She has the face that can sail a thousand ships; she already sells a thousand products. Katrina Kaif′s meteoric rise in the industry seems only befitting to her natural beauty, charisma and élan that make her the contender for the Queen of Bollywood. Of course there is a certain Kareena Kapoor to contend with as the two constantly get pitted against each other for the Numero Uno title. But Kats clearly has had enough of it as she says, “It′s just really silly at times,” she shrugs. “People want to compare everything about us. I understand being in the media people have to come up with interesting ideas and it′s a part of the game, but it′s a bit much when it happens every other day,” she says. “In my mind there is no rivalry with anybody because I am only looking at myself and how I am improving. There is still so much for me to learn, understand and grow. How can I do that if I am constantly watching over my shoulder trying to see what others are doing?” she quips.
But even today Katrina′s track record is impeccable, and her success ratio continues with last year′s ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani’ and ‘New York’. “I am really glad about that,” she smiles. “But I cannot take credit for my films′ success because after all it′s a complete team effort and there are hundreds of people who work on the sets and give the movie their best. I have had the privilege of working with some of the really talented people in the industry and I have grown in their company. And when the films get appreciated by the audiences, it′s just the icing on the cake,” she adds. And what about the awards? Do they matter to her at all? There were reports of her aiming for the National Awards this year with ‘Raajneeti’. “The film is still being made, how can I be aiming for the awards from now?” she questions. “It′s just quite silly really. I don′t plan my life ahead and maybe that′s why I have reached the place where I have today. And I completely appreciate that. Having said that, yeah, I haven′t been that good winning awards in the past, but who knows what the future holds?” she chuckles.
That′s the impression you get with Katrina though, that she′s doing her best to prove her detractors wrong and showcase her talent as an actress. And that′s the reason for her to do a film like ‘Raajneeti’, which otherwise is an all guys′ film. “You are right,” she agrees to the point. “It is essentially a guys′ film and contrary to popular belief it doesn′t revolve around me. If I was gunning for awards or something like that, I should be doing films that revolve completely around me, but that′s not the case. ‘Raajneeti’ is indeed a very challenging role for me and it′s a sea change from what I have done in the past. And I like to do different things, it′s also the time for me to do them because I am a bit more confident about what I am doing here. Seriously there is no intention of trying to prove anything to anyone,” she dismisses the notion.
Katrina Kaif (See more Photos)
Did Katrina just imply that she used to be less than confident in her earlier days, because she did come across as confidence personified? “Well, you guys think I have had everything on the platter, don′t you?” she counters. “I have had my own share of struggles where I had no clue what was going on around me. I barely spoke Hindi and thus wasn′t sure what people were saying to me on the sets or what was expected of me. I would spend hours alone in my van learning my lines when most people have to just turn up on the sets and give their shot. I had to do it because I didn′t know the language very well, but I have gotten over it now. And if I don′t understand something today I ask my director, I realize that′s the only way to do it. People might think of it as interfering, but it′s better to know what you are doing and the reason for it, rather than doing things mechanically on the sets. Thankfully I have worked with directors who have been very understanding, and we have worked together again. So obviously there haven′t been too many problems between us, right?” she says smartly.
Katrina today is as successful with her endorsements as she is with her movies. She is one of the highest paid actresses and brand ambassador in the industry. She seems to have gone about building her brand wisely? “Actually I haven′t really thought about that,” she says simply. “I have a great team that I work with and they look after these things for me. I am not taking any conscious efforts though; I like to be associated with brands that I am comfortable with myself. Besides that, I am not concerned about being the highest paid actress or a model; that really doesn′t matter. I do things that I enjoy doing or then present me an interesting challenge. You can′t put a value on everything after all,” she says philosophically.
And what about love and marriage? “What about it?” she cracks up as she repeats our question. Is it time for that yet for Kats? “What do you think?” she jests. Doesn′t matter what we think, I remark it′s what she feels like that matters. “Apparently not,” she laughs. “Because no matter what I say people will draw their conclusions and right whatever they want,” she complains. “I am really touched that everyone around in concerned about me and me getting married but I can handle that myself, thank you very much,” she giggles as we conclude our chat. (originally published on 4 April, 2010)