After New York, actress Katrina Kaif will soon be seen in director Raj Kumar Santoshi’s comedy Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani opposite Ranbir Kapoor. Talking about the film, Kaif says she is happy to have finally got an opportunity to work with the director. Excerpts:
Raj Kumar Santoshi chose you for his first comedy in 15 years. How does it feel?
It’s a great honour to work with Rajji. When I asked Akshay, Salman and Ajay Devgan ‘Who is the best director for an actor?’, all three of them said it’s definitely him.
Did comedy come easily to you?
I followed exactly what Rajji showed me. I would remain on the sets and be around him to know how he envisions the scene. Before every shot, he would enact both Ranbir and my parts and we would follow him to the T. Ranbir and I were competing over who was copying Rajji more closely.
Raj Kumar Santoshi says that Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani will change people’s perception of you as an actress...
I am privileged that I keep getting chances to improve. Rajji is an actor’s director. He has taught me the different ways to approach a scene, react, and improvise. He has shown me in a different light and persona than what people have seen me so far in films. The role is completely different from Namaste London or New York.
In your earlier films, you have played an NRI girl and in this film you play a Catholic girl, Jennifer. Do you think directors write such roles for you because of your looks and English accent?
I have worked with the best directors in the industry and if they write roles keeping me in mind, then it’s a huge compliment. I don’t think an actor can wish for anything more.
What is the ghazab element you found in Ranbir while working with him?
We worked together for 96 days and the one thing which is nice about Ranbir is that he doesn’t take himself seriously. He doesn’t try to impress upon people that he is good-looking and stylish. He has no ego hassles. He just comes on the sets and does his job seriously. That makes it very easy for the co-star. The passion that he has for his work is inspiring.
You have worked with many senior actors. How was it working with Ranbir, who is the same age as you?
I didn’t have to say ‘Good morning sir’. Also, everybody starts fighting over who will get to go home first. I didn’t have to stay till late in the night for my shots. Because we are the same age, I could say, ‘Rajji please finish my shots first’.
Ranbir has said the relationship between Jennifer and his character Prem is like that between Laurel and Hardy. So who is Laurel and who is Hardy?
Ranbir is Laurel and I am Hardy. He is giving and I am receiving. In all my films, I think I am always at the receiving end.
— As told to Mauli Singh, BNS