‘I haven’t had the chance to prove myself yet’ – Kartina Kaif

Katrina Kaif‘s Bollywood career that took off in 2003, has been dotted with just three films in as many years. But the actor has had more than her share of visibility and public appearances, which, however, she feels is working against her.


In a frank conversation with Businessofcinema.com‘s Rohini Bhandari, Kaif says she is yet to be entirely accepted by the Bollywood fraternity.
 

Excerpts –
 

In your forthcoming film Namastey London, you play a UK based NRI. Wasn’t it a tailor made role for you?

In a certain way, it is tailor made for me! I could relate to the character’s upbringing, her carefree spirit, her sarcasm…. The dialogues in this movie are also similar to my style of talking.

In the film, I play a typical London girl who parties and lives her life her own way. In London, parents tend not to dictate to their children. So suddenly when she sees her father telling ger what she should do with her life, she doesn’t like it too much and that’s when the problems arise.


Later in the film, the character deviates from what I really am, because I am not a complete brat after all! (laughs).    


How important is Namastey London for your career in Bollywood?
It is hugely important at this point in my career. Also, since the film relies mainly on the girl’s character, there was a lot of work for me. I am at a stage in my career where people expect something substantial from me.

It is unfortunate that the films that I worked on last year are all going to release together after a long gap. I am happy that Namastey London is releasing first and am expecting a good response.


You have still not delivered a single hit film…


I have done two films that I consider as full fledged films- Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya and Humko Deewana Kar Gaye. My role in Sarkar, I will always maintain, was a guest appearance.

So, Namastey London is technically just my third film and I think I deserve that much leeway. I will improve and I can already sense, within myself, the understanding that comes from working in cinema.       


How do you measure the success of a film?
It’s sad and I am really sorry that the success of a film is measured by its box office performance. A film can be appreciated even when it doesn’t do well at the box office. But people follow the box office so much, that it becomes a yardstick to measure the success of a film.   

 

So do you follow the box office as well?
(Sighs) Oh, yes, yes. Unfortunately, I do. I know how much business a film has done in Nizam or Nagpur and that a film has run 10 shows in Excelsior for two weeks and so on and so forth.

 

While signing films, do you consider their potential box office performance?
A friend of mine once said about a project, ‘It is a wonderful script but is anyone going to watch it? So why don’t you make it for yourself and watch it at home?’

So, you see, to a certain extent, you really have to consider if anyone is going to take the effort to watch the film you have worked in. But I also believe that one should not let commercialism dictate all your decisions.    


Do you feel the film industry has accepted you? Do you consider yourself a full fledged part of Bollywood?
If they had, you wouldn’t ask me that question, would you?

 

But I want to know your opinion….
My opinion is definitely not your opinion, otherwise you wouldn’t ask me that question. So, the answer to that question is – not entirely.


 

How and when do you hope to get integrated into the industry?

I think time will solve that. My visibility status, my name and my face is always present in media and on TV commercials, but I have not had many film releases. I am in a strange situation, where people are expecting the world of me, but I have not even had the chance to deliver. I have just done two films, and haven’t yet backed author backed roles for myself.

In Namastey London, the audience will really get to see much more of me than they have seen so far.


Is your visibility working against you?

It is. I am constantly noticed by people and then they expect so much, without me having had the chance to prove myself. People think I am a lot more matured that what I actually am, in terms of the work I have done and the experience I have.   

But it’s ok. I am used to people’s tentative approach towards me. I have no problem; I am grateful for what I have got so far.


Your brand endorsements too play a major role in your high visibility….
We all have to earn money and have families to support and homes to buy.

At the end of the day, I will not endorse a brand I don’t believe in. I am fine with endorsing any brand as long as I believe in the integrity of the product and the longevity of the company.


What if you are approached by a corporate to sign a multiple film deal….

I have received such offers, but either the situation has not been to my liking or I did not see sense in just collecting the money. If a big corporate company has ‘big corporate films’ to offer, it might make sense to sign on. Otherwise, there’s no point in just taking the money and then spending the next year refusing those projects because they are not to your liking? I am not a star of Hritik Roshan’s magnitude, who can put the projects together himself.



I believe in accepting films on a per film basis.

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