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I'd still wear a bikini on holiday: Kareena Kapoor

Last updated on: December 24, 2012 19:35 IST

I'd still wear a bikini on holiday: Kareena Kapoor

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Sanaya Dalal

In an exclusive interview with rediff.com, Kareena Kapoor dishes on her new book The Style Diary of a Bollywood Diva, her lifestyle and why she'd still wear a bikini on the beach if not on screen.

She's one of Bollywood's biggest stars, both envied and adored for her rich and famous lifestyle and amazing appearance.

So it may surprise you to learn that Kareena Kapoor has gunjis worth Rs 50 in her wardrobe alongside Cavalli couture; that she and Saif eat dinner by 9 pm each night in a bid to keep healthy and are, in her own words, something of a 'boring' couple ; and that she can look back and laugh at what she calls her 'blonde' phase.

Bebo's new book, Kareena Kapoor: The Style Diary of a Bollywood Diva, dishes on all of the above and more -- how to score her former size zero figure, her flawless complexion and glossy hair, down to the lingerie you should stock up on.

Here we present edited excerpts from an exclusive one-on-one with the actress:

How did Style Diary of a Bollywood Diva come about? Tell us a little about how it was conceptualised and executed.

When I first got a call from Ms Shobhaa De, she actually said she's writing a collection of books and publishing it and she wanted me to be one of her subjects. Now normally when you come up with a book on an actor, it's always an autobiography about the struggle to the top or the emotional upheavals of a star. So obviously when she called, my first reaction, instantly, was 'I don't know, I'm not sure.'

But then she told me that it's not going to be an autobiography and it's not going to be about the typical Bollywood struggles and pitfalls, it's going to be a style diary -- and I think that's what got me. I was very intrigued and I thought 'Okay, this is sounding different. '

She said, 'We should cater to all your fans -- young girls from 14 to 30 and 35. They want to know exactly what it is to be stylish.' And how we could kind of give them those tips.

It's a slightly edgy book; it's different. It's not a regular story, but it is a tell-all, which is great and what sets it apart from just being chapter after chapter.

Click here to purchase The Style Diary of a Bollywood Diva from Rediff Books


Image: Kareena Kapoor
Photographs: Cover of Style Diary of a Bollywood Diva

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'There was this entire phase when I went blonde...that's one thing I definitely won't do again!'

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You seem to have laid bare all your tips to looking fabulous -- have you held onto any style secrets or is this book Kareena Kapoor laid bare?

In terms of style I think there's everything. Like I said earlier, it's a tell-all book, it's just got every detail from what kind of dreams and aspirations I had as a 14-year-old girl when I was chubby, to you know, wanting to lose weight and get into modern outfits, to being size zero, to now being the size that I am...

It's just got everything! It's got what every girl wants to be, what she should look like on date night, what she shouldn't look like, what she should wear to a movie, what she should sleep in...Topics that probably a lot of actors and a lot of girls would shy away from -- innerwear, what you're supposed to wear when you sleep, when you're married, when you're kind of single...

So we've tried to make it a tell-all and at the same time, very fun for the reader.

You've stated that 'Looking back at old photos can make or break your ego!' Has that ever happened to you, vis a vis a particular look or style?

Well, of course! There was this entire phase when I went blonde -- which everyone was doing at the time, sporting goldilocks -- and then at one point, I think my hair went orange, which was quite bizarre! I don't think I would do that today!

But obviously it was very happening at that point of time, and it was fun, but yes, that's one thing I definitely won't do again.


Image: Kareena Kapoor
Photographs: Cover of Maxim India, September 2012

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'I'm very, very particular...when you go to a big event, you should have back-ups'

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Have you ever had a wardrobe malfunction in public -- you know, a ripped dress, a heel coming off, anything like that? If it takes place, how do you deal with it?

I don't think that has really happened, I've been very lucky -- no zip has split, or anything as such. I'm very, very particular because when you go to a big event you should have back-ups.

That's what's mentioned in the book -- to have back-up dresses. Sometimes you're changing and your zip splits, and you've got a date, so you can still quickly transform into looking great for that night.

