MUMBAI — For the first time in Katrina Kaif’s career, she has no films on the floor. Her last one month and more have been spent on the whirlwind promotions of her upcoming release “Baar Baar Dekho,” and it is a crucial film for the actress who began with the 2005 Hinglish film “Boom” and has a hit percentage that is enviably higher than even Amitabh Bachchan’s!
The cream of co-stars, from the three big Khans to Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan, John Abraham, Bobby Deol, Saif Ali Khan and even Govinda to newer names like Imran Khan, Ali Zafar, ex-flame Ranbir Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur and now Sidharth Malhotra, filmmakers like Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai, David Dahwan, Priyadarshan, Anees Bazmee, Prakash Jha, Anil Sharma, Aditya Chopra, Ali Abbas Zafar, the Tauranis, the Jains of Venus, Bhushan Kumar, Abbas-Mustan, Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar, Kabir Khan, Firoz Nadiadwala, Rajkumar Santoshi and now Karan Johar — in her dazzling career of just 11 years, Kaif has worked with them all.
Tired but relaxed, Kaif checks in at a Mumbai studio for a quick chat with India-West.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q: We have heard that “Baar Baar Dekho” is a love story based on time travel and the ability of the hero and heroine to rectify their mistakes through it.
A: I would say that “Baar Baar Dekho” is an extremely emotional love story set in a new way. It’s not as much about time travel and is not a linear story — in that sense, it is something Hindi cinema has not seen as yet. It explores different stages of relationships from childhood to dating, marriage, having a family and the problems faced at different times.
Q: If you had the time travel option to change things, what would you correct in your own life?
A: I would go back and tell myself not to worry and stress, I do take a lot of stress!
Q: And why’s that?
A: The human instinct is to look for and blame people and things for whatever goes wrong in life. I think that a more productive way is to see what you can do better. We have no control on other people’s behavior.
Q: That sounds very sensible! But then why do you have stress?
A: I still stress about never doing enough! But I think I have to learn to be easy on myself, I think. If things go wrong, if you have done your best, but there is probably one thing you did not do, you have to be able to let go. I am learning that.
Q: You have come out of a relationship with Ranbir Kapoor, and you refuse to talk about it.
A: Every equation and relationship is different, and I don’t think I should be talking to anyone about my personal life. The two of us alone know what happened. I prefer to live for the moment, and right now the place I am is the best place to be.
Q: How would you describe your glamorous character in this film?
A: Don’t go by the glamour and the lightness. That’s just the physicality that catches the eye. What will remain from any film are the emotions and the characters. Diya, my character in the film, is someone with whom I can relate, and so can every girl and woman. And it’s my most challenging role to date, for challenge is not just about serious roles or genre-specific. Of course, one kind of challenge is where you play someone completely different from what you are, like a serial killer maybe!
But in “Baar Baar Dekho,” I feel very privileged to be a part of a very new story, unlike what we have seen before, whether the audience likes it or not. But I think they will.
Q: What explains your choice of films, given your sustained hit percentage? I have asked you this before, but is there something that has changed since? I cannot still believe it is just good luck like you always say!
A: I think that if a story connects to me personally, then it can connect to the audience. If any film did not work, I look back on it as a wrong choice. For me, there are only two kinds of films — a hit and a film that has not connected with the audience. And the audience can never be wrong. If a film flops, it is very clear that we did not get something right. And I have been very fortunate that most of my films have connected with audiences.
Q: What makes for chemistry, which you seem to share here with Sidharth Malhotra?
A: Firstly, the chemistry must be there in the story, then the director should be able to bring it out. Yes, some people have good tuning or get along extremely well — all these factors have a part in it.
Q: Your songs “Kala Chashma” and “Sau Aasmaanon Ko” have made big waves. Do you think songs can boost an actor’s career?
A: Of course, they do. Every hit track helps an actor. Music is a huge part of our industry, with four or five songs in every film, which makes our films musicals! Music drives our films and most successful films have lots of successful songs.
Q: You said that you are a great believer in destiny. What about your contribution to your success again?
A: It’s very hard to dissect one’s career. Yes, I work my hardest and give my 99.9 percent. I had only one phase in which my focus was away from my work, and that’s when I had to pull myself up. Someone will always be better than you, and you will always be better than someone else. But as long as you do your best, are aware of what you are doing, and your only competition is therefore with yourself, it’s fine!