She’s been in the news this year, but hasn’t had a film out. Her last release was Jab Tak Hai Jaan in 2012.
Now, putting paparazzi images and boyfriend rumours behind her, it seems Katrina Kaif is ready to talk about work again. She starts off by expressing disappointment over the delays in her films.
"Anytime there is a delay in the release, it does hurt a bit. But you have to accept it and understand that, in a career of many years, sometimes, these things do happen." Case in point, while Hrithik Roshan’s surgery pushed Bang Bang’s schedule, Aamir Khan’s decision to focus on the TV show Satyamev Jayate apparently delayed Dhoom:3.
On the flipside, Katrina says the delays gave her time to focus on physical training and to unwind with her family. "I used some of the time to train for my role, and the rest to enjoy with my family and friends. Usually, I don’t get so much time, so I’ve actually really enjoyed myself this year," she says.
However, post-break, Katrina is juggling multiple shoots. "I’m jumping from one set to the other. I’m shooting for Anurag Basu’s film with Ranbir (Kapoor), Phantom with Saif (Ali Khan) and Bang Bang with Hrithik, besides doing promotions. But that’s okay. It happens, and you have to go with the flow."
Katrina plays an acrobat in Dhoom:3, so she had to do some heavy-duty training. "Most of my stunts are with straps and hoops suspended from a height, and with coordinated choreography. It’s like a dance in the air. To do these, one needs strong shoulders and upper-body strength which, for a girl, is not the most natural thing."
The actor adds that the training was more rigorous, and different from what she’s done in other films. "The main difference here is that I wasn’t on a harness. While you can generally hold on to a strap, on a hoop, there’s nothing holding you."
And while Katrina’s looks and her sex appeal are once again being talked about before the release of the film, she reckons there’s more to her character than just that. "It’s more about the skill (since she plays an acrobat), as opposed to how I’m looking or dancing in the film. It is more about the acrobatics and the stunts. The glamour in the role is incidental and will be an added bonus."
The previous heroines in the franchise, Esha Deol, Bipasha Basu and Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, have all been presented as hyper-glamorous, so is there any pressure on her to up the glam quotient?
"For me, being glamorous is about doing what people haven’t seen before, and Victor (Krishna Acharya, director) tried something new (with my character). So this one doesn’t allow so much for comparisons," Katrina says.
Katrina reveals that she is afraid of heights. "Initially, while rehearsing for acrobatics, I was at a height of 10 ft with a crash mat below. But for the final take, the height was 25 ft, and that’s when the nerves came into play. My hands got unsteady and fear took over."
And why didn’t she ask a body double to jump in? "I’ve done most of it myself... I’ve never considered myself an athletic person, but this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; a chance to work with famous circus professionals," she says.