It appears that a quirk of being Bebo, one of the newer iterations in the first family of Indian cinema’s living continuum of stardom, is that you tend to get lavish praise for not really doing very much.
She steps up on to the set, leans back on the bed and blinks languidly, feline-like, as photographer Ram Shergill gets to work.
Shift your head two inches to the right: "Fantastic! Two inches to the left: "Gorgeous!" Lift your arm a bit: "Beautiful!"
Over a total of seven hours, Kapoor works uncomplainingly through the shots and changes of clothes, hair and make-up. Ram Shergill, physically zooms in and out, scattering set boys out of the way. "Fantastic! She’s so hot! We love her!" he declares, illuminating Kapoor’s stricken, melodramatic poses with camera, like some wizard or mad professor.
She says she will marry Saif Ali Khan in a specified number of years ("Two is a good number," she says) and would like a specified number of babies of a specified gender ("Two girls").
On Saif Ali Khan
She says she was attracted to Saif for all the reasons you might expect. “Saif comes from a very cultured background; he is a man of the world. And he’s seen so much of life; he’s got his head firm on his shoulders.
I can connect with this guy. He has a good sense of humour and is a charming man with a lot of culture. He always liked me on screen. He said I was someone he always wanted to meet.”
Kareena Kapoor — the star
She cheerfully admits that she never lets her guard down; strangers are not allowed to get to know her. “That’s just the way it is for me.” Her closest friends were fixed in childhood, and the men she has encountered have rarely been brave enough to attempt picking her up, she says. “Maybe I give out a little vibe, like: ‘Don’t come near me, and touch me not.’” Does she think she intimidates men?
“I have a feeling they are intimidated, yes.”
The passage of Kapoor’s life seems always to have had a rich vein of destiny to it, and never more so than now. Acknowledged since her strong debut in JP Dutta’s Refugee (2000) to be a naturally gifted actor, she has also run into a fair share of critical and commercial flops. But, all of that appears less relevant now, as time seems to turn her to bringing forth the next generation of the Kapoor fame factory.