So you have a nephew now, does he look just like you?
(Laughs) Actually he looks a lot like Karisma. Even the name, Kiaan Raj, was chosen by my sister. Samaira came from Sanjay (Karisma’s
husband Sanjay’s Kapur), she looks a lot like her daddy too.
Kiaan has Karisma’s blue eyes?
They are grey right now but may be they will change.
Apparently, you’ve presented a Mercedes to your sister?
I did but I feel stupid talking about it. It was a gesture of love. She has given us two beautiful children to dote on. In fact, all of us, including Saif who was there with us at Breach Candy hospital right up to the time Karisma delivered, are really excited about a Kapoor boy coming along. We have been an all-woman family for a long time.
But hey, another Kapoor boy, your cousin Ranbir, has edged you out of Imtiaz Ali’s next film?
(Sighs) Yeah, Imtiaz had wanted me too but a brother and sister can’t be paired romantically. It’s really sad. At least a 100 people have told me that. It’s okay, there are other actors I can make a movie with, including the Khans.
Yeah, there’s Agent Vinod with Saif Ali Khan?
(Smiles) I’m dying to work with Sriram (Raghavan). He’s an edgy filmmaker and I’m sure his different cinema will find a lot of takers. It’s even more exciting because as Saif’s partner, I’m completely involved with the pre-production too. In fact, I’m literally working out of his office. (Laughs) Most of the time it’s like a steam and sauna bath since Saif is so passionate about his new baby. I don’t mind since it’s my baby too.
When are you two planning a real baby of your own?
(With a startled laugh) I’ll have to ask Saif that. And he’ll probably faint at the thought.
Does that mean that marriage does not figure on the agenda?
Marriage is just a public certificate. It means more to society than us. It will happen, hopefully soon, but not rightaway. Saif is living, breathing and dreaming Agent Vinod. And I’m trying to simultaneously juggle three films — Golmaal 3, Agent Vinod and Ra.One. Even my plans for launching a designer line have had to take a backseat.
There’s also Judwaa 2 with Salman Khan?
I don’t know about Judwaa 2, I haven’t been approached yet. But Golmaal 3 goes on the floor next month. Golmaal has become Bollywood’s most commercially successful triology. Even though the story is not carried forward and there have been casting changes, the Golmaal in the title has made it a big brand. And it feels great that I’m the only actress to be repeated from Golmaal Returns.
Golmaal and Golmaal Returns were among the top five films of the year. You’ll get more of what you expect this time too. Just wait for the Diwali ‘dhamka’!
And when does Race 2 take off?
Saif’s doing the film, I’m not. Everyone wanted me in but I had to step out because of Agent Vinod. It’s a conscious decision not to do too many films with Saif. He’ll have to find another actress for Race 2. But I still run away whenever they start talking about the film. I so wanted to do it. Hey, never mind. May be like your beau you will win a Padma Shri too.
Not yet but may be in five-seven years. With the support of my friends from the film industry and the media it could happen. I’m looking forward to the day.
In the case of Saif there was some controversy. It was probably because at 40 he was one of the youngest Padma Shri winners this year. But I think the honour was richly deserved given the kind of work he’s been doing. He doesn’t do too many films but the ones he agrees to, he takes to another level. He is a spectacular actor who is always willing to stretch boundaries. If not Saif, who else deserves a Padma Shri?
You seem to have found a soulmate in Saif. Is that why you are unwilling to promote Milenge Milenge that stars Shahid Kapoor?
Sure, I’ll promote the film, just let them set the date. I was the one who after seeing the film while dubbing for it, urged the producer (Boney Kapoor) to release the film. I am a professional actor and both Shahid and I are mature individuals.
So, are you the highest paid actress today?
Am I? I don’t know. There are new prices in the paper every day. But my publicists have strict instructions not to get into money matters with the media on my behalf. I don’t stick to a price but I get what I deserve. And going by the list of my mega producers and multinational brands that I have signed up with, it’s not hard to figure out that I’m getting the best.
On doing an ad with Anna Kournikova
I’ve just been signed up by an international phone brand, Sony Ericsson, to promote a new product on the international platform, alongside tennis star Anna Kournikova. The launch will be in Delhi, followed by an international launch in New York.
I’ve endorsed some really big brands in the past but this is still a huge deal because I’m the first Indian to be signed up by Sony. I guess, the Sony Vaio ad raised the bar for me as a model, with a ‘connect’ abroad. That was the one time the size zero tag helped. Being the face of a multinational company abroad would help my films too in the overseas market.
Today, every actor is doing a lot of ads. I get numerous offers too. But I have stuck to top-of-the-line brands and campaigns that have a little bit of me. I have an Airtel ad with Saif coming up that has me playing a chatterbox. If you loved Geet, you’ll love this ‘me’ too.
On whether they will bid again for an IPL team
I enjoy watching Kolkata Knight Riders play well because Shah Rukh is a friend. But I’m not really into cricket. Saif is the one who eats, breathes and lives the game. That’s understandable gives that he comes from a cricketing family. His father, Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, was one of India’s greatest cricket captains. We have some lovely pictures of him in the field. I enjoy listening to him discuss the game with Saif.
It’s this passion for the sport that was behind our desire to bid for an IPL team. We went to Pune for the auction with all the necessary paperwork done, only to learn that the auction had been cancelled and they had changed the rules. Our lawyers are working to see if the proposition is still viable. Will we bid again? I’ve left the decision to Saif and am only following his instructions.
