Katrina Kaif readily agreed to shake a leg for Bodyguard’s title number, and didn’t even ask for a fee. Not surprisingly, her ‘friend’ Salman Khan also refers to her as part of his family. With this item number, the rumoured ex couple are back on screen together after Yuvvraj (2008), and rumours about their reunion are running strong again.
Ask Salman about it and he shoots back, “What’s there to react? Katrina and I are also doing Ek Tha Tiger together. Likhne waale likhenge jo unka man karega (those who have to write will write whatever they want); they have time to write such things. Why should I waste my energy on it? We would rather work harder on our films.”
A few days back, a tabloid quoted Katrina as saying thus: ‘I can’t deny my equation with him (Salman) has changed.’ But Salman isn’t amused. “What equation? I really don’t know what she said. As far as I am concerned, our equation is absolutely the same as earlier,” says the Dabangg (2010) star.
But doesn’t Salman feel such reports stem from the fact that they were in a relationship earlier? “Did I say so? Or did she say so?” he questions. “We’ve always maintained that we’re good friends and get along absolutely fine.”
And even as they shoot for Kabir Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger, Kat has stated that she’s comfortable working with him. “Yes, she is very comfortable with me and my entire family. In fact, she is a part of the family. We have known her for the longest time now,” says Salman, adding further in jest, “Like in the movie, I play Kareena’s character’s bodyguard, like that I am Katrina’s bodyguard.”
Speaking of Bodyguard, Salman claims he was always aware of its potential. In fact, when the film was being made in Malayalam, he heard the script and thought of picking it up. “I haven’t seen the Malayalam version. Atul (Agnihotri) watched it, but even before he saw it, I had told him, ‘It has an amazing plot. Pick it up. Picture hit ho, flop ho (whether the film is a hit or flop), get the story,’” he says.
Considering Salman has done high-flying action in all his films, including Wanted (2009), Dabangg and Ready, is it all physically demanding for him? “The most difficult one in terms of physical strain has been Veer (2010). But so far, I am capable of doing them (stunts) physically and am getting away with it,” he says, adding, “And I say it because I’ve done all the stunts myself in my movies. So I have been extremely lucky to do all the stunts safely and without any injury.”
Excerpts from interview:
After Wanted (2009) and Dabangg (2010), will Bodyguard be your third consecutive Eid blockbuster?
Let the Friday, the film releases decide that. Everyone wants to make a film that will surpass their last films. I’m no different. And today, we have the technical know-how to up the standards but we still haven’t discovered a hit formula. So, all you can do is make a good, sensible, emotional film and leave it at that.
But the expectations from ‘Brand Salman’ have risen?
Expectations are high because people have watched my last few films. But it’s true in other cases too. For example, you always expect a little more from your girlfriend and vice versa (smiles).
Your last two films with Kareena Kapoor, Kyun Ki! (2005) and Main Aur Mrs Khanna (2009) didn’t work. Will this one break the jinx?
In our film industry, certain people dismiss an on-screen pairing as panvati (jinxed) if their last few films haven’t worked at the Box Office. But I believe that if a heroine is perfectly suited for a particular role, why shouldn’t I get her? In Wanted, we cast Ayesha Takia in the lead because she fit the part. And the film was a superhit!
Is Katrina Kaif doing a cameo in Bodyguard or a special appearance in the title track?
I start out as her bodyguard so she appears in the title song, Aaya Re Aaya… to establish the fact. Later, of course, I become Kareena’s bodyguard.
Is Bodyguard a special film for you since your sister Alvira is co-producing it with husband Atul Agnihotri?
It doesn’t matter who is producing the film. A film is a film. People are going to spend money, from Rs 10 to Rs 400, to watch it. So, my responsibility is towards them. Once audiences like the film and they start coming in numbers, my responsibility towards the producer will be automatically fulfilled.
How is Dabangg 2 shaping up? Have you really written parts of the script?
Dabangg 2 is simply an extension of the first film. Chulbul Pandey is an interesting guy so I think we won’t have any problems with the character. In fact, we have finalised and locked the script of the sequel. I haven’t written anything in the script since it’s completely Arbaaz’s (Khan) film. Since Chulbul has shades of gray, it’s easily to meander into different genres — comedy, action and romance. Now that the character of Chulbul is established, we can easily take it to the next level.
We’ve heard that Chulbul is moving to a metro now?
Yes, Chulbul is moving to a bigger city. (Smiles) Now, there’s a lot more jhol in Dabangg 2.
Many feel you seem to be stuck on action films these days?
Nothing like that, every film has action, even Ready. For instance, you can’t call every film a musical just because it has 4-5 songs. In fact, I had to work harder on Ready because the action scenes had to make you laugh.
Have you lost weight for Ek Tha Tiger?
No, it’s just that I was training hard for the climax of Bodyguard and carried the lean look into Ek Tha Tiger. It has been just 25 days since I wrapped up Bodyguard.
You met Somy Ali recently in Bangkok while shooting for Ready?
Sure, I did. She flew down to Bangkok from Hong Kong because she had some work in Hon Kong. What’s the big deal?
Somy has said that Aishwarya Rai was responsible for your split?
(Smiles) Somy said it, so ask her. I don’t know anything.