MUMBAI Katrina Kaif has built herself quite a fan following in Bollywood in the past nine years but the 27-year-old is not content with her success and wants to focus on meaty roles which challenge her.
Kaif, whose “Mere Brother Ki Dulhan” releases in September, spoke to Reuters about her new film, her Hindi diction and doing a film with Salman Khan.
Q: Is the process of promoting a film something that you enjoy?
A: “Well, it depends on how you promote it. I mean it can get tiring but if you find a clever way to promote it, it can be fun. Also, it is not fair to yourself and the film if you don’t promote it. You’ve worked hard for the film for the past six or eight months and then if you don’t give it your all and create awareness among the people then it is not fair.”
“Also these days, the bulk of the film’s box-office revenues come from the first three days. After that, as I love saying, it’s the film. From Monday, it’s the film, you can’t do anything about it -- the audience has decided. But until then, it is your duty to make sure that people come out and watch it.”
Q: You seem pretty interested in the business side of film. Are you a keen watcher?
A: “No, not really. I don’t really get into the nitty gritty of it but yeah, I do have some industry friends who tell me how a film is doing. And I do call them and ask if my film is doing well or not, what the audience feedback is like. But otherwise, no.”
Q: In your earlier movie “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”, you played a girl who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and follow her heart. In “Mere Brother Ki Dulhan”, it’s a similar role. Do you think the Indian leading lady is changing?
A: “Well, I am not sure. If you think of ‘Chaalbaaz’ which was in the 90s, what Sridevi did then was pretty unusual. So yes, I do think things are changing but it is not a sweeping change. We are seeing a gradual shift.”
Q: What about a change in terms of remuneration for heroines?
A: “(Laughs) Well, that I don’t know. I don’t know when that will change. I don’t think it will ever change.”
Q: When you first started out, a lot was made of your Hindi diction. Do you think, looking back, that it hampered you?
A: “Well, if I sit here and say that it hampered me, after all that has happened, it would be pretty ungrateful of me. I think I have done fine and to say that anything has hampered me would be unfair. I think I met a lot of nice people and they helped me, and the industry as a whole has really accepted me for who I am.”
Q: So do you think it’s not necessary that a Hindi film heroine should know Hindi?
A: “No, of course not, she should know Hindi. How else would you be able to grasp your character and its growth? I have worked at my Hindi over the years and I have had tutors on every film who have helped me.”
“Also, I think it’s a phase of your career. When you start off, you are doing light roles which don’t require that much of diction and language skills but later as you grow in confidence, you feel able enough to take on more challenging roles.”
Q: You are working with Salman Khan in “Ek Tha Tiger”. Given your history, did you have any apprehensions accepting this role?
A: “No I didn’t, honestly. Because I look at it as a film that I am doing. If you mean our equation, then yes, it was different from the time that we last worked together and now, but that doesn’t have anything to do with the film.
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