Kareena Kapoor Khan is one of those B-Town actors, who have managed to defy the age-old saying that married heroines cannot have a successful career. Not only does she have a film ready to release now (Bajrangi Bhaijaan), but she also has a bunch of movies in her kitty, and all of them with noted directors.
And, in spite of having multiple projects lined up, Kareena manages to take time off to enjoy vacations with her husband, Saif Ali Khan, and family. Here, she discusses striking a work-life balance, movies, and more.
Whether commercial or content-driven cinema, you have a lot on your plate.
I want to balance it out. Being part of commercial, masala films is in my DNA. That is not going to change. Also, it’s an honour to be part of films that feature the Khans (Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir). I’m also working in Abhishek Chaubey’s film, R Balki’s next, and a project with Raj Kumar Gupta. I want to collaborate with new people, and that is a conscious decision.
But you seem to be taking it easy now…
I don’t want to do five films simultaneously. I want to do good roles and films. I am greedy for success, but at the same time, I also wish for a good life. Having said that, I must say that I am excited to start my journey with new directors. In the last 15 years, I’ve worked with every possible director in Bollywood.
Kareena and Salman on the sets of Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
It was said that actresses can’t work beyond a point, especially once they get married. In your case, you still manage to generate curiosity among the audience.
I feel amazed that it will be my 16th year in the industry next year. Before I know it, 20 years will have passed, and it’s quite insane. I started working when I was 18. And the fact is that most people say that actresses have shelf life of 10 years. And being married is another thing altogether. I wanted to have both. I wanted to be married, perform, act, look good, and do some interesting roles. At a time when everybody told me not to get married, and warned me that in the Indian film industry, they look down upon married actresses, I was like, ‘Who does that? Why?’ I’m proud to be a working, married and independent woman. You have to learn to balance things. And I’m doing both the things I love — I am married to the man I love and I love my work.
How do you strike this balance?
We’re constantly working with different people, and that’s why we like taking time out every now and then to be together. I don’t understand people who say, "I just want to work and I’m obsessed with my work." Yes, I am also obsessed with my work, but love gives you energy and there’s always time for love.
As a celebrity couple, does work dominate your conversations?
Work is not the only topic of discussion for us. If I want to ask him something related to work, I do, but it’s not that we’re only discussing films. We watch a lot of TV shows together. Thanks to him, I am now an avid reader. For me, this is a wonderful change.
Interestingly, both yours and Saif’s next release is with Kabir (Khan; director).
I think it’s quite amazing that both Saif and me are working with the same director. And I’m working with Salman and he’s working with Katrina (Kaif). I was also on their sets; it was really nice. I think both of us have different experiences with Kabir, and we think our films will be fabulous.
Your pairing with Salman has worked well in the past. What do you think of your next?
Salman and Kareena at the trailer launch of Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
It’s an honour to work with him. When Baby (Alvira Khan; Salman’s sister) turned producer for the first time, I was the heroine. When Arbaaz (Khan; film-maker and Salman’s brother) turned director, I did a song in his film. And now, when Salman turns a producer, I’m there in his film. I love the fact that they love and respect me because I have the same sentiments for them. Everything we’ve done together previously has worked, so I’m hoping this one does too.