Katrina Kaif talks about her upcoming film Fitoor
Your character Firdaus in Fitoor is based on Estella Havisham from Great Expectations. She is known to be a very complex character. How would you describe the layers of Firdaus?
Firdaus is a very complex character. She has been programmed to think in a particular way, which she blindly follows until she realises by herself that it may not be always right to blindly follow what is taught to you. She is manipulative, harsh, loves to toy with others’ emotions and refuses to acknowledge love.
How difficult was it to portray a character that is known to be emotionally distant and a bit cold?
It was definitely a difficult task. A lot of people think I am like Firdaus, arrogant, distant, cold etc. Truth is, I am mostly a little bit lost in my own world and forget to partake in the niceties our society demands. Firdaus, on the other hand, is programmed to be emotionally distant and cold. You see glimpses of warmth, feeling and a lot more when the real Firdaus shines through but she is torn between what is and what must be – so you see the real, the put on and the anguish of choosing between the two, all in once and very often.
Was it intimidating to work with a powerful actor like Tabu?
Intimidating – not at all. I have known Tabu personally for a while now and think she is an extremely warm and affectionate person. I have also seen her work and know she is a phenomenal performer. All this extended to the set and I think the days we shot together will always be a part of my fondest memories of Fitoor. The one major issue I faced was calling Tabu ‘ammi’, wherein, at the most, she is just about old enough for me to consider her a slightly older and much wiser sister.
Great Expectations is based on the complexities of love, do you believe that love is complex?
I am not sure that Great Expectations is based on the complexities of love; Fitoor is perhaps more based on that. Human relationships, because each of us is so different, are so complex and love, being such an intense emotion, will obviously be complex.
Very rarely do we see an actress changing the colour of her hair for a film. Since it is a long commitment, most of the actors go for a wig.
Were you excited or petrified with this idea of colouring your hair red?
Actually, the shoot was planned in a very systematic fashion so that I did not have to maintain the red hair for an unreasonable period. Besides, wearing a wig is quite uncomfortable, especially when you have to do so for a long period of time. In cooler climes, it may not be difficult but we did shoot a large part of Fitoor in Mumbai studios where the humidity would have probably given me far more serious health concerns! I was both excited and petrified to color my hair; red is a difficult color to achieve and maintain and then to get rid of but it does look beautiful if done right.
How does it feel to be in a limelight for a right reason (promotion of your film and not personal)?
For an actor, being constantly in the limelight is a given. We can cry foul all we want when we are in it for the ‘wrong reasons’. I think it is more sensible to take it as a part of our chosen lives to be in the news for the right and wrong reasons. Having said that, I will admit it is difficult to be unaffected by the constant scrutiny.
When so much is being written about your personal life, how do you stay grounded?
I have a great support system courtesy of my family and friends, who see me through thick and thin. A lot becomes easier when you are dealing with stuff if you have people like that in your life. Also, in the so-called bad times, it takes a moment to think of all the people who have to deal with so much worse.
You seem to have lost a lot of weight. What is the reason?
Thanks for the compliment but beauty lies in the eye of the beholder! Honestly speaking, I have not lost beyond a kilo or two. Yasmin Karachiwala, who I train with, and I have worked out a regimen, which basically focuses on toning the body without loss of weight. Since I also happen to be of a certain height, becoming skinny will make me reed-like which is not the best option for an on-screen personality.