Katrina Kaif Interview with IndiaWest

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Her box office record continues to be enviable. She is also getting better and better roles, like “Fitoor” with Sushant Singh Rajput and “Kal Kisne Dekha” (a working title) with Sidharth Malhotra. We start our chat on that note.

Q: Do you think the time has come when heroines are working with younger heroes? Is that a trend?
A: I don’t think so. I would say that we are all the same age, but, as with Ranbir Kapoor, he has started two years after I did. The same applies to the others. I think that we are just working with what I will call less experienced heroes!

Q: But these heroes are associated with the likes of Alia Bhatt or Shraddha Kapoor.
A: Yes, because they all started around the same time.

Q: Ranbir Kapoor has had a bad run.
A: The biggest of us — Aamir Khan, Salman, Shah Rukh — have had bad runs and flops; Salman even more than the rest. We all must see struggle and go through ups and downs to appreciate what we have and become better and stronger human beings. No one can challenge Ranbir’s commitment or passion at all, and he too will come out of it.

Q: You have barely had a bad run.
A: (Rolls her eyes and laughs) That’s true!

Q: Did Ranbir ever open up to you about his feelings after so many flops?
A: If he did, I am sure that he would not like me to tell you that, right? But flops can be disturbing for anyone.

Q: How’s “Jagga Jasoos” shaping up? We hear all kinds of rumors — that director Anurag Basu is at sea, that there is no script, that you had a yelling match with him, that over 20 songs have already been composed…
A: Anurag’s voice and process are different. He is a bit of a Bohemian artiste who believes in his own time and space. He is a free spirit. Of course, there is a script. As for the rumors, have you ever met him? If you have, you will realize that such a meek man, who agrees to anything anyone says to him with an “Okay!” or a “Fine!” can never yell at anyone!

Q: Moving on to “Phantom,” do you think that the success of Kabir Khan’s “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” will give it a boost? And was the release delayed for that reason?
A: Well, a hit film does help as a mind-refresher, but Kabir has a strong credibility of his own. And “Phantom” was delayed, because there were a whole lot of complications about my dates for “Bang Bang!” and I just could not help it. “Bang Bang!” had to be completed first.

Q: This is your third film with Kabir.
A: And each film has been a wonderful but different experience. After “New York,” in which everything just fell into place, we did “Ek Tha Tiger,” and, today, if I want to say something to him, he will say it to me before I do — that’s the kind of understanding we have now.

Q: Would you take up any role Kabir offers?
A: I don’t think he would ever offer me something that I would want to refuse. His women characters are always strong, because Kabir as a person sees women that way — as independent, capable, strong-minded, equal beings to any man. And “Phantom” has a very tight script, and he was the most passionate about it compared to our earlier films. And he also got a really supportive producer who spared no expense.

Q: How did it feel to do action and also sport a grimy, disheveled look?
A: This was situational action, different from what I did, say, in “Dhoom:3” in songs like “Malang” and “Kamli,” which needed arduous training. I am playing a character who is never worried about her hair, makeup or looks. Look, the character must connect first with me and then with my audience. We all want roles in which the audience will go “Wow! What an actor!” and for which we will be remembered. I am looking for them every day, and I simply love my roles in “Fitoor” and “Kal Kisne Dekha,” which is just a working title. So, when it comes to the crux, if glamour is not needed, it’s not needed.

Q: In “Kal…” you are shown aging. How comfortable are you about that at this stage?
A: Actresses no longer bother about looks or age, and I think that if anyone still does, they are living under a foolish illusion, because we cannot always try to look 16! I do not mind playing any age or anything if it is a part of a good script. Like it was with Ranbir or Priyanka Chopra playing older people in “Barfi!”— it was just a small part of their overall characters.

Q: Would you like to work with other top heroines?
A: Of course, but subject to the script. I think that they must work out the economic factors and make, say, a big, multi-star “Mahabharat” with top male and female stars in a single film.

Q: You have completed 10 years in Hindi cinema. Did you ever imagine you would do that as an outsider?
A: Yes, I did, because I was clear and passionate and focused about what I wanted — in a clean way, of course. Yes, a lot of my films did not get critical acclaim, but, Salim Khan once told me that if a film is successful and appreciated as well, it is because the audience liked everything about the film.

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