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.
Being a terribly private person doesn’t bode well for a celebrity in an age where even veteran actors are aware of the benefits of over-sharing. (In related news, Amitabh Bachchan has crossed 56,000 tweets, y’all.) But over the course of our tête-à-tête with Katrina Kaif on the day of her big Instagram debut, we can confirm one thing: That goofy girl-next-door that you saw chatting up a storm with Anushka Sharma on Karan Johar’s couch is, in fact, the real deal.
Uninhibited (“My nails are somehow just never done on the day when I’m taking a lot of photos!”) and completely unabashed, she welcomes us to her sunny Instagram world: “My handle is @katrinakaif – The correct term is ‘handle’, right? Please do follow me – am I saying it right? You’ll have to cut me some slack, I’m still new to this jargon,” she candidly confesses.
When she isn’t posing for celebrity photographers like Mario Testino, she can be found amassing an army of almost a million followers in 24 hours flat. But that’s nothing new for Katrina: Over the course of the past nine months, 11 million people have lapped up her distinct brand of self-deprecating humour on her Facebook page. We got her to address all your pertinent questions on what to expect from her sophomore social media outing. Just don’t stare at her nails too closely, okay? Everyone has the right to hit snooze on their mani-pedi appointment.
The one OCD condition that she set before hopping onboard
My handle had to be @katrinakaif. I didn’t want any variations. If I didn’t get that handle, I would have maybe called the whole thing off.
What really changed her mind about going Insta-crazy
As everyone knows, I’ve always had my reservations about social media. If you rewind back to a few years ago, no one knew who was going where. But since then, we’ve seen such a huge shift. Thanks to the incessant paparazzi everywhere and the digital boom, everything is uploaded online immediately and everyone knows where I am in 15 minutes. The reasons I wasn’t on social media have now become irrelevant. The only thing that really changed was that I thought it’d be nice for me to have a say in what’s being spoken about me. It’s nice to have your own voice cutting through the cacophony, one that you’re in control of.
The one Instagram secret she’d like to let you in on
I have never been one of those Instagram stalkers — of which there are quite a few of, I’ll warn you. By stalkers, I mean those people who claim not to be on Instagram, but have these secret handles from where they keep a watch on everyone.
But she’s aware of all the real world stalkers
The fan clubs are insanely active. My mom knows where I am even before I have a chance to tell her. She’s constantly calling me up saying, “I saw you at this place, but how come you don’t have a photo of it?” I am resigned to the fact by now. “Mom, I don’t know how they do it, but they just have everything.”
The one Instagram cliché she’ll never fall for
I can guarantee you that my handle won’t just be a curation of those highly stylized, touched-up photoshoot pictures that you see everywhere. I have some rough content planned out for the next two weeks and I hope people will find it funny. If they don’t, then I’m in trouble; it’s time to go back to the drawing board. But my content will always ring true to me and my weird sense of humour.
That’s what I’ve maintained on Facebook—that personal touch. It’s always me replying to fans in the comments; it’s not something that’s handled by a team. If this is my personal voice, I don’t want to do anything that doesn’t ring true for me. Then there’s no difference between the real Katrina and the character you see Katrina playing in a movie.
The one social media rule she’ll never break
I have this one golden commandment that I never break: No phones while you’re on set. When I’m shooting, I check my phone twice in a day, at lunch time and later at pack-up. Once my make-up is done, my phone goes with one of my assistants. You’re there to do a job, and I know for a fact that my mind can wander easily.
And we are all anyway too addicted. I always have this joke about how I don’t go out with my friends for dinner; we all take our phones out for dinner because everyone has their nose buried in their gadgets. That’s how we end up missing the ‘live’ moments with each other.
The one grouse that she has with the digital world
When the pap takes pictures of me and posts it online, they always have the worst pictures. I promise you when I came out of the airport, I wasn’t looking that bad. How have they conspired and found the absolute worst ones? It just makes you think, do they not like me? Are they doing it on purpose? Some locha is definitely going on with these photographers. [laughs]
Source: Elle India
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
After Facebook, you are going to be on Instagram too.
Yes, it’s going to be a lot of fun. Honestly, since I was a bit adverse to social media in the beginning, I probably overlooked the whole thing. Because once you build up something so big in your mind, you start building it up even bigger. Sometimes, you just have to jump into the deeper side of the swimming pool. You just have to have fun with it.
In today’s world, it’s important to have your voice, your individual space and get it out there. One argument is that actors don’t require it, but you will never be able to prove whether that point is right or wrong.
Have you started enjoying social media now?
I have realised it is actually quite fun and I probably could have joined it a long time ago. I think I would be enjoying it even more if I had joined it earlier, as I would have been in the full swing of things by now. I probably just took an approach and stuck with it without actually revisiting or analysing it to see if I really wanted to stick with it anymore. I like the idea of having one platform that is your personal connection to your audience.
A platform with which you share things that are in your control rather than audience seeing things via other people’s point of view, which mostly happens to be the media.
You have completed 12 years now in the industry. How has the journey been?
It would be very tough to define this journey. There are a 100 times when you feel inspired, that you are doing great work, and feel creatively satisfied. But then you also feel you are doing nothing — you feel frustrated, stuck and trapped, which, I think, everyone feels in every profession. As an actor living the fortunate life, sometimes we forget that this is just a job, since it’s so personal.
For me, the line, ‘the show must go on’ rings extremely true. As an entertainer, I think that’s what you do and deliver to the best of your ability. You bring something new, while trying to learn and embrace newer things and not just chase the outcome. Obviously, we would like to be great all the time, but we should concern ourselves with the process and what we are doing and creating at the moment.
Then, at the end of it, you will be assured that you have put everything that you could have into it [a film]. We should understand that our job is to enjoy the process and to deliver the best we can, and not to be concerned with the outcome.