Several teams want me as their brand ambassador but I’m not interested. I want to be a shareholder, have a stake in my own team with Saif. Otherwise, I’m not interested in jumping on to the IPL bandwagon.
On writing a size zero book
Size zero has become synonymous with Kareena Kapoor although few have stopped to ask if I was really a size zero or a size four. Along with the share market and the IPL, my weight continues to be a subject of national debate. For me personally, my weight increases or decreases depending on the film and role I’m doing.
There’s been talk about me co-writing a book that will supposedly reveal my size zero secrets. That’s not true. I’m simply writing a chapter in my nutritionist friend Rujuta Diwaekar’s second book on nutrition.
Her first book on fitness, Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight that she wrote on my suggestion, is a bestseller. Women go through so many hormonal changes through different phases of their lives that affect their moods and food habits. That’s what I will be commenting on in a chapter on diets.
Beauty has become a much over-rated concept in our film industry. And style is an integral part of show business. Since cinema is a visual medium, you are expected to look good on screen. And if you are a star, you are also expected to put in that extra effort off it too. But at the end of the day, I’d rather be remembered for my roles than my clothes and vital statistics.
On being adjudged worst Actress at the Kela Awards
Sandra Bullock won a Razzie for All About Steve (Bradley Cooper and she were also adjudged the Worst Screen Couple for the same film) and an Oscar for The Blind Side in the same weekend. So, why can’t I bag a Kela Worst Actress Award for Kambakkht Ishq and a Best Actress for 3 Idiots and Kurbaan within weeks of each other? I take it as a compliment.
We actors experiment with different roles. Some like 3 Idiots work, some like Kambakkht Ishq don’t. One unsuccessful film doesn’t make you a bad actress. Sometimes you take a risk for a friend, sometimes to extend your boundaries. Superstars are born from failure more than success.
On working with the four Khans
I’m deeply attached to Tashan. It was a big break from Adi (Aditya Chopra), one of the few Yashraj films that I’ve done. I went against my genes and changed my body shape for it. I became a new girl for Tashan. And it brought Saif (Ali Khan) into my life. It will always be special.
So also Kurbaan, that I consider one of my career highpoints. Some films work, some don’t. That doesn’t make them any less special. Now, Saif and I will be seen together in Agent Vinod and I’m hopeful that it’ll be third time lucky for us.
Karisma and Salman (Khan) once made a great pair. But Main Aur Mrs Khanna that brought him and me together, wasn’t as successful, commercially. Everyone immediately jumps to the conclusion that our pairing doesn’t work but I feel it has everything to do with the script. The fate of Main Aur Mrs Khanna is not going to make any difference to our friendship. I’m very fond of Salman, in fact, his whole family, and always will be.
Aamir and I made a terrific couple in 3 Idiots. We respect each other’s experimental approach to films and I hope we get to do another film soon. For all you know, he may be waiting for Samaira (Karisma’s daughter) to grow up, so he can work with her.
The other Khan I share great chemistry with is Shah Rukh. We did Asoka earlier, then I did a special item number in Billu and now we’ve been paired in Ra.One in which he plays a superhero and I’m his wife. We have some engaging romantic moments. It’s the coolest script I’ve read.
Shah Rukh is like a king today. He’s at the best phase in his career. He was spectacular as Rizwan in My Name Is Khan. After watching the film, I’ve fallen in love with him all over again. Am I not one lucky actress for having romanced all the four Khans!
On feeling insecure about Kajol, her co-star in the Stepmom remake
Karisma is very fond of Kajol and was really delighted when I signed Love You Mamma with her. The film is a desi remake of Stepmom and it was an absolute delight to share screen space with Kajol. We are pretty similar in nature, respect each other’s work and believed in the script, so we bonded well on the sets.
I loved Shah Rukh and Kajol in My Name Is Khan. Actually, I love Shah Rukh in every film he does and Kajol lights up the screen every time with her effervescence.
Do I feel insecure wondering if she would walk away with the audience’s sympathy in Love You Mamma? No, I’m don’t. I look on it as a challenge
to match up to Kajol’s histrionics. And hey, I’m playing a role enacted by Julia Roberts in the Hollywood original so I know where I stand. Both of us have great roles and well, making a film is more about cooperation than competition, right?
More than Kajol it was scary playing mother to the three kids in the film. We were all pretty nervous but eventually, we turned into one big happy family. From my experiences with Sara and Ibrahim, Saif’s children, I’ve learnt that children like to be treated as individuals. You can’t baby them. The best way to deal with them is to treat them as young adults.
On why she wasn’t a part of 3 Idiots success party
When I signed 3 Idiots, I didn’t expect it to make box-office history though it looked like a blockbuster even on paper. But well, if Aamir (Khan) and Raju (Rajkumar Hirani) don’t make box-office history, who else will? It’s great to be a part of Bollywood history. But I don’t want to take away credit from them.
In fact, I’d give Raju full credit for my ‘hatke’ performance in the film. As actors you get used to doing things in a certain way. But Raju egged me
on to move beyond my comfort zone and explore. It was the same with Imtiaz (Ali) during Jab We Met. And both films went on to set new box-office records.
I would have liked to celebrate the success of 3 Idiots with Aamir, Raju and the whole team. I’d promoted the film before its release. But afterwards, I went off for a vacation with Saif. He and I had had little time to share the success of Love Aaj Kal and 3 Idiots with each other. We needed the time together. It took me away from the success party here but no regrets.