Winning Boogie Woogie at the age of 8, and then continuing to showcase the talent at every small platform like school and college, Leena Kapoor never thought that one day her hobby will become her full-time profession. While teaching in a school, one day she realised that what she is being offered by modelling could help her run the family, that is when she took the call and stepped into the industry.
But how was her journey? What challenges she had to face? Did her family support this decision? What are her future plans? To know everything about Leena, read the interview:
From where did you get the inspiration of getting into modelling?
Leena: It is really difficult to tell the time when I realised that I can be a model. Since my childhood, I think I had this talent. I was only 8 when I won ‘Boogie Woogie’. Which later generated an interest in me to participate in many school functions, from where even I got many prizes.
Then I went to college, where I first received the title of ‘Ms Fresher’. It was when my father died and there was a financial crunch I realised that I should take the offers which are coming my way. That was the time, I started doing music videos, ad shoots for various print publications and much more.
Was your family against the idea of modelling as a career from the beginning? If not, then how did you convince them?
Leena: Being a Punjabi family, even my extended family is a bit orthodox. But what matters to me is my family – my parents and siblings. They were very supportive of me and my career and that is what mattered to me back then.
There were some issues initially but then I talked them through and then they agreed and I can proudly say that my family has been a very integral and supportive part of my journey.
Acting in films or working in music videos – what do you enjoy more?
Leena: Though I have acted in 15 films and even explored South cinema, I really enjoy working in music videos. I have done quite a few videos with popular singers like Honey Singh, Mikka, Diljit Dosanjh. Looking back at the career graph I have had, I am really happy that I have been doing so much work. Be it item songs, south films, music videos or lead roles in films, I have done everything.
Now, I will be next seen in Dabangg 3 and Gul Malala, which are going to release soon. I must say that I really enjoyed working with Salman Khan.
Since 2014, you have been doing quite a few films, how has the journey been. Elaborate.
Leena: Yes, I got my first film in 2014. Back then I was really scared. I was new in Mumbai, with no godfather, no contacts, no house to live in. I thought to myself, what will happen now? How will I get more work? But, to make a name for myself here, I struggled a lot and worked really hard. Today, with the grace of God I am at the position that I am working as a lead in music videos and different films with big names of the industry.
How did you get your first acting break, do you think modelling gave a boost to your presence in the industry?
Leena: As I told earlier, it was with Boogie Woogie that I got my first screen appearance. Then, to support my family and run my home, I quit my teaching career and tried my hands in modelling. After some time, I realised that modelling was giving me enough money and with that I am able to take care of my family, so I chose modelling over teaching as my career.
Was acting a planned thing or it just happened eventually?
Leena: I was a normal teacher working in some school near my house and then this whole modelling thing came. I think destiny had it planned for me. I had to be an artiste – do films, become popular. So I think it just happened.
What kind of roles are you looking forward to?
Leena: I would like to explore everything in the industry. Especially roles like Kareena Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai –which people remember.
I don’t want to be categorised at ‘hot and sexy’ or ‘bold’ just by what I wear. I want even if I wear a suit, people appreciate my work, my character.
Out of 15 films which I have done, in only 2-3 films I have portrayed the hot character. Other than that I have made sure to do some role which creates an impact.
Some people say told me that I only do bold roles. But I don’t think that true. That become viral because people just focus on that.