These are all things I've shared with readers and all those young girls out there who want to know how to solve problems -- the to-dos and don'ts. Everything is mentioned in the book.

You've sworn off bikinis on screen, but do you wear them when you're on holiday, say abroad or in Goa?

Well, I'm as normal as everyone (else) is. I don't know about wearing one in Goa, because I'll definitely be photographed! (smiles).

But of course if I'm in the Maldives or abroad somewhere ... nobody's judging me even if I have an inch of fat on me! Nobody will be judging me saying 'Oh, she hasn't done her yoga!' or 'Oh, she's looking like this!' (makes a face). Not that it bothers me, but I just don't want anything of that sort (to happen).

And you know, to get into a bikini, you have to have a lot of dedication. The kind of dedication I had in Tashan; I don't think I have the patience for it right now. But definitely, on holiday, I think it looks great on me.


Image: Kareena Kapoor
Photographs: Still from Talaash
Tags: Goa

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'India has very few people that I find stylish'

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I'm counting on you to be your usual upfront self about this -- who according to you are B-Town's five worst-dressed women?

I would love to be really honest with you, but a) It's me! b) I am so over getting conned into answering these questions! (smiles) And c) I don't really follow anybody else's style as such.

India has very few people that I find stylish and I don't even know exactly how people dress. I mean I sometimes go out just casually dressed at events and I honestly feel that's the best way to be.

If you and your stylist Tanya have a difference of opinion about what you should wear to a particular event, whose opinion prevails?

Well, I think Tanya is somebody who's extremely motivating and she's very understanding -- she understands my body, she knows exactly what looks good on me.

She knows that we're not running behind labels. She knows that if I look good in a Zara tee-shirt and jeans, I'll go to an event (wearing them). She'll fire me and tell me, 'How can you wear jeans and a tee-shirt and go!' and I'm just like, I don't care! I can't constantly be wearing that (high-end designerwear).

And that's part of the book -- that you can't constantly be in designer labels to look beautiful. It caters to the entire nation, all the young girls out there, to tell them that it's not necessary to be in a gown on your date and for a man to say that you look amazing. You can also be in a white tee-shirt.


Image: Kareena Kapoor
Photographs: Cover of Cosmopolitan India, October 2011
Tags: Tanya , India

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'I can't turn up to coffee wearing a Roberto Cavalli gown'

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You've mentioned that you loved preening before mirrors as a child. How much time do you spend in front of it on average everyday (outside of work) now?

Yeah, those days! They've kind of transformed me. (smiles)

It's that greed of wanting to be in front of the camera that made me do that. And now when I am in front of the camera, it's like I wait for days when I don't have to look at myself in the mirror, I wait for days when I'm just in my gunji and trackpants and hop across for a coffee!

But then there's always that fear that somebody's going to click you and then they're going to write that you're underdressed, but I can't turn up at Costa (Coffee) wearing a Roberto Cavalli gown. That's not something that can be done, but I guess we are expected to do that! (laughs)

How about today? How long have you spent getting ready for your interviews?

Nothing, I mean I had already just decided that it's going to be casual, so I wanted to throw on my jeans -- I actually wear these jeans every day. And I wore boots because this is the only time of year that you can wear them. And a jacket is something that I feel comfortable in giving an interview.

As far as my hair goes, it's always in a ponytail because I don't know, there's something about a ponytail that attracts a girl. People say that open hair looks great, but it looks great at night -- I think in the day, there's nothing cleaner than a ponytail.


Image: Kareena Kapoor
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

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'I cook -- and I think that I'm a better cook than Saif!'

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It's apparent from Style Diary of a Bollywood Diva that fitness is an integral part of your lifestyle. What is Saif's attitude toward fitness?

Saif is also quite fitness-conscious. We both try to coordinate our workout timings, we sometimes work out together. He enjoys doing yoga a lot; of course he says it's very strenuous!

We're both a fit couple, we try to be at least. We're foodies and we like to travel a lot, so working out, taking long walks is also part of the holiday, doing a bit of yoga sometimes...Whether we're in the snow or the mountains, or anywhere. Taking out that 45 minutes to an hour is something that we both promise to do when we leave on our holidays.

