Katrina Kaif and Aditya Roy Kapur have been all over the news, promoting their next. While discussing the film, which is based on Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, on their recent visit to the Hindustan Times office, we saw a different side of the lead pair. They joked, laughed, and didn’t hesitate in pulling each other’s leg time and again. A visibly vivacious Katrina and a witty Aditya interacted with the audience too. Excerpts from the interview.
Katrina, people perceive you as someone who is really cold and unaffected…
Aditya: I know she has a few things to say about this. But I think there are many sides to Katrina. She draws a very clear line between her personal life and her work persona. I guess that’s why people think that she doesn’t care much. But that’s a conscious decision she has made. As you get to know her, you see the different sides to her, which even I didn’t know about earlier. Gattu (Abhishek Kapoor; director) puts it beautifully; he says that it takes seven meetings to figure Katrina out, and there are chances that you still might not know her. She can be really cool and calm, which is good.
On the other hand, people feel that Aditya is all over the place, very distracted and only available when he wants to be…
Katrina: I agree with you, Aditya is all over the place, very distracted and available only when he wants to be. You are so correct about him (laughs).
Aditya: What does all over the place mean? I don’t know what that implies. I am not good with PR or in projecting a certain image of myself, and I don’t give clarifications about rumours, that’s it.
Katrina: That’s because you are all over the place (laughs).
Aditya: No, it’s because I don’t care. I try to keep myself away from all this (rumours and reports) because you can’t always let your mood be dictated by what is being written about you in the papers.
Aditya, do you remember your first meeting with Katrina?
Katrina: Last year, we were shooting together, and someone said that Aditya has actually interviewed me in the past. So, we started searching for the interview online. We found that interview, and in the process, also got to know that we had also done an ad together several years ago. We watched both the things and laughed for half an hour. I don’t remember him and I’m sure he will say some rubbish, but I know that even he doesn’t remember me [from that time].
Aditya: I remember, during that shoot, I was sitting in a room with the other people who were in the ad, and she was the star. All of us were waiting for her. We peeked out of the door when she passed by. All her shots were done first, and my shots were done at 11.30pm. But we never met that day. We met only when I interviewed her.
Katrina: You were very good in that interview.
Aditya: We saw the interview a few days back. She initially thought that I was only interested in her sisters, but I feel I was quite charming.
Is it possible for a celebrity to be detached?
Katrina: It’s possible, if you are all over the place and distracted (laughs).
Aditya: I am distracted and happily so, when I am not working. Even when you are reticent, that too should be projected. Otherwise people misconstrue it, and say that he doesn’t care. I’m passionate about my work.
Katrina, you care a lot about everything said about you.
Katrina: It affects me. I feel bad. I get heart attacks. I struggle with it. It’s important for me to keep my personal battles away from the public eye or else I would be all over the place… like Aditya (laughs). Imagine if I spent every day reacting about everything said about me, there would be no end to it.
Aditya says he didn’t read the book, Great Expectations, purposely, as he didn’t want to confuse himself…
Katrina: He’s lying.
Aditya: She just thinks I’m lazy.
Katrina: But he is. It’s a big book. I have read it.
Aditya: It’s also a very big script.
Katrina: You have lived with these characters for really long. So, you can always write a thesis on Miss Havisham, her problems, her issues, and Estella’s character. Great Expectations is a book that has been extensively discussed, with endless forums on the character, Pip, why he is the way he is, why he loves Estella so much, and so on. In a way, it’s good that Adi didn’t read the book, because there were some things in the script that I had to struggle with. I would keep saying that we need to stick to the book. Then I would argue with Abhishek (Kapoor; director), since in the adaptation process, he had changed a few things. I think the main difference between the book and the film is that in the latter, why he loves the girl is very clear. It is an innocent and unadulterated love.
The book is an acclaimed piece of literature. Did that add to the pressure for the both of you?
Aditya: Since it is such a revered piece of work, you want to keep the people, who have read it, happy. But that’s the case with every film you do; you already have so many expectations anyway. So, these expectations are not bogging us down.
Do you relate to the characters in any way?
Katrina: My character in the book is wondering why she is the way she is. She is that way because her mother has manipulated and taught her to be like that. So, she is practical, and will do exactly what is laid out for her in life, regardless of what she may instinctively or emotionally feel. She’s very calculative. So, I think the character is saving herself a lot of pain in life. In that way, I wish I could be like her. I feel that people who react less emotionally to things spare themselves a lot of pain.
Do you react to things emotionally?
Katrina: I only know how to react emotionally and instinctively. I have six sisters, and one of them is so practical; she’s blunt with people who speak rudely. Funnily enough, out of all of us, she has the least amount of boy problems. She’s just happily chilling. She’s logical. So, she’s fine.
What was working with Tabu like?
Aditya: When you are working with someone who is so aware of what they do, you become better too. I wasn’t intimidated by her. She doesn’t take her work, or the people around her, seriously. So, that automatically puts everyone at ease. I learnt a lot just watching her work and rehearse. It was a priceless experience for me.
What was your first reaction to the unusual casting of the film?
Katrina: I have done films with actors who have been part of a lot of films, and others who haven’t. When I had signed this film, Aditya was not on board. So, when I learnt about Aditya, I wasn’t for or against it, as I had just seen Aashiqui 2 (2013), and I had really liked his work in the film.
Aditya: I think we were both perfectly cast for the film.
Katrina: (cuts in) He tried to get me replaced, but that didn’t work (laughs).
Aditya: I tried to use all my clout (laughs). But I was looking forward to getting into this whole set-up, because everyone who was working on the project was on top of their game. I knew that this film would be something really special.
Watch: Katrina, Aditya in Fitoor trailer
Is Fitoor an important movie for the both of you, as you will have a release after a gap?
Katrina: Every film is important and has its own destiny. Of course, with every movie, you want to win a National Award and make it big at the box office. But sometimes, you have to understand that every film has its own audience. I have left whatever is in store for us up to destiny. We worked hard on the film, and on the promotions; now, it’s in God’s hands. If it works, that would be amazing. But if it doesn’t, we’ll try again next time.
Aditya: Every film has a lot riding on it. For me, it’s been a while. I would like to do more films. At the end of the day, it’s a business; people want to make money. That’s the intention with every film. It happens for some movies. For others, it doesn’t.
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