After successive hiccups in her career and personal life, people gave up on Katrina Kaif. But, the actress seems to have risen like a phoenix from the ashes and has three back-to-back films with the Khan triumvirate. There’s Tiger Zinda Hai with Salman Khan this Christmas, followed by Thugs of Hindostanopposite Aamir Khan next Diwali and the Aanand L Rai film alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma coming up next December.
Kat asserts it “wasn’t a planned move”. “There wasn’t any sense of planning. These are films that happened organically. There were discussions and these are wonderful filmmakers, who were doing films I wanted to do. There’s no point in trying to recreate the past or trying to be nostalgic,” says Katrina
The Jagga Jasoos actress adds, “The last year-and-a-half has been, at many times, extremely rough and trying for me. I think I’m still in the transition period till I find myself and learn a lot more about myself. I’m happy in this phase, I’m working hard and understanding the joys of a film set. But I’m still in a phase where there’s a lot of uncertainty.”
Needless to say, it will yet again catapult her into the big league that she was always a part of. Katrina is aware of her position in the industry and despite the few misses, always puts in her best. It’s difficult to see a heroine having a proper role in a superstar film.
But, except for Dhoom 3, Katrina has always managed to bag a meaty part in all other superstar flicks. She reasons, “You have to have a good role in a film you’re doing. And the film has to interest you. I’m just grateful for the work that I do. Yes, no doubt, I work as hard as anyone possibly can. I don’t classify roles like that. If something interests me, I will do it, regardless of the screen time.”
Kat quickly adds, “But we are also living a life alongside all of this. I go to work and you need to know how to give your best and come home and disconnect. You can’t base your entire existence on it because it’s not healthy and I have done that for a long time.
Then, I shifted my focus to my personal life and now, it’s back to work because of the turn life has taken. You have to know how to balance things. Obviously, work should be done with passion and obsession. But you also need to learn to not get your validity or sense of self, just from your work.”
While Kat reprises her role as Zoya in TZH, ask her about Thugs of Hindostan and she is hesitant to divulge anything. “I cannot talk about anything related to Thugs right now,” she rues. While Tiger and Thugs are more action-oriented projects, her film with Aanand L Rai caters to the pan-India audience because of its hinterland connect. Kat tells us there were several reasons that drew her to the project. “It wasn’t about the space or the VFX. Honestly, Aanand sir has been discussing this film with me for the last two years. It was originally titled Katrina Meri Jaan, which is probably why people keep asking me if I’m playing myself in the film.
But it’s a very different film now since there have been a lot of changes in it. Aanand sir is one of the finest directors we have and I believe in him. He really pushed me and fought for it. So I felt that if someone’s fighting so much for it and has that much belief, then let’s see where we go together.”
On the sidelines of the weekend’s South Indian International Movie Awards at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Bollywood stars Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor were in the capital promoting their eagerly anticipated project Jagga Jasoos.
The film, that began shooting in 2014, may have been a long time coming, but Kapoor is confident it has been worth the wait.
“That’s just the director [Anurag Basu]’s process,” Kapoor explains. “Even though he works in his own time, he’s constantly trying to better his art and make the best version of the film he possibly can, and when you see someone doing that so passionately you just go with the flow. He totally deserves the time that he takes.”
He admits that the lengthy process was doubly frustrating as he was also a producer on the film, which sounds like it may have been a one-off experience.
“I totally lost control as producer on the film. I realised it’s really not my cup of tea. It’s not a job I think I do well.”
Producing wasn’t the only step outside familiar territory for Kapoor, the movie is a musical in which his character combats his stammer by singing all of his words.
“It was a big challenge,” the actor adds. “Whether it’s a dramatic scene, he’s trying to solve a mystery or he’s just having a conversation, my character is constantly singing.
“It was a big challenge to sustain that over a two-hour film. It’s not that I can’t sing, but it’s maybe not good for the other person’s ears.”
“The director wanted to convey the story in the true sense of a musical,” Kaif chips in. “It goes back to Les Miserables or Beauty and the Beast, the way MGM musicals used to be. I love the way Anurag’s approached it. There’s never just a ‘cut to start singing.’ He sings because he stammers, then she replies back with a song and asks herself ‘why am I singing?’”
Kapoor’s Jagga, a youthful detective with a quirky hair-do, has attracted comparisons in the Indian press to Herge’s legendary Tintin, however the actor doesn’t think we should take the influence too seriously: “I think Anurag had certain influences as a child – Tintin, Sherlock Holmes, The Hardy Boys and many others. That’s many positive influences that came together in this film, but when we did the hairstyle we weren’t thinking of Tintin, it’s totally coincidental. We just wanted it to be kind of funny because his father gave him this hairstyle as a child, and he’s kept it through his life because he thinks if he finds his father he’ll recognise him, so there’s an emotional connect there.”
