Vaani Kapoor Talks Groundbreaking Hindi Transgender Romance ‘Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui’ & Whether A Trans Actor Should Have Played The Role

Hindi language romance Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui It is rocking India this week as its subject matter – the film is a romantic drama with a transgender lead character – is a first for the country.

The film has received positive reviews and is helping to generate word of mouth box office returns, which, being hit by the pandemic, still have limited capacity in some Indian states.

Vaani Kapoor With Ayushmann Khurrana, in the story of a bodybuilder (Khurana) who falls in love with a Zumba teacher (Kapoor), unaware that the latter is transgender.

The film, directed by Abhishek Kapoor, is being praised for presenting a progressive story in a country where the subject of being transgender is still largely taboo. However, things may change for the better. Just last week, model Shruti Sithara became the first Indian to win the Miss Trans Global pageant, and content like Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui Helping to start a conversation around the trans community.

In a conversation with Deadline, Vaani Kapoor told us that she hopes the picture will be “eye-opener” when it comes to the perception of transgender people in India and that cinema can be “a force for good”. She also addresses the idea that her role should have been played by a transgender actor, which has been suggested by some critics.

time limit: What did you like about this role?

Vaani Kapoor
Taras Taraporewala

Vaani Kapoor: We all recognized the heart of the film, it has such an important message. This kind of film with this theme has never been tried before in Hindi cinema. This is the first time a trans girl’s character has been handled in such a delicate manner. It is not very didactic, the treatment comes in an entertainment package but the filmmakers make sure that the right message comes through.

time limit: To what extent is it ‘first’?

Kapoor: not much has happened [trans roles], There is no reference to the way it is depicted in our film. It is usually a man wearing a woman’s dress or vice versa. The film has evolved, taking into account how time has evolved, how people have evolved. In India, these interactions do not happen in schools, colleges among our community. There is a perception about the transgender community that needs to be shed a new light on. My director Abhishek Kapoor has done a wonderful job in striking that balance. This gave us confidence to move forward.

time limit: Was this an original screenplay?

Kapoor: The idea came from a woman who knows our director, who has two trans daughters. She started the conversation saying that this was the life her daughters were like.

time limit: What is the general attitude towards transgender people in India? Has public perception changed in recent years?

Kapoor: There are progressive minds as well as retrograde minds. I think it leans towards people who still need to open their eyes. This conversation doesn’t happen so often, not many people talk about it in their daily lives. As part of a society, cinema is a great way to start a conversation. I still think there are a lot of people who are still oblivious to the trans community. This film can open the eyes of many people.

time limitThere has been debate in India whether it would have been more appropriate for a transgender actor to play the role – what do you think about this?

Kapoor: I agree 100%, I would love to see a transgender person play a role in such films. If a trans person fits in, why not? People should be prepared to cast transgender people for all kinds of roles, not just transgender people. First, it’s a filmmaker’s call, I’m not sure what the casting strategy was.

We’re not necessarily on the same page as the West [when it comes to transgender people]Well, we’re still getting there. The public is still not that aware. I hope that in the future, there will be many more trans actors in our industry.

time limit: How is the film performing at the box office?

Kapoor: I believe word of mouth is helping. We are still coming out of a pandemic, people are still taking precautions when they come to theatres. There are also a lot of people who have lost their jobs, who are having to survive, entertainment may not be at the top of their list. It is not necessarily the most commercial film that it is affecting.

time limit: In general, how is the health of cinema in India right now?

Kapoor: It is certainly not the same as it was pre-pandemic, people are still concerned about taking that risk. In some states it is only 50% occupancy. But as a country we are doing much better.

time limit: What are you coming next?

Kapoor: I have a period drama, shamsheraWith Ranbir Kapoor and Yash Raj Films, which is releasing next year.