Neetu Kapoor is back doing what she loves most: acting. The actor has returned to the arctic lights after a long sabbatical and says the experience has helped her regain her balance following the death of husband Rishi Kapoor in 2020. The actor will star in JugJugg Jeeyo, which is out this Friday.
As Neetu promotes her upcoming film, which revolves around love, marriage, divorce and everything in between, she rethinks her memories of her marriage and family ties. In this interview, Neetu talks candidly about Rishi, her mother-in-law Krishna Raj Kapoor, and how her son Ranbir Kapoor balances his relationships after wedding with Alia Bhatt†
About why she decided to return to acting after nine years, Neetu says: ‘Once an actor, always an actor. But you need a lot of confidence, which I had lost in the meantime because I hadn’t worked for so long. Then I lost my husband… When I started shooting the film, I didn’t have him. But now I think I’m confident, I can do it and I’ll keep doing more work now.”
About facing her insecurities, Neetu said: “When we were halfway through the movie I would tell a friend it’s not my thing, I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to continue done, I was so stressed. Now feel However, I feel much better and want to work more. It’s all about confidence and I get that in return.”
Acting now means more to Neetu than ever; it’s her way of coping with her husband’s death. She shares: “It keeps you busy, it’s like a job. Acting is my profession. What else can I do, I’m all alone. Nobody lives with me, both my kids are married. So what should I do? be very sad when I think about my past and my husband So I decided it’s better to be busy, kaam karte raho, dil behel jaataa hai† So it’s a good thing.”
When asked how she manages to be so outspoken and full of life, even after coming out of a tumultuous phase in her personal life, she says, “Maybe because I’m a positive person. I don’t know the reason, it’s just the way I am. My husband used to tell me how he thought I was a very normal person. He’d say, ‘There’s no air about you. No show.’ He used to have very beautiful girlfriends, but he left them all (for me). So I asked him why he had left them, to which he said: ‘woh apne mein hi lagi rehti hai. But you are very normal, I love normal people’.”
Neetu was at the peak of her career and already 22 when she tied the knot with Rishi and gave up everything. “I don’t know how I did it, himmat aa jaati hai† Maybe it was my love for their family, my love for him. I just knew Rishi Kapoor from childhood. I was 14 when he came into my life so after someone has been a part of your life for so long they become your own person so you want to do everything ke woh thik ho jaaye. When he (Rishi) had to go, he did, but you want everything to be okay. I think you should really just love that person. I say this very often, if you love your husband, you love his family; if you don’t like their family, that means you don’t love your husband. And I have a relationship with every member of my family, like his sister Reema is my best friend. My niece Natasha, she is my best friend, they love me more than Chintu mama. So you have to build your relationship. I feel like if you love that person, you have to make that effort to love everyone.”
She then went on to share how her relationship with her mother-in-law, Krishna Raj Kapoor, helped her survive difficult times in her life. “Someone asked me how I developed such a close relationship with my mother-in-law. Today I miss my mother-in-law the most. I miss her more than my husband. I miss my husband because I don’t have a companion. I miss how we both went out for lunch, we traveled. Who am I making these plans with now? But my relationship with my mother-in-law was excellent. I’d call her and go, ‘your son said this, did that’ and she’d say, ‘your husband…’ and I’d say ‘woh tumhara beta hai…,” and we fought like that,” she said.
“My father-in-law used to say, ‘dusri Krishna aa gayi hai ghar mein† (bursts out laughing). So we shared a great relationship, I would say ‘don’t touch my mother in law’, you know she was a very beautiful woman, very radiant. So we had a really easy relationship and I miss that,” she added.
Neetu can’t get enough of telling her how happy she is that her son Ranbir is now a married man and that Alia is her daughter-in-law. She said: “People have been asking me how my relationship with Alia will be, and it will be the same for me and my mother-in-law. Alia is a nice person. She is a beautiful, simple, unspoilt person. So I think the relationship between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is the man’s fault Because you love your mother so much, and jab tum joru ka gulaam ban jaate ho na, fir maa ko issue hoti hai† When you balance your love for your mother and your wife, it is always better. She will love you more. If you become too much of your wife, the mother feels… (laughs).”
When asked if she gets that feeling now that her son is married. She said, “I don’t get this feeling because my son is a very intelligent man, he balances his love. He doesn’t quite go ‘mama mama,’ he can call me once every five days and ask,’monkey thik ho na† That he asks me this is enough.”
Neetu then opened up about her comparison to her son, and how he would comfort her if she complained to him about an argument with his father. She said, ‘If I have a problem, I either call my mother-in-law or I call Ranbir. Wherever I would be in the world I would say, ‘your father, your father, your father…’, because with me it’s like saying things, I feel happy, while if something is bothering me inside I feel very heavy inside. So I had to tell someone, and it was my mother-in-law and Ranbir and he asked, ‘achha mama, kya karna hai aapko?,” and that would be enough for me to feel relaxed, because “kya kar sakti hoon, kahaan jaaoungi† Bass bol diya.
When asked whether she gives her son or her new daughter-in-law Alia marriage advice, she said: “Nowadays you can give advice to anyone, woh sab seekh ke aate hai. They will teach you, no one listens to you. Better to stay away from advising.”
Neetu is waiting for the release of her movie JugJugg Jeyo starring Ali Kapoor, Varun Dhawan and Kiara Advani on June 24.