So much praise is lavished on Katrina Kaif by the media and the industry, it almost sounds like sycophancy. Having said that, one has to write that this foreign import, who made an inconsequential start in Boom (2003), is here nine years later, calling the shots in B-town.
Excerpts of a quick conversation with the Kat who has the cream.
The trade says you are the uncrowned queen of Bollywood. Comment. Well if the trade says I’m the uncrowned queen, then I just aspire to do better work, so I can be officially crowned the queen (that’s a joke!)
So you are above flattery! One distributor recently called you the fourth Khan in the industry because of your box office average. If people call me the fourth Khan, I want to stand on this table right here, dance and be happy. But you have known me for the last nine years. I seriously don’t take praise to my heart or to my head. I only want to work harder and never get complacent.
As for the Khans — I don’t think anyone can be them. Aamir, Shah Rukh and Salman are a phenomenon. To achieve that magnitude of popularity and remain heartthrobs for over two decades is not an easy feat.
Have you noticed anything different between the
Well I haven’t started work on Dhoom-3. But I have seen Aamir on the sets. He is very organised and I admire that. Shah Rukh and Salman have their own style and approach which I think everyone knows.
Earlier it was Kareena Kapoor who had three Khan movies in her kitty. Now it’s you.
Is it really such a big thing
to fuss about?
I’m grateful to my makers that I’m not just an ornament in a Khan film. My roles have substance. This can be a tricky situation. One can be tempted to sign a project because you want to work with an actor whom you admire but it is also equally important to have a credible role in such a project. I have been asked whether I’m just going to be an ornament in any of my Khan films. Well I can say that — Salman is holding the fort; but my role has credibility. Kabir will never write a candy floss role for his heroine.
And I’m doing just two songs in my SRK film. Yash Chopra celebrates his women characters. And I am fortunate that I have a fabulous role in my film with Shah Rukh.
You have turned down filmmakers who have offered you big bucks just to bag these three films?
Well, my choice of films has never been governed by money. That is perhaps why I don’t have a very fancy bank account. I’d rather get respect and creative satisfaction through my work than just earn money.
Is it true that you touch Yashji’s feet everyday?
Yes, I do. I do not remember how this started but I admit I touch his feet everyday.
Salman says you can have a perfect conversation in Hindi. Please demonstrate!
I’m not a television anchor for a Hindi channel or a radio jockey. So I may not be able to have a spontaneous conversation in Hindi.
I’m a Bollywood actress and I can certainly speak my dialogue in Hindi. I also talk to my staff (my driver, spot-boy, etc) in Hindi. They have been with me from the start of my career. Naturally I’m required to speak to them in Hindi.