The acting duo were on a flying visit to the capital, but Kaif will be back soon to continue shooting Tiger Zinda Hai next month having already shot some scenes in Liwa alongside co-star Salman Khan in May.
“They’re putting up a huge set somewhere, I’m not exactly sure where, but we’re going to be here for I think 45 days in August,” she reveals. “A large portion of the second half of the film is going to be shot here and we’ve had great support from the Abu Dhabi Government and everybody here. We’re all really excited to have our film set here.”
Kaif is not daunted by the prospect of shooting in Abu Dhabi in the August heat. “Apparently it’s going to be very hot, but that’s OK I love shooting in the heat,” she insists. “The desert is such a lovely place to shoot. I shot Bang Bang out at Qasr Al Sarab and that was such a stunning place. Really lovely.”
Back to the present, and Kapoor is full of praise for the South Indian film industry he is in the capital helping to honour.
“The South Indian industry has really grown tenfold over the last couple of years, and in terms of the technology and the stories they’re telling,” he says. “They’re really pushing the envelope and inspiring us all in the Hindi film industry too. The market share and the money is really changing in India, and that’s a good thing. It just shows that if you tell a good story then it doesn’t matter what language it’s in, people will go and see it.”
Jagga Jasoos is slated for release on July 13.
Ever since her career took off with the super hit, Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya? in 2005, Katrina Kaif has been at the top of her game. “Even now, I’m running around, juggling two films (Jagga Jasoos and Tiger Zinda Hai) with Jagga soon up for release. I am also trying to work on the launch of my Instagram account,” says Katrina Kaif, who joins the photo-sharing platform on April 27. In an interview with HT, Katrina talks about life, career, Salman Khan, and more.
You are working with Salman Khan again in Tiger Zinda Hai. How does it feel?
I have known Salman for so many years now. After shooting with him for a long time, you miss his flamboyance and his fun side. He has a great sense of humour and flamboyance. He has a way of living life, where a great energy buzzes around him. It comes as a force and flood when you come back to the set with him. He has an amazing aura and warmth around him.
Also, it’s a wonderful film set to be on, because Ali Abbas (Zafar; director) has been one of my dearest friends. We’ve been super close since New York (2009), before we worked on Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (2011) together. He is an integral part of my support system and my life. I am also really proud of him, because I see a huge growth in him as a director.
Of late, your personal life (vis-à-vis alleged ex-boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor) has been all over the news. Have you gotten used to it?
Since you just made me more conscious of the time that I have spent thus far in the industry, I am very used to it now (laughs). That’s really not where my focus should be. My focus needs to be on my job when I am working. When one is in a personal space doing whatever and is with whoever, one should dedicate the time and energy on that. But for the rest of the time, it shouldn’t be that you are worrying about what people are saying or writing. You can’t do anything about it.
Reports are that you don’t want to promote Jagga Jasoos with Ranbir?
At least a hundred stories about Jagga Jasoos must have come out, but probably 99% of them aren’t true. As of now, I don’t know the (publicity/marketing) plans of the producers or distributors of the film. Whenever they share that plan with me, and since it’s my own film, I will be happy to do whatever they feel is good for it.
Your last three films, Baar Baar Dekho (2016), Fitoor (2016) and Phantom (2015) didn’t do very well. Were you disappointed?
More than anything else, it was a huge shock because I was not used to it. It was not something that really happened to me in the last nine to ten years. What happened to Baar Baar Dekho was really unexpected, and more than a few tears tumbled down (smiles). But it’s a journey; it happens to everyone and there are no exceptions. It depends whether you take it to your heart and mind, and, of course, you do and I did too (laughs).
Yes, you have to analyse where you could have done better and correct your mistakes as much as you can, but you also have to remember that it happens to everyone without exception. You have to accept that, and have the courage and strength to hold your head up and carry on.
Jagga Jasoos has been delayed a lot. Is it frustrating?
There have been parts of the journey where everyone who is a part of it has wondered how and what is going to come. But there has always been an underlying sense that this is going to come together and become something special. Obviously, the results are not in our hands, and we can’t predict it, but I feel we went through this for a reason. Maybe there was no other way.
The kind of film Dada (Anurag Basu; director) has made and the uniqueness that he has attempted in following his inimitable vision it warranted this process, and that’s the best way to put it. I hope people will understand when they watch it.
Talks are rife that you are going to star alongside Shah Rukh Khan in Aanand L Rai’s next film.
