Bollywood Interview: 30 Minutes With Katrina Kaif

Dhruvi Shah , 10 Sep 2011

It was a slow afternoon at the rehearsal hall at YRF Studios until we scored a 30 minute interview with the gorgeous Katrina Kaif. Extremely patient, super cool, funny and so much more, here’s everything you wanted to know about Katrina in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. :)

Katrina Kaif in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan
Katrina Kaif in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan

Team MM: Let us start from the beginning. When you were first approached for the role in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, what was your reaction?

KK: Well when I first heard the script I thought it was something very different… something very new… I was shooting for ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ in Spain at the time… and I downloaded it from my email and I read it and I felt that it was something which had not been done before, something which had not been seen before… and I mean at the end of the day that’s how I have always tried to choose my films.

Team MM: What was it about the character that attracted you?

KK: I think more than anything it was that I felt there was room to interpret it the way that I wanted to. And I think there was freedom. I knew the director, I knew what he was trying to do with the film and I felt that there was room for us to experiment with a very different kind of a heroine… a different kind of a girl… and I thought that was going to be something interesting.

Team MM: This is quite a girl-driven film. The female protagonist of the film drives the movie. Was that something very challenging for you?

KK: I don’t know if there’s ever been a female-driven film or a male-driven film. I don’t believe in that. I believe a film is a film – a movie can only work if everything about the film works. When I heard about the film – I found the chemistry and the romance very interesting between Imran’s character and my character and I felt that after everything we had been offered, there was still scope for us to have a new dimension between the two characters on screen rather than your more traditional love stories. So I think that was really the reason why both me and Imran were really happy and excited about the film.

Katrina Kaif and Imran Khan in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan
Katrina Kaif and Imran Khan in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan

Team MM: You were being paired opposite Imran Khan for the first time. What was your impression before you met him and what was your impression after you actually met him?

KK: Well, me and Imran were offered films before, which for some reason or another, would just not work out. There would be something… on a script level or on dates… or it just wouldn’t work. I think that’s always been the way for me… where things have seemed to fall into place at the right time when they were meant to be and I think we just both instantly liked it. We probably started shooting the film three months after saying yes to the script. So that was a really quick turnaround process. I think Imran and I both come from very different worlds… different kind of school of films almost, I would say. I think initially there was some awkwardness but in the end I think it’s really worked out in a very great way.

Katrina Kaif in New York
Katrina Kaif in New York

Team MM: You’ve known director Ali for a while. He was the first AD on New York… your first film with YRF. Tell us a little about yours and Ali’s relationship.

KK: The director, Ali (Abbas Zafar) was the first AD on New York which was the first film that I did with Yash Raj and that was an amazing experience I think for all of us – it was something which we really remembered and had a great time on. The whole experience was just super positive. Obviously, I knew he was writing a script but I mean work is work and that’s very separate – I really take my decisions very independently even if I know the person or don’t know the person. So I read the script with a very open mind and I instantly thought it was something that I just wanted to do… I don’t know the exact reasons but it was just an instinct I had that it would be good. I think that it has helped us in a certain way that everyone on the film is young – no one is conscious of each other and I think that enabled us to be very free… at least me, in terms of the performance or what I tried to do with the character. You know I think there’s a lot of (probably) a certain personality or a certain side to me that most people wouldn’t normally see or have not seen before. I think that is something which could be good – I mean we have to wait for the result… but it’s something which I am also curious to know… whether that kind of being really free and that kind of being really not at all conscious… whether people will notice something different in the film.

Katrina Kaif in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan
Katrina Kaif in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan

Team MM: How did you prepare yourself for the character in the film?

KK: There wasn’t much character preparation to do. The same for Zindagi – a lot of people have asked that question. Obviously as my last release – and in that film it was different… there was diving and stuff… but besides that the character, it’s just finding your interpretation of it and just kind of getting onto the set and finding who this girl is and who you want her to be. It’s not like you are having to train for something; read books or do some research. It’s a really fun, romantic comedy, so it’s not about that, it’s more getting onto the set and everyone working together and trying to bring whatever they can to the scene.

Katrina Kaif and Imran Khan in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan
Katrina Kaif and Imran Khan in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan

Team MM: You shot in places you must have been to before, in Delhi, Punjab… but this time you were right there… in the middle of crowds…how was that?

KK: Yeah we actually shot in some really, really nice locations in the film. We shot for a month in a place called Nabha, which is near Patiala and it was this really small, dinky hotel… barely a hotel you could call it… called Iqbal Inn and I remember Imran being terrified when we walked in and I think everyone was terrified. That’s where it helped that we were all friends and we were all a young unit and everyone just went in there and said… you know… chuck it… I mean… let’s just have fun and we were all staying on one floor and you could barely call it a motel and we stayed there for about 25 days. Packed up every night, came to the hotel, no other food was there besides dal and roti and tandoori chicken and just being there, in that whole environment… and I think that Imran was the most concerned… and we would all pull his leg about it.

Katrina Kaif and Ali Zafar
Katrina Kaif and Ali Zafar

Team MM: Let us talk about Ali Zafar, who plays the character called Luv.

KK: Ali Zafar was somebody who I think none of us had really met before the film. He, of course, plays Imran’s brother in the film. When he came onto the sets, I thought he instantly added a really fresh and new dimension into the whole dynamics of everything. He instantly got the tone of the film. He is a really, really good performer. He is great at comedy and he just kind of brought a really fun vibe onto the whole shoot of the film. Obviously, he is also a musician, so in between the shots, we were shooting mainly outdoors in big spaces, so we had a lot of space, he played his songs for the whole unit… you know playing on the guitar. It was just kind of a big bunch of group of friends kind of all hanging together on and off the sets.

