Today she’s facing the camera in Patiala. Even when she was, knee-high in Mumbai’s Lokhandwala, it was plain as day that she was star material..sure, there was a phase when she was studying at the city’s Government Law College..but.
Kareena Kapoor aka Bebo has kept the RK banner flying high. I’ve watched Bebo coming of age..oftentimes, I’ve missed connecting with her. To make up for the lapse, I catch up with KK of the strawberry lips, cascading hair and ice cream-cool attitude:
Hello, hello..where are you Bebo.. what’s up? Where were you?
You good? I’m shooting with Shahid (Kapur) for (director) Imtiaz Ali. I’m playing a girl from Punjab, Bhatinda. We finish the shoot on May 30.
From June, I’ll be shooting for Tashan, the Yashraj film with Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan..it’s being directed by Vijay Acharya who wrote the Dhoom movies..it’s a totally glamorous, todie-for role. From November 1, there will be Mani Ratnam sir’s Lajjo. Ha..so see, I’ve given you my date diary.
<b1>From all the stuff I’ve been reading, it seems you’re sitting at home, twiddling your thumbs.
Khaaaalid! I don’t know what kind of stuff you’ve been reading..but you know I became an actress by choice..I’ve done just what I’ve wanted to..if I’ve played the typical heroine, I’ve also done Ashoka, Chameli, Dev and Omkara, no?
I don’t want to go down the dumbette route..never have..I have to strike a balance. I’m the only actress who can be ultra-glam and absolutely real. Right from the start, I could have opted for a very safe zone — Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai — but I did Refugee.
After that I haven’t limited myself to playing the college cutie..and I’d like to think the gamble has paid off. Maybe I haven’t made all the right moves, risks give me a rush..I’ve come this far on my own.
Okay but what happens when your first hero, Abhishek Bachchan, isn’t paired with you anymore?
Do I really have to answer this? Because I’m quite clueless about this myself. I think this part of my life has been blown up by the media. Even if that is the case, why make a big deal about it? A film is a film is a film. One has to keep one’s emotions and relationships aside.
I’m not uncomfortable at all about acting with him but I can’t say for a fact that he is. Our careers will go on. If we don’t do a film together, it’s not the end of the world. With time, I’ve become more introverted than he has known me to be. I’m into enjoying my niece (Samaira). I’m doing my thing, he’s doing his..so where’s the problem?
Hrithik Roshan and you were scheduled to do a film directed by Zoya Akhtar. Why is that project in a state of limbo?
To blame me for why Kismat Talkies has not yet taken off is absurd. Zoya is changing the script. That Hrithik doesn’t want to work with me is just a piece of gossip. The film will happen next year..never mind the conjectures. It’s believed that you may just up and marry Shahid any day. Ha, wishful thinking! Not possible. He’s much too young..and I’m in my prime. I wouldn’t give up my career for anything in the world.. marriage is nowhere on the radar. I have better roles than any other actress does today. In fact, it’s a pity that I have to justify what I’m capable of. If I do one worthwhile film out of a hundred, that’s fine by me.
Has there been a rift with Karan Johar? Ouch, how can you even ask me that?
No one on this earth can spoil my relationship with Karan. He’s the brother I never had. I can talk to him more freely than I can with anyone in the world.
I wasn’t ever asked by him to be in the film by Tarun (Mansukhani) which he’s producing. He wanted me to be in the film being directed by Soham. For Karan, I’d do anything, no questions asked.
Since Soham has found another producer for the same project, are you in it?
It hasn’t been offered to me. I was doing it for Karan, for Dharma Productions which is family.
How do you look back on the dance-and-blink role in Don?
I didn’t do it as a career move. I wanted to be in the same frame with Shah Rukh Khan. I wanted to do the song Yeh mera dil. And it has got me so, so much. I’ve performed the song at a thousand concert shows across the world already .
Right..but how come you’re doing an item song for Kya Love Story Hai?
That’s because its director (Lovely Singh) is a childhood friend. He assisted Satish Kaushik on Mujhe Kuchh Kehna Hai..he’d ensure that I got my dress on time, he treated me like a princess..and I’ve always been grateful for such moments of warmth.
Hasn’t your mother (Babita Kapoor) often held you back from being a loudmouth?
Mum knows that I can take care of myself, she’s taken a backseat. I know my mind, I can no longer just do four scenes and four songs in a movie..or stand like a lamp shade by the hero. I’m here to do what a Kapoor should, to take the legacy forward.
Has the Kapoor clan been supportive?
Aunty Reema (Jain), dad and grandmum have been supportive. On seeing
, they flooded me with flowers.
Do you miss a connect with your uncle, Rishi Kapoor?
Come what may I feel close to him, we are bound by blood. I do miss a personal word from him. Shahid and I are huge fans of Chintu uncle. Maybe some day, the past will be behind us. It has to be..Ranbir is coming..and he’s going to be a killer.
Do you feel restless?
I do feel restless..when I’m subjected to negatives. But then I bounce back. I must have been seven, even then grandpa (Raj Kapoor) could guess that I would become an actress.
At the age of three, I would dance to Sridevi’s songs from Tohfa. And he told me, “Child.. publicity is publicity. You should worry only when they stop writing about you.”
Has knowing Shahid Kapur changed you any which way?
He’s made me very basic, grounded, he tells me never to want more than what I already have. He’s given me love, respect. He says at least one new nice thing to me every day .
When was the first time he said that he loves you?
Aieee, we’ve been together three years now..our love progressed in fast motion..maybe it was after a month that we met. It wasn’t over candlelight..it wasn’t filmi. I was as much in love, I fell head over heels in love with him..I had this gut instinct that he was my guy it wasn’t so difficult for either of us to say the ‘L’ word..
<b3>Just a few days away from his wedding, what would you say to Abhishek?
I don’t know. (Pause) I’d wish him a life full of success and happiness. He’s a great guy...whatever happened was in the past..somethings are not meant to to be.
What’s up with Karisma?
She’s looking like a million bucks..right now she’s on holiday in Tokyo. She’s so much more of a woman now, strong-willed but a softie as a mother.
Ewww..is she making a comeback in a David Dhawan film?
I don’t think she’ll make a comeback till she finds the right film. She doesn’t even know who’s casting her in which movie. Samaira is her focus..and she’s just like Lolo..quiet, sensible, with gorgeous eyes. Samaira doesn’t speak in full sentences, she just repeats all the words she hears like a parrot.
Is there some tension between Priyanka Chopra and you?
Can you even believe such talk? How can we do something silly like quarelling over who’s getting a role in a film? Pleeease.
How come you weren’t considered for Dor, which seemed just up your street?
I would have done Dor any day. There was a time when Subhashji (Ghai) was supposed to produce it..but I had already committed myself to Omkara which I’ll be proud of till my dying day.
Lastly, close your eyes for a minute.. what do you see?
That I’m acting, that I’m in love.. and humming... Acting karna yahaan, marna yahan.