When we're here sometimes it's impossible, because we work 14 hours a day. So sometimes you can't work out, there's no time. But Saif tries most of the time to incorporate it into his working agenda.

He cooks as well, we've heard. Do you cook too?

I cook -- and I think that I'm a better cook than him! It's just that I don't have much time to do so. And both of us have now evolved into a couple that eats dinner at 9 o'clock. We don't like to eat dinner later than that; we're somewhat boring (smiles). Being healthy can be a little boring but it's okay, you'd rather be healthy than end up in hospital.


Image: Kareena Kapoor
Photographs: Cover of Filmfare Magazine, April 11, 2012
Tags: Saif

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'I've never been under the knife and I never will be'

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Have you ever had any vices -- smoking, or drinking? If so, did you struggle to give them up?

No, never. Actually you know, I started working at a very young age. And when you're working at that age...I never enjoyed my youth as a college-going student. I don't remember going with my college friends to a club or dance party. My job was such, so it kind of took away that joy -- but it compensated for a lot more, which is great. And so vices -- I think Saif has had more vices than I have! But he's grown into a fine man despite everything.

There have always been accusations regarding leading actresses and cosmetic surgery and you haven't been spared, particularly since your makeover dating back to your Tashan days. Do you care to address them? Would you consider plastic surgery 20 years down the line?

My only take is, I find lines on a man and woman extremely sexy and turning on.

Particularly for men, when a little bit of age shows on the face there's nothing greater than that. Al Pacino, even the way Brad Pitt is looking now, Robert DeNiro, Harrison Ford...I think they all have so much character.

And I'm completely against botox or any sort of cosmetic surgery. I'm very blessed in that sense, I've never been under the knife and I never will be, (I speak for) both Karisma and me. I don't feel the need to. I like red wine and red wine matures with time -- you know, it just becomes better and better. And that's the kind of mantra I believe in.


Image: Kareena Kapoor
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

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'My wardrobe has stuff worth 5,000 pounds, to stuff worth 50 rupees'

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What is the single most expensive outfit, or handbag or pair of shoes you own? And also tell us about the least expensive item in your wardrobe.

I'll tell you about my wardrobe -- it's basically a mixed bag. It has stuff worth 5,000 pounds, to stuff worth 50 rupees -- gunjis from the street, which I live in all the time.

And my most expensive buy would be a handbag, which I (usually) want to spend most of my money on. But then I would go out and buy a really kitsch sling bag if I feel like.

So it's not like it (my wardrobe) has only labels, I think most of the stuff is from Zara and Mango, which I just love because they're so wearable. You just put them on, put your feet up and you're most comfortable. Dresses and gowns are there, but there aren't too many of them. There are just about 5,000 tee-shirts! I don't know which one to wear when I'm going out and it's because I live in those the most (that I have so many). 

I have a great collection of shoes. There are different colours, lots of blacks, lots of nude shoes because I love the colour nude and I think it looks perfect on a dress...Some of the shoes are branded and some are not, they're, like, a regular make. But the most comfortable sneakers, of course, I think are Nike. There's nothing more I could live in, I think I could wear my socks and Nike sneakers and go off to sleep! They're that comfortable and I swear by them.

So my wardrobe is kind of a mix, it's not really what's expensive out there but there's a lot of stuff that looks good.


Image: Kareena Kapoor
Photographs: Cover of Hello! India, October 2012
Tags: Nike , Zara , Mango

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'My most expensive piece of couture is a handbag from Alexander McQueen'

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Okay, but you still haven't told me...the single most expensive piece of couture you own!

I think it would have to be a handbag, from Alexander McQueen. I think -- I don't know -- I must have spent, yeah, a lot of money on it!

Can you tell us what 'a lot' is?

Er, I don't know. I don't know the price, (it could be) anything... a thousand pounds? But I do know that the handbag is the most expensive.

Are you a gizmo freak? Do you spend a lot on gadgets and tech?

Not. At. All.

I have an iPad that Saif's gifted me and I 'm happy to just read up things that I want to on it. And apart from that...I'm not at all a gizmo freak. I'm not tech savvy either! (laughs)


Image: Kareena Kapoor
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani

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