Film actress Sonam Kapoor
Accolades, endorsements, plum roles: it just keeps getting better and better for Sonam Kapoor. But the latest feather in her cap is undoubtedly one she cherishes a great deal, coming as it does from The Hollywood Reporter, the trade bible of Hollywood. In its special issue devoted to Asia released recently, the journal selected Sonam as the only Indian representative of its inaugural “Next Generation: Asia Class of 2009”. In other words, Hollywood′s most influential trade publication has picked Sonam to be the face of the Indian film industry at a time when it is creating fresh waves abroad.
In fact the article about “the next generation of leaders in the rapidly evolving Asian entertainment sector” starts off with Sonam herself. Offering a quote from Sonam during the promotions of Delhi-6, The Hollywood Reporter approvingly calls it “pretty heady stuff” and commends her ability to think quickly on her feet. The separate write-up on Sonam mentions her already chequered career including her start as an assistant director to Sanjay Leela Bhansali on Black. In addition to the write-up, the prominence in the main article and obviously the attention that is sure to follow now, the honour also includes a certificate signed by Eric Mika, the publisher of Hollywood Reporter.
Hollywood Reporter′s annual “Next Generation” issue is perhaps the most awaited one of the year and those featured in it inevitably go on to become the very biggest of the big names in the industry. This is the first year that the publication decided to do a feature on Asia′s new generation and given the many directors, actors and producers to have emerged on the scene in recent times, it is even more creditable that Sonam has managed to stand out from the crowd. (Of course this marks a double triumph for the Kapoor family given Anil Kapoor′s recently increased appeal in Hollywood following the success of Slumdog Millionaire.)
Sonam herself was thrilled by the totally unexpected recognition. “Obviously I am very gratified that such an influential Hollywood publication decided to honour me in this fashion. But given that the Hollywood Reporter issue was devoted to talent from all over Asia, I accepted the honour not just for myself but as representative of all the great new talent that the industry has seen in recent times. Yes, it is pleasing to be recognized by Hollywood so early in my career, but my success is due to the enormous faith that the Indian film industry has placed in me and the great love that I have been lucky to get from my audiences.”
India has already noticed Sonam Kapoorand how. It seems that it is now the turn of Hollywood to fall in love with her classical beauty and her modern-day talent. So, is she keen to explore the waters of international cinema right away? “My heart is in India,” Sonam answers. “And the films we make here can stand comparison with those made anywhere in the world, including Hollywood. So if and when there is an offer from the West, I will judge it on the same criteria that I choose scripts whether I believe in the story, the project and the people involved or not; and not just because it has come from Hollywood!”
With answers like that no wonder The Hollywood Reporter - which has seen it all in its more than 75 year history -was so impressed. All we can say is, “Congratulations .and keep the Indian flag flying across the universe.”