Salman helped me begin, Akshay made me comfortable: Katrina

Tanu Talwar and Bhavna Khullar

Known for her flawless beauty and effervescent charm, Katrina Kaif turns tough when it comes to her personal life. The stunning lass, who prefers to keep her personal life under wraps, spoke to about her estranged relationship with her father, her love for cinema and the men in her life.

Q. You have been named as the most searched celebrity in India… How does that feel?

Katrina: Well I have heard about it and it does feel nice. I think such things make you feel wanted and appreciated and more than anything it makes me feel loved by my fans. It’s like, no matter what, my fans still appreciate my work.

Q. At such a young age, what makes you so generous and kind?

Katrina: I think it’s because I keep reminding myself that there are a lot of people out there who despite having a talent are unable to realise their acting aspirations. So I feel lucky and grateful for whatever I have achieved so far. Plus, I feel that this country has been extremely kind to me. My fans have accepted me with a number of flaws and being generous is my way of giving back. Frankly speaking, I never felt that I was beautiful before I came to India.

Q. Tell us a little about you family background?

Katrina: My father is a third generation Kashmiri, but has never lived in India. He is settled in the US. But since my parents have been separated I am not in touch with my father. I have had a very unfortunate life in that way. I don’t think he has any clue about my stardom in India. I have six sisters and one brother and we have always been with our mother. And since my mom’s work took her to a lot of places I am quite well travelled and independent. I feel staying alone makes you mature as you always have to look out for yourself.

Q. So is that what’s made you so self-reliant, self-protective and emotionally disconnected?

Katrina: I am not emotionally disconnected. On the contrary, being a Cancerian, I am an extremely emotional person. I am hyper sensitive and moody. But yes I am self reliant and self-protective because as Cancerians we want to be protected but when we are not we build this wall around us so that no one hurts us. Also because I have travelled a lot I have seen a lot of things and have understood life a little better.

Q. Of all your sisters, whom are you attached to the most?

Katrina: I am close to all of them, but it’s my youngest sister who is the closest to me since the very start. She has always been influenced by me and follows me closely.

Q. How did you start off your career?

Katrina: I started modeling at a very young age. I was fourteen when I did my first modeling assignment in Hawaii. When we moved to London I took up some offers there but my career really didn’t take off as I wasn’t as thin as they wanted models to be. It was when I came to India for a photo shoot did I do some legwork and got some prestigious modeling projects. However, all I ever wanted at that time was to be the top model. I wanted to be the showstopper in every show. Acting as a career had never occurred to me.

Q. You’ve said a lot of times that Salman Khan has always encouraged you, but you were not very confident about yourself initially. Why is that so?

Katrina: My own target in the industry was very low. Salman was straight forward. His opinion about me was not just a personal one. His confidence in me was very encouraging – it was like having a good friend at the early stage. Whenever I used to take up a small project, he would say, “Why are you even looking at that? You deserve so much better.”

Q. Which male actor are you most comfortable working with?

Katrina: Hmm… Akshay, because we’ve done so many films together – it was like a journey – he had to understand me. You know it’s very easy to create friction on sets. I was a little different. But when he got to understand me, he knew I’m harmless.

Q. And your favourite actress?

Katrina: I like Sushmita Sen. She’s my kind, very supportive and nice. Otherwise I idolise Madhuri – her charm and her screen presence are exceptional.

Q. Tell us about ‘Raajneeti’. Are you aiming to change your image to a serious one with this film?

Katrina: It’s not for making people take me seriously. Yes I want to be taken seriously, but that’s not an attempt. For me, it’s been a very learning experience. I had to open aspects of myself to understand the character. So, it’s a great script with a great director. But it’s a very special film, different from everything I’ve done before.

Q. What aspect of your character in ‘Raajneeti’ can you actually relate to?

Katrina: The part that she’s selfless and shameless when it comes to love – that kind of refusal to give up in love is something I can really relate to.


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