With an anglicised diction, an industry bad boy for a boyfriend and hefty fee for every project she does, Katrina Kaif might be a favourite with critics, but there is a gentle, head strong, sensitive and practical lass behind that glamorous exterior. In an exclusive interview with Swati Chaturvedi of Spicezee.com, Katrina talks about her love for food, fierce spirit and closely guarded personal life on Kahiye Janaab.
Swati: You have stood up against all odds; you are looked up to as one of the most hard working actresses in Bollywood today. What has inspired you to set such high goals?
Katrina: I look at it more as motivation than inspiration. For me beauty is a matter of opinion. It happens quite a lot of times that people tell me this person is the sexiest or that person is the prettiest and I look at them and think that they are not so pretty. And sometimes I find someone else very beautiful.
I came here with a very clear dream of doing modeling. I wanted to do a few modeling assignments with prestigious brands like Lakme. I had just one dream and that was to be the last girl to walk the ramp as that was taken as a popularity quotient. I came from a modeling background and I must say that I have worked very hard. Not many know about my struggle days.
Swati: Did you ever feel out of place due to your accent problem?
Katrina: Never. I feel that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. And the one positive point that I have, which I am aware of, is that I don’t give up. Whatever is difficult for me, I take it up as a challenge. I don’t get disappointed. I think that more than proving it to anyone else, I need to prove it to myself that I can do it.
Swati: Initially it was said that you do not know the language and now it’s said that you are a mere glam doll…
Katrina: I would love it if a company would make a doll and name it Katrina Kaif-The Glam Doll! They can make it rock, make it’s arm swing, but they will have to share the profits with me!
Swati: People say that you only compliment actors endowed with 6-pack abs. They say that you can’t act, can’t speak Hindi. Does such criticism incline you to work harder?
Katrina: I don’t think people say such things anymore. But I believe that at some level they are right. I still need to learn a lot. I take acting as an opportunity to learn. I mean I am getting paid to learn, why would anyone mind that? But after ‘Namastey London’ I don’t think that anyone can label me as a mere glam doll. The movie was out-an-out a woman oriented flick and no one can ignore that. I just want to say that give me a good script and I will prove my worth.
Swati: Are you fighting to break the stereotypical image that you have created by doing only commercial cinema?
Katrina: Not at all. I have only one thing to say- which I normally don’t do as it’s not my style to talk of films that I have refused- I have been offered a number of serious films by acclaimed directors but I have turned down many such projects.
I have done so because I have always wanted to make a mark for myself in commercial cinema. When you are new, you want people to recognise you and commercial films help you get that recognition. The other reason for doing commercial films is that fortunately or unfortunately I am a working woman with 6 sisters and I have responsibilities to fulfill.
I am being given this opportunity and I can’t take it lightly because, like it or not, after 8-9 years I will have to leave and head back home and all I am going to have is what I have earned during this time. Financial security is an important aspect for me.
Swati: For an actress, size zero and age are considered very important. How relevant have they been in your life?
Katrina: (Laughs) Both age and size are always manipulated a little. Some people stay 21 years old for 5 years and some lie about their size. Before, if you would have observed, the industry was in love with an hourglass figure but now it’s the size zero that rules the roost. It has become very popular after Kareena. Now, all big league actresses want to have the ‘it’ size. And Kareena, I feel looks fabulous and I absolutely have no idea how she did it. I remember when I joined the industry she was quite curvaceous and full.
But if I am honestly to tell whether I would follow this trend or not, I would love to be as thin as Kareena, but I just love my food too much. I jus can’t stop eating.
Swati: Who would you say is more conscious about their looks between you and Akshay?
Katrina: Hmmm…I would say it’s Akshay for only one reason that he would get up at 5:00 am and go to the gym whereas I would sleep for one hour more and not go the gym. One thing good about men having six pack abs is that they make me look smaller.
Adaptation: Tanu Talwar