Katrina Kaif in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan
Katrina Kaif in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan

Team MM: Ali Zafar claims to have given you some guitar lessons which later translated onto your screen image.

KK: (Laughs) Well, I don’t think he should be taking any credit for my guitar playing skills or lack of them in the film ‘coz I don’t think they are very impressive. But, yeah, he did try to teach me some guitar and I did try to learn. I think it was a little futile though. We didn’t get past more than 3 chords, so I don’t know if he is the best teacher or I am just a bad student but it didn’t work out too well.

Imran Khan and Katrina Kaif in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan
Imran Khan and Katrina Kaif in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan

Team MM: Lets talk about some specific events that happened on the sets. There was a very critical scene in the film where Imran confronts you and you are supposed to slap him at a certain point. Imran was saying that you slapped him at least 20 times…

KK: Yeah… there was a scene in the film where Imran confronts my character about something. I felt we weren’t getting the tone of the scene right and I was getting very frustrated and at one point I have to slap Imran. It was quite a long take and I think we did about 15 takes and because of the close proximity where he is standing and the camera, you can’t really cheat a slap, so Imran was like, ‘Just slap me for real or look real and it will have more impact..’ so I said, ‘Okay fine..’. Well I don’t think he anticipated that we were going to shoot that particular bit like 16 times so he got like an awful lot of slaps from me and they were pretty hard. By the end of it he was like, ‘I can’t take any more slaps’ but we got it really well in the end and I think we were happy with it.

Imran Khan and Katrina Kaif in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan
Imran Khan and Katrina Kaif in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan

Team MM: On a separate occasion, there’s a scene where you hold a gun…

KK: There’s a scene in the film which you can see actually in the promo where I am holding a gun to Imran and I am having an argument with him and I kind of have those long rifles that the watchmen usually have and I am holding it on his neck and he is supposed to kind of push me away. But somehow some mis-coordination happens and that gun ended up whacking me in the face pretty hard. So obviously all the staff on the film was saying, ‘Aah last time this happened that film was a hit, so yay! It’s good luck!’ and I’m sitting there with like a huge bump on my face in agony saying, ‘Yeah it may be good luck but it really could be avoided’ and (smiles) Imran of course completely blamed me and said it was all my fault and that I’m clumsy and I’m uncoordinated and that I pushed the gun into my own face and I am like, ‘why would I do that?’ So, I think the bottom line is that it is Imran’s fault and I think he is responsible for me getting that bruise on my face… whether he likes it or not (mock-seriousness).

Imran Khan, Katrina Kaif and Ali Zafar in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan
Imran Khan, Katrina Kaif and Ali Zafar in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan

Team MM: Do you remember any difficult sequences which you had where you really had to push yourself?

KK: I think the sequence which was a little difficult was where I did the dialogue from Sholay and it was the first day of shoot with Ali Zafar and I think my second or third day of shoot with Imran, so none of us really knew each other very well and Ali and Imran are sitting down in the car – they are in the driver’s seat and I am standing on the bonnet, wearing a short dress and I am supposed to be kind of very high and saying Dharamji’s dialogue from Sholay where I am referring to Ali Zafar as Basanti and Imran as the, you know, ‘bad mausi’ who is coming in between … so it’s very funny and that’s what I liked about the character – it’s the girls giving it back to the boys. But anyways it was a little awkward since none of us knew each other and I’m standing up on the car and they are looking up at me and I’m screaming and shouting at the top of my voice and it was late at night but I think that in a way it broke the ice and everyone after that was like ‘okay you are kind of crazy’ (laughs) but I think that’s when we kind of got the tone of the character – that was like the third or fourth day on the shoot and it was a lot of fun.

Katrina Kaif in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan
Katrina Kaif in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan

Team MM: Could you describe your character and her style in the film?

KK: I play a character called Dimple and she has two looks in the film. One is when she is in college which is more like the whole rockstar, grunge vibe… very unkempt hair… lot of kaajal on her eyes… just jeans and ganjees and doesn’t really care about the clothes that she wears… boots… and that was a lot of fun. Rocky S and me kind of worked together on that to come up with that. The second look is how she is in the film which is about 4-5 years later and completely normal. I mean the kind of clothes you would go and buy from Linking Road… jeans, t-shirts, completely casual… not giving too much thought or not over-styled. I mean, the main thing was to try and keep her real. She’s not supposed to be an unattainable or overtly-glamorous girl. She’s a normal girl who is just you know kind of really adventurous and passionate about things and a little bit whacky and we didn’t want the styling at any point to overpower anything, except as I said for the college portion we wanted to keep it different but for the majority of the film we wanted it to be about her personality and not about the clothes or the styling. So I think it’s worked really well. In terms of the character, I think you have to see the film and decide. It is something different and you know with everything risky that you do… with everything different that you do it’s always a risk and you have to wait and see what the audience verdict is at the end.

Team MM: Why should someone go and watch Mere Brother Ki Dulhan?

KK: I never have a reason why someone should go and watch a film. As I said, you take a film, you put in as much love, as much hard work as you can, you give it everything and then you put it out for the audience to see and judge. And then you just have to hope and pray that they do – that’s the way it works.

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