'My looks are my first priority'
Straight-talking with Kareena Kapoor on Mujhse Dosti Karoge
Kareena Kapoor has still not forgotten how Sanjay Leela Bhansali dumped her in favour of Aishwarya Rai
in his magnum opus Devdas. She shrugs it off now, saying, "I would have looked too young in Paro's shoes. It is too early for me to adopt a sari and jooda."
Today, she is waiting for the release of Mujhse Dosti Karoge of Yash Raj Films. Directed by film critic-turned-music video-director-turned film director Kunal Kohli, she stars with Hrithik Roshan and Rani Mukherji.
According to her, she is 'off media'. She explains, "A certain section of the media is out
to malign my reputation and I am sick of it. I want to take a break from interviews. But since my film is releasing, I have no way out."
Kareena, who refused Rakesh Roshan's blockbuster Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, because her mother Babita said the film was would launch the hero, not the heroine, reveals how MDK happened to her. "Kunal Kohli and Yash Chopra approached me and told me the story. I was apprehensive at first because it had two heroines. I am very particular about the quality and quantity of my roles. But both of them insisted. I heard the script and was floored."
About her role, she says, "It is very glamorous, typical of what people would expect of me. My male fans will relish this role. My character realises the value of friendship, love and family, and executes a major decision in the end. I play a loser, yet emerge the winner. This is not a goody-goody heroine who gets the hero. My role has better scope. I am the life of the film. The other characters are sad most of the time."
The actress had starved for three days for her introductory scene because she wanted to "look great as it involved exposing my midriff." She continues, "I want to look ravishing in every frame of every film. My looks are my first priority. The audience decides my status in the industry. Today, this audience comprises fashion conscious youth. So it is fully justified that I take pains to keep them happy."
She has no qualms to expose her body to suit the character. "If my character demands exposure, I see no reason why I should not comply, as long as it is not overexposure. I have been criticised a lot in the past for exposing. But what is wrong with the way I came across in Asoka? It was was a period film. Tell me, which jungle [tribal] woman in those days covered herself from head to toe?
"I was even criticised for my outfit in the song You are my Sonia in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. But hasn't that outfit become a craze with the girls?"
The actress admits that her entry in the industry was easy, largely due to her sister Karisma. "When I entered, she was at the top. That helped. But please don't take the credit away from me. I worked really hard, and still am. No heroine has been offered the price I have been offered."
About her sister, she says, "We are different. Karisma is more hard-working, whereas I have to feel every emotion. If I don't, I ask my director to keep the scene for another day."
Coming back to MDK, Kareena says, "Kunal [Kohli] will go far. He has a mind of his own. He is bound to his script. He is not swayed by what people have to say. More important, he has lots of commercial sense. MDK has a lot of clichιd masala."
Her best part in the film were the last 20 minutes, when the story takes a turn. Besides, several scenes in London will be a visual treat, she promises.
Her next films include Boney Kapoor's Khushi, Sunil Darshan's Talaash, Vashu Bhagnani's Jeena Sirf Mere Liye and Sooraj Barjatya's Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon. She says, "My role in Khushi demands a very methodical approach unlike my usual spontaneous one. It has been the most difficult role for me to date, unlike in MDK, which came to me naturally."
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The truth about Rani and Kareena