflix from January 1.