Interviewing Katrina Kaif isn’t everyone’s cuppa tea. She is intelligent, sometimes can be too moody, sometimes deliberate or sometimes daft. But it’s not the above that counts. She is a temptress and like everyone else do, I too get lured on those dark but bright eyes that tell a thousand stories. Katrina has always looked like a woman from another era. She is a woman who clearly lives in the moment. And it isn’t rocket science because all one should possess is a ‘go with the flow’ kinda attitude and that’s what Katrina likes. You can’t pin her down. You can’t ask stupid questions and you just can’t get personal with her. Hers has been one of the stranger career arcs of our time because anything she touches turns to gold, at least most of it. Marooned inside a closed room where she is sipping her hot drink (wonder if it’s a magic drink that gives her magic powers that transforms into magic collections at the box office!) I sit next to her with my Dictaphone. She stares at it and in a second recalls, ‘Are you the one who did a controversial story on me for Rajneeti, right?’ I nod. And that was it. I think I missed out on one crucial thing about Katrina – She has a memory that’ll mortify you. And no matter what, how and why you think that she was the casting quandary of the decade, all you need to know is that before you walk into that room of the tough, sexy and talented Katrina Kaif, you better fix yourself up.
“ZNMD isn’t a road trip movie, it’s a coming of age movie of men who’ve passed their teens”
I’ve been on a lot of road trips because we lived in Europe and we’ve travelled from country to country by road. I’ve been on a very long car journeys in my life, journeys of a very different kind. ZNMD isn’t a road trip movie. It’s a coming of age story but not of teenagers. It’s a story about three guys who are about to face a turning point in their lives.
“All three boys deserve a special nod”
I wanted to be a part of ZNMD because I felt that this could be a special movie. Like all my movies, I wanted to be a part of, this one just as I was a part of Raajneeti. I believed in the part that was written for me. The boys who played their parts were of supreme importance because it’s primarily their story. So when the star cast was decided, I was stunned. All three boys deserve a special nod. I don’t see that happening to three girls. They were all able to put aside their star statuses and come together and put a film first. They are all individually very different actors and I like them all in very different spaces.
“Hrithik‘s not all about laughing and giggling and that can be a little bit daunting if you don’t know him”
After seeing this film, I am a fan of Farhan Akhtar. He is stupendous, whether it comes to acting or producing or singing, he has surprised us all in ZNMD. I’ve liked Abhay’s work a lot. I loved Dev D. I like the fact that he is clear about what he can and wants to do, whether it’s in any given genre and space. He is cool. Hrithik is someone who I think is phenomenally talented. I think all of us agree on that. He can be intimidating also because he has got this huge presence and he is so focused. He’s not all about laughing and giggling and that can be a little bit daunting if you don’t know him.
“I’ll never put anyone in a position on a set that will make them feel awkward”
I’m not intimidating as what people think I am. I will never be intimidating. I’ll never put anyone in a position on a set that will make them feel even one percent awkward. I work on my films very passionately, I’m sure everyone does but I really do that. It’s so important that everyone’s comfortable and happy. We all have to be on the same page when we are on the sets and that’s it.
“For me, my target is my Indian audiences”
With all due respect to the western audiences, we don’t make movies for any specific type of audience. In my heart, I want to be a part of good films and they aren’t made for any audience. If I have something in my mind then it’s the Indian audience. We don’t make English films; we make Hindi films with songs and Indian emotions. For me, my target is my Indian audiences.
“It was a struggle for me to do all the underwater scenes because it was very traumatic”
The diving sequence in ZNMD was a very poetic one. It was a very adventurous one because I had trained a lot for it. On location, we were shooting in the sea that was extremely troppy that day. When you see the tropiness of the ocean on the top, we don’t think because we don’t hang out under the water. But what’s going on underneath is the same thing that goes on the top. We were bashed about underneath. It was a struggle for me to do all the underwater scenes because it was very traumatic.
“If it’s a small budget film too with engrossing subject and entertaining characters, I’ll do it”
I am happy to do whatever it is as long as it is in the space that is commercially entertaining. I believe that the first goal of any movie is to get in the audience. I would rather have audience recognition than awards. If I believe in wearing a saree and doing a role in Raajneeti it’s still in the entertaining space that audiences can enjoy. If I think that ZNMD should be an entertaining young youth film and I’m playing a hippie chic who loves sports and who lives life everyday as it comes, I’ll do that film. If Mere Brother Ki Dulhan is a mad musical whacky comedy with a very crazy character, I’ll do that too. I don’t have a rule. If it’s a small budget film too with engrossing subject and entertaining characters, I’ll do it.
“Zoya understands the guys psyche so well”
You know what I love about Zoya the most? I feel, after really seeing the film, she gets the guys bang on. She understands the guys psyche so well. She doesn’t need to understand me at all (laughs). She’s got the eye that a guy would normally have but Zoya nailed it. No woman would ever be able to portray boys so well as she did in ZNMD.
“I am the first one to be kick starting the madness off the sets if we were in the Tomatina festival”
I am the first one to be kick starting the madness off the sets if we were in the Tomatina festival (laughs). For me, the festival is like Holi. It’s got so many people playing with no inhibitions whatsoever, except that there is only one colour (laughs). Loud music is playing and people being squashed around. I love such things. I go a bit eccentric when the madness begins.