Actor Akansha Ranjan Kapoor, who made her debut with Netflix original "Guilty", says she is thrilled with all the positive messages coming her way and wants her second project to be equally meaningful. Directed by Ruchi Narain and set at the peak of India's #MeToo movement, "Guilty" explored different versions of truth that emerge when a small-town girl accuses the college heartthrob of rape.
The film, written by Kanika Dhillon and Atika Chohan, has been praised for the way it deals with prejudices against women coming forward to report cases of sexual violence against them. "Even before 'Guilty', I wanted to do something which wasn't just fluff. Not being disrespectful, but I didn't want to be an actor who just does song and dance. I'm hoping to stick to this kind of stuff which makes an impact and do more films which speak to the audience," Akansha told PTI.
For the newcomer, landing a role in "Guilty" was a dream come true. Akansha, who is the sister of Anushka Ranjan Kapoor and the daughter of Shashi Ranjan and Anu Ranjan, said she gave as many as 60 auditions for different projects before "Guilty" came her way.
"The first time I tested for Mukesh (Chhabra), five-six years ago, he told me I needed a lot of work to do. In my head, I grew up thinking 'I'm Kareena Kapoor' and this was a reality check. I've got no experience except for auditions.
"With auditions, you get actual feedback in perspective. You're in a tiny room with someone blankly reading your line, which you have to perform to another level. That really helps. It gives you confidence and makes you comfortable in front of the camera."
Bagging a role in "Guilty" came as a relief for Akansha "because after every audition, you feel you'll get it but then you don't." Akansha said the only acting advice that her friend Alia Bhatt gave her was to stay true to her craft. "For my craft, Alia has always told me to just surrender completely.
Don't look left, right, just give whatever was asked of you. I keep joking that I'm always on time, sometimes even before the production comes, so I asked her whether there will ever be a time to come late, she said never, not even after ten years.
"She said keep being punctual, kind and surrender yourself completely because those are the three things people notice about you."
The actor said though the "Gully Boy" star is her one of her closest friends, she doesn't discuss work with her until something is finalised.
"If I feel I'm going to get a part—which till 'Guilty' I didn't—and it'll be mine, then I tell her the story and ask for her opinion. We are testing so much, we don't need to talk about every screen test.
"Like for 'Guilty', I didn't tell her till my second meeting. But now of course, when I get offers, I will take her opinion because she has a good idea of what scripts work," Akansha added.