Interview: “I don’t know why people think it’s a crime to work with the Khans” – Kareena Kapoor Khan
Bollywood royalty Kareena Kapoor Khan spent some quality time in London recently with beau Saif Ali Khan.
The award-winning actress will be seen on-screen with Bollywood superstar Salman Khan this Eid, 17th July, in Kabir Khan’s political drama, Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
Kapoor plays the role of Rasika in the film which is produced by Salman Khan Films and released in UK cinemas by Eros International.
Taking time off her London vacation, Kareena caught up with Asian Sunday Newspaper to speak about Bajrangi Bhaijaan and much more…
You’ve been spotted by fans in London and have been taking selfies with them too. How has the annual UK holiday been this year right before the release of your next film?
I absolutely love it. You know me and London is more than home for me. Whenever I come back here, I have this feeling that I am finally home.
You also met Channing Tatum whilst in London. That picture sort of broke the internet…
(Laughs) I think most of my selfies are breaking the internet. One of my friends took it and he is on Instagram and Twitter which is how it got out as I am not on any social media platforms.
You recently said that you are choosing films differently now compared to a few years ago. How has the process changed?
I think, I love the fact that I can be a part of blockbuster commercial movies. They have always been a part of my repertoire and my DNA. I love doing commercial masala films. I also do different films like Balki’s next directorial also starring Arjun Kapoor. My role in that film amazing. Then I will be seen in Udta Punjab which is a drama film about the drug issue in Punjab, India. I am trying to just balance it out, like always.
Do you go by your instinct when choosing a film then?
Yes, I do go by my instinct. Sometimes it turns out right and sometimes it turns out wrong but I have no regrets. I really have to just feel what I have to do. I have always done what I wanted to do and never followed any particular rules as such.
One doesn’t really say no to a Salman Khan movie but what made you say yes to Bajrangi Bhaijaan?
(Laughs) Everybody is used to seeing Salman in films which are loaded with action and comedy. This is one Salman Khan film where the story is the hero. The story is very different. Kabir Khan makes larger-than-life commercial blockbuster films but he also makes films which have stories and a meaning. The characters in the film are all very relevant to the plot. The entire setting of the film is also very real.
Popular male actors tend to take credit for the success of blockbuster movies while female actors are sometimes not given their due. Does that worry you when you are a part of blockbusters?
Not at all and I don’t think like that. I have been a part of commercial films like 3 Idiots, Bodyguard, the Golmaal series and Singham. I don’t think anyone has said that it’s just a Shah Rukh Khan or Salman Khan film. Talking about Ra.One for example, if you take out the song Chammak Challo it becomes a different film. People were mostly only talking about that song. In Bodyguard people mostly spoke about the chemistry that I share with Salman Khan on-screen. In the case of 3 Idiots, people remember my scenes very well. It’s never been about it. Even back in the days such as Hema Malini in Sholay, she didn’t have the title role. Sholay was about Dharamji and Amitji. She was a part of the film and you can’t take her out of it. For me it doesn’t work like that. I don’t know why people think it’s a crime to work with the Khans. I just don’t understand why it’s such a hue and cry and trust me, everyone wants to work with them (laughs).
The film has been a bit controversial because of its reported story…
People don’t know the story. It’s such an emotional drama and a beautiful story. People are trying to make a controversy out of it, not that it matters, but people are still going to watch the film and they will still be flocking to the theatres. Once they see the film they will know how appreciative the film is to both India and Pakistan.
How was it like to work with Salman Khan again after Bodyguard?
We have a very special relationship. When his sister became a producer for the first time with Bodyguard, I was the heroine of the film. When his brother Arbaaz Khan directed for the first time (Dabangg 2), I had a special appearance in the song Fevicol Se. Now Bajrangi Bhaijaan is Salman’s first production after working in the industry for twentyfive-years and I’m the heroine of the film. I think there is a very deep connection between the Khan’s and myself.
The soundtrack of Bajrangi Bhaijaan is already topping charts…
Pritam, the composer, has always done a spectacular job. He composed the music for Jab We Met too. The music of the film is very soulful but simultaneously you also have songs that you can dance to.
Bodyguard also released on Eid and people at a London cinema couldn’t get tickets and were seated on the floor to watch it on the first day…
Oh God, that will most likely be the case for Bajrangi Bhaijaan too because the excitement level is extremely high among our fans. The audience is expecting a good film and they want to see a film with a good story that features Salman Khan. That is something that is going to be deeply respected.
Your item song from the film Brothers, ‘Mera Naam Mary’ has just been released…
I think that it will be ten steps ahead of Fevicol Se from Dabangg 2.
Your fanclub on Twitter wants to know if you call Saif Ali Khan by his reported legal name ‘Sajid’ too?
(Laughs) No, that’s not his legal name and I don’t know where that all came from in the media. His mother thought of the name but his name is only Saif Ali Khan and thank God for that.