I never comment on movies that haven’t been signed and sealed. That’s why I never even comment regarding any of its process. That’s because its work for me and I follow a serious process when it comes to my job, so it’s iron-clad for me. I don’t discuss that [films that are in the process] at all.
You never talk about your personal life. How do you manage that?
I have always done that. Unless there’s something horrendously offensive or ghastly untrue that makes me go, ‘oh, my God!’, what’s there to say? You shouldn’t focus on small things and focus only on your main goals. I try and keep my eye on the goal and not get distracted by things that don’t matter.
It is rumoured that you will turn producer to launch your sister, Isabelle Kaif.
I am sure of one thing: if Isabelle is part of a film, I will be more than happy. But I will definitely not be the producer on that, because I feel that’s the wrong way. Whoever is getting launched — in order to gain credibility, they shouldn’t be launched by a person associated with them. That, for me, is the ideal launch.
So, there’s no truth in that [rumour]. But I do hope that she gets to do something because she is very talented. I have seen her audition tapes in Los Angeles, (USA), and she has a lot of talent. She is a trained actor, and I hope that she gets a platform to showcase that.
Source: Hindustan Times
Katrina Kaif turned a year older on July 16, and brought in her birthday with a private, star-studded bash on July 15. She admits that she “loves birthdays, balloons, partying hard, jumping around and having fun with friends and family”. Here, the actor who had a working birthday, and will soon fly to London (UK) , talks about her working birthday, focus on her personal life, and more.
Like last year, you had a working birthday this year too.
Yes (smiles). Honestly, I am working really hard on my new film (co-starring Sidharth Malhotra), which is in the dubbing stage. Plus, right before my birthday, there was work on the Facebook launch, which we did on July 16. So, now, I am on Facebook since Saturday. And a few weeks later, I will join Twitter and, perhaps, Instagram too.
Till now, you stayed away from social media completely. What made you join it now?
The best way to answer this is that the right time for everything is when you are ready. This is exactly what I felt this time. In my heart, I was just happy about doing it. Also, I was starting to feel that even though I am a star and a shy person, there are some things that are best said, and more importantly, are understood best when you say them. That kind of voice or that presence is what I was happy to have [with social media]. So, it seems this was the time I was ready to take this step.
Also, of late, you haven’t been seen around much, where have you been?
Where have I been? I am right here. Where have you guys been (laughs)?
In the past three years, you did only three films.
Yes, but in the past three years, I had other things that were a little more important to me. I think it was a natural phase to be in, and I was happy [giving attention to that phase].
For the past several months, your personal life has been in the focus?
This question is a bit easy for me to answer. It’s been this way for the most part of my career. So, it’s something that has always been covered in a parallel manner, along with my career. While work has been my main focus, there has always been certain coverage of my personal life, as is the case with most people [in the industry]. But in my case, it has been a little more or maybe more frequent that my personal life has been highlighted. But it’s okay. As they say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Now, as you join social media, will you be more visible?
I hope so (smiles), because I think that’s what the fun is. As I said, it felt like the right time (to join), and I am going to learn all the steps to understand how the space works. And that’s all the planning that I have done (laughs). There’s no other plan; I don’t have any strategy.
Social media has positives, but there are some negatives also…
Absolutely. It’s the same with everything in life. On some days, there are wonderful interviews or stories about you, on others, there are reports which make your blood boil. So there’s good and bad in everything we do. The same goes for social media too. Don’t engage with negativity, and interact only with people who are genuine, well-wishers or genuine supporters. It’s not like I have all the knowledge and experiences of social media. I have just started, so I will learn along the way.
Workwise, there’s a perception that Katrina has slowed down. How true it is?
Honestly, it’s my process of choosing films, and the way I have approached my work in the past few years. You have different phases and times in your life. There are different priorities that take precedence. That’s what makes the journey of life amazing. We all follow our hearts, and work where our passion and heart lies. At the moment, whatever projects I have, I am working with a lot of passion and working as hard as I can. So let’s see; as and when there are decisions to be made, I will do that. In terms of films I am currently in the process of finalising the projects I will work on next year. Hopefully, you’ll hear something exciting soon.
So, where has such a perception (you have slowed down) come from?
Every actor’s immediate perception is, of course, associated with his or her last film. The larger perception comes from the body of work that you build over the years, and where have you reached in life along with all the accumulative work. Of course, they didn’t do very well for me, but you got to look at it, accept it and try to see where you went wrong and rectify those errors. You don’t have answers for some things, and for some you do; that’s what life is. There is a famous saying – Don’t take success or failure to your heart. But, we do so, since after all, we are all humans. You feel happy when you are successful and cry when there’s a failure, but keep going.
Source: Hindustan Times