Mention Salman Khan’s charity Being Human in front of Katrina Kaif and she is quick to say, “That’s way bigger.” But the actor isn’t far behind in the philanthropic race. Katrina, whose mother, Suzanne Turquotte, works with an orphanage in Madurai, is now helping raise funds to build a school. “My mom is overseeing the expansion of the initiative and the school,” she says.
Though her schedule has permitted the actor to visit Madurai only twice, Katrina insists that she’s doing her bit from Mumbai. “I’m very involved in helping her raise funds. But in terms of time, I’m lucky my mom is there. There’s no doubt in my mind about how the money is being utilised,” says the actor, who has been asking brands if they are interested in making donations.
“When it comes to such causes, the ideal way is to use your name (star power), especially for something this tangible. The donors can see ‘okay, so this is the orphanage and they’re trying to build a school on the same plot’,” she says, before pre-empting the next question. “Of course, people can say ‘why don’t you just give the money yourself?’ and I have contributed. But you have to build a charity brand that can sustain itself. It should flourish even if you are not earning money of that magnitude at some point of time.”
On the work front, Katrina has quite a bit in hand. She recently filmed a song for Ek Tha Tiger (ETT) and has two months of work left on Yash Chopra’s untitled Shah Rukh Khan-starrer. “Then I’ll join the cast of Dhoom 3 in September,” she adds.
Ask her if, with the release of ETT inching closer, the anticipation of the rumour mills getting back to work is on her mind, and she smiles. “Rumours about Salman and me? It’s okay even if it does. I don’t react to it… You are expected to give a response to everything — and you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The idea is not to take it to heart as long as you know what you’re doing and the people who know you know what you’re doing,” explains the actor, who as Nakshatra’s ambassador, unveiled the brand’s new identity in the city on Monday.
Excerpts from interview
Your ad for a hair-removal cream created a bit of stir in Pakistan.
I was actually with that team (Veet) a few days ago because we’re shooting a new ad. And I asked them about it, but they weren’t aware of much. The Pakistan brand is handled by a different agency. I have a friend, Ali Zafar, who lives there. I asked him if he’d seen it, and he said not too many people are aware of it. I haven’t seen the image. Once I do, I’ll be able to take a better call.
We heard that Aditya Chopra directed some scenes of the Yash Chopra film you’re doing with Shah Rukh Khan. Is that true?
That one I haven’t even heard of. Though I did hear about Karan (Johar) saying something. You guys carried it right?
Not that I know of…
Some report said he tweeted that ‘I’ve never said that and how wrong it is’. He’s my friend and he’s called me and said it’s not true… obviously I’m going to believe him over some channel.
You’d have heard about it first if you were on Twitter. Why aren’t you there?
What do you say on Twitter? People want to use the platform to clarify something when something’s written about them… I don’t like doing that. I don’t think one should acknowledge or clarify anything. What is the job definition of an actor? Technically, you must perform your scene, endorse products and do stage shows. Since when did it become required to talk about yourself? To each his own.
There are people who just share their day, like Amitabh Bachchan…
Then they must be people who are very good with words. He must be saying things that are interesting or sharing information. I really don’t know what I would say.
I didn’t, actually. My friends have gone mad about it. I know Kabir Khan (director of Ek Tha Tiger) tweeted about it, saying something like ‘finally for an hour, the idiot box was not an idiot box’. Aamir is an incredibly creative person, a genius in his own right.