Katrina Kaif talks love and passion
Why should we watch Fitoor and what were the challenges associated with playing the role modelled on Estella?
Great Expectations, the classic novel that Fitoor is inspired from, is one of the greatest love stories ever written. In my opinion, Fitoor has done justice to that story in the most beautiful way. This romance has been made with a lot of love and care. I promise you that Fitoor will be an enthralling journey for you to take with the ones that you love. Estella — adapted as my character Firdaus — has been raised to have a manipulative mind and that aspect of my role was interesting to explore. Firdaus is complex: one minute she’s distant and the other charming. She’s facing and fighting so many inner demons that there is always such an unrest and anguish inside her. She’s battling life constantly: her indecision whether to appease her mother or to fall in love is an interesting element.
Have you read Great Expectations or watched the numerous Hollywood adaptations?
I have read the book and I have also seen the films that have been made on the book. But my favourite version is our film, Fitoor. I love the way Abhishek Kapoor has adapted it to our sensibilities. The best part of the book is its detailing, which is so precise that you can actually visualise it even before you see it on the big screen,
What was the brief given to you by Kapoor?
Abhishek is a collaborative director. He didn’t give a brief, although he had a clear vision of Firdaus. Aditya, Abhishek and I had several sessions that helped us develop both our characters until we were all collectively satisfied with what we had.
What was the experience of filming in Kashmir? Did the place surprise you?
There have been a few instances where I was scheduled to shoot in Kashmir and for various reasons it got cancelled each and every time. I visited Kashmir for a TV show earlier, but at that time I went straight to an Indian Army outpost and did not get a chance to interact with the locals. So when I finally went to film Fitoor, it felt wonderful. The people there are warm and welcoming. I wasn’t surprised at their hospitality and everything good I had heard about Kashmir came true.
Fitoor seems to be about passion and deception. Do you believe that love should be so conflict-ridden?
Actually, the film is not so much about deception; passion, yes. I wish my belief alone would make love without conflict.
A lot is being written about dyeing your hair red at an exorbitant cost. How important is the colour of your hair or a physical tweaking for your character development?
Honestly, the colour of my hair was part of director Kapoor’s vision of Firdaus, He also visualised Tabu’s character similarly. Our hair colour is intended to depict the changing seasons of the chinar trees of Kashmir, and also the connection between Tabu’s character and mine. Physical transformation is important if the role demands it. You cannot be rounded and pretty if you are playing an acrobatic performer. Similarly, if you are playing a 55-year-old woman, you cannot have wrinkle-free skin and jet black hair.
How did this project come your way and what were your biggest fears when you took it on?
Abhishek came to me with the project and I said yes instantaneously. In my case, fears don’t matter because when you are passionate about something, you have to jump in without paying heed to them. Fitoor is something that I have always been passionate about. And it’s not going to change.
Do you think romance and the undying, till-death-do-us-apart love is a rare currency, especially since many people these days are pragmatic and commitment-phobic? How will this film present the idea of love and make it believable?
I don’t think so at all. I have my grandparents, who are in their nineties now, as a prime example of romance and undying love. I admit, there are pragmatic and commitment phobic people but I think love eventually can conquer all. In Fitoor, Firdaus’ manipulative mind is the enemy of love. Whether that’s believable or not is something that the audiences can decide.
What’s your idea of perfect love, keeping the movie in context?
Keeping the movie in context, yeh ishq nahin aasaan [followed by a smiley emoticon. It means ‘this love isn’t easy’].
How was it working with Tabu, who has an equally powerful role, and with Aditya Roy Kapoor? What did you learn from them?
Aditya and I worked together in an ad film many years ago. Also, we moved in the same circle of friends and our paths crossed many times. So it was extremely comfortable to work with him. Aditya is brilliant in Fitoor and has breathed life into Noor. Tabu is also someone I have known for a while now, but I have never had the opportunity of working with her until Fitoor. She is a powerhouse of talent and I will always treasure the days I spent filming with her.
What’s your all-time favourite romantic movie and why?
It’s a tie between Casablanca, for its selfless love, and Gone With the Wind. The latter is the most sweeping romance that has ever been made.
What’s the absolute deal breaker in love for you?
Don’t miss it!
Fitoor will release in UAE cinemas this weekend.
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