Her portrayal of a British Asian girl in Namastey London may have earned her rave reviews, but Katrina Kaif is fed up of waiting for a big hit.
"I'm tired of waiting for my films to work. I know I am just three-films-old and my first film Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya was quite a success. But I still haven't been able make a place for myself," Katrina told IANS.
She has a reason to be happy though. On the sets of her new film Race, she has found a chess partner.
"Thank god, Saif Ali Khan is an avid chess player like me. Whenever the camera is switched off we play chess. Over here in India nobody plays chess. Earlier, I persuaded my sister. I had to virtually bribe people to play chess with me."
The London-born actress, who has found the perfect part of a Londoner in Namastey London so early in her career, said: "When Shah offered me the role, I wasn't very sure I could pull it off. Once I was on, he gave me the freedom to interpret the character how I wanted. That really helped me to come to grips with my character's language and personality.
"Some reviewer in Mumbai commented that I pronounced words wrongly. Hello! This is probably some guy who has spent his life in Mumbai. I lived in London and know how to speak like young Indians out there. I've a good mind to dash off a letter to him."
In fact, one of Katrina's chief attractions in doing Namastey London was that she had the chance to finally dub her own lines.
"But you won't believe this, I finally wanted to chicken out of dubbing my own lines. I had this lengthy 45-minute discussion with Shah, convincing him why I couldn't dub. He heard me out quietly. I think, secretly he had decided I'd do the dubbing. I finally relented. But I made the sound recordist's life miserable. He finally told me to get out of the recording studio and return only during my next film. Thankfully, it's turned out well now."
She's grateful to Akshay Kumar for agreeing to do Namastey London with her.
"Not too many actors in his position would want to do a female-oriented subject. But Akshay had absolutely no qualms. I like that."
Surprisingly, Katrina had more off-camera fun with Akshay during the making of their other film Humko Deewana Kar Gaye.
"People are talking about the compatibility visible between us in Namastey... but it was the other film where we really had all the fun. This time it was a far more serious business. Off-camera we were discussing scenes, getting our stance right, and so on. In Namastey..., Shah and I had more fun."
Katrina and her director Shah have now established a gratifying comfort zone between them.
"Before the film released I'd ask him the same question 20 times. I guess I was just nervous. He would patiently answer the first few times and then cut me short saying, 'The answer isn't going to change, no matter how many times you ask me.'
Next Katrina will be seen in Anil Sharma's Apne.
"Though my co-star in the film is Bobby Deol, I'm completely captivated by Sunny Deol. He's the hero I've watched in my growing years. Whenever he's on the sets, I'm totally tongue-tied."