'I am at a stage in my life where my priorities are different. I am happily married and I would like to give time to my family.'
Kareena Kapoor gets candid.
It’s 3 pm on a rainy Saturday and I am sitting at Saif Ali Khan’s Illumanti Films office in Bandra, a western suburb of Mumbai, for an interview with Kareena Kapoor.
His office, located on the second floor, is lavish.
Posters of Saif’s productions -- Love Aaj Kal, Agent Vinod, Cocktail and Go Goa Gone -- adorn the walls.
As I wait for my turn, I am treated to several rounds of sandwiches, puff pastries and coffee.
Dressed in a black T-shirt and track pants, Kareena greets me with a big smile. If not for her million dollar smile, it's her rock-sized solitaire that adds sparkle to her.
In this interview, Kareena tells us just how romantic Saif is, and why she will never kiss on screen.
Is it true that you have rejected six films in the last three months?
Every actor has different priorities. If I don’t like the script, I won’t do the film.
People have been reading too much between the lines and assessing wrongly about me.
Yes, I have rejected films but I am happy with my work as I am doing it at my own pace.
I have been here for 15 years. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone.
'A lot of Saif's traits have rubbed off on me'
What are your priorities right now?
I am at a stage in my life where my priorities are different. I am happily married and I would like to give time to my family.
I cannot shoot continuously for three to four months. That’s why I refused Zoya Akhtar’s film Dil Dhadakne Do.
I couldn't go on a cruise for three months. I want to do a film that will work according to my time.
I am at a stage in my career where I can say no to films.
Is this change because of Saif Ali Khan?
Yes, a lot of his traits have rubbed off on me.
I would never read before but now, I am reading like two books a month! That is the biggest change in my life. I am so happy about it.
There are little things that I do with Saif that excite me.
I don’t know why people are dissecting my career so much. I don’t read newspapers much but sometimes I get google alerts on my iPad and it says that Kareena should do this or she shouldn’t have done this.
I don’t understand why people are so concerned about my career (laughs).
What are you reading now?
I am reading Salvation of a Saint. It’s written by a Japanese author Keigo Higashino.
I read a lot of crime thrillers. I am also reading J K Rowling’s bookThe Silkworm. She has written the book under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
'Saif and I have decided that we will not kiss on screen'
Most scripts demand kissing or intimate scenes and the new crop of actresses are willing to do it. Will you change your stance of no kissing on screen?
No, I don’t think so. I am married and both Saif and I have decided that we will not kiss on screen.
I am sure romance can be shown without a lip lock and history has proved that in Indian cinema.
If other actors are willingly doing it, then good for them.
Did you watch Humshakals? Saif has said in an interview that he made a mistake in being in that film.
I haven’t seen Humshakals so I cannot comment on the film. We don’t make decisions about each other’s careers.
Personally, I feel he is uncomfortable doing such roles. Saif comes across as very intelligent, extremely charming and has a great attitude.
Of course he made a mistake with the film because people don’t like to see him doing such roles.
He has given some wonderful performances in films like Dil Chahta Hai, Omkara and Parineeta.
He has been in some path-breaking films. He has taken cinema ahead because he is such a brilliant actor.
'Saif is not the typical, quintessential romantic guy'
Your sister-in-law Soha Ali Khan recently got engaged to her boyfriend Kunal Khemu.
It's great that she is getting married. Everybody in the family is very happy.
The most important thing is that whenever Kunal is around, Soha is always smiling and that is the ultimate thing in life. I am happy they have decided to settle down.
Kunal proposed to Soha in Paris. Was there something special that Saif did when he proposed to you?
I just moved into Saif’s house and we started living in so he did not have a choice (laughs).
We lived together for five years before we got married so there was no such romantic getaway.
How romantic is Saif?
He is very romantic but he has a different way of showing love.
He is not the typical, quintessential romantic guy. If he loves or cares for a person, he shows it in his own, different way.
'Rohit Shetty is the Manmohan Desai of this generation'
Did you see Singham before you agreed to be a part of its sequel?
Yes, of course I had seen Singham. I chose to do this film because it is a Rohit Shetty film. I am a big fan of his work.
According to me, Rohit Shetty is the Manmohan Desai of this generation. Every actress would like to work with him.
He has given me two of the biggest hits of my career (Golmaal Returns and Golmaal 3). And hopefully the third one (Singham Returns) is on the way (laughs).
It’s an honour for me to be a part of a franchise that has already been greatly applauded.
There were reports that it was you who had approached Rohit Shetty for the film.
I would like to clarify that in 15 years of my career, I have never approached a director. So, this information that I called Rohit is incorrect.
Rohit called me and told me that he had written a role for me and wanted me to be a part of Singham Returns.
I heard the narration and loved my part and agreed to do the film.
'Singham Returns has turned out to be bigger and better than the first part'
Usually, masala entertainers are all about the hero. Like in Singham, the leading lady Kaajal Aggarwal hardly had any role to play.
You are absolutely right. But Rohit would have never approached me if there wasn’t much for me to do in the film.
My role has come out really well.
It’s a refreshing change from the films that I have done in the recent past.
When they see the film, everyone will say that it had to be Kareena and no one else.
There are no histrionics in the film. Singham Returns has turned out to be bigger and better than the first part.
I have always done masala entertainers. Such films are important in an actor’s career. Films like the Golmaal series, Ra.One,Bodyguard have all been big blockbusters.
I am very proud of all the commercial films that I have done. These films have given me standing in this industry.
You are playing a Maharashtrian girl in the film.
I speak fluent Marathi in the film. I learnt the language on the sets.
I picked it up quite fast and have said quite a few bad words but it was all fun.
I have done a lot of ‘Singhamgiri’ in the film. People will be surprised to see me in such an avatar (smiles).
'I don't have the boldness to do a film like The Dirty Picture'
Vidya Balan said recently that most films stereotype actresses.
What works for one actor may not work for another. Every actor is different.
I don’t think I can be part of a film like The Dirty Picture. I don’t have the courage and boldness to do such films.
For me, it is a challenge to be part of a film like Golmaal 3 and still have a great role.
It is an honour for me to be part of Singham Returns. That is what works for me and my career.
It is unfair to constantly make comparisons; it is boring.
She also mentioned that in terms of remuneration, heroines should be paid more in commercial films.
I get paid very well. I have no complaints.
'Salman and I make a lovely pairing'
You are pairing up again with Salman Khan in Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
It’s always fun to work with Salman. We share a good rapport.
Salman and I make a lovely pairing.
It will be a big Eid release in 2015. The film worked in my time-frame and hence, I agreed to do it.
Salman will play the title role of Bajrangi Bhaijaan and I play a Brahmin girl.
I have not worked with Kabir (Khan, director) before. It’s great to be working with a new director.
'There was no cricketer like my father-in-law Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi'
Saif is planning to make a documentary on his father Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi.
According to me, there was no cricketer like my father-in-law Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. He was a true legend.
The fact that he could score a century with just one eye shows his class and his dedication to the sport. I don’t think I can even brush my teeth with one eye!
I spent a good three years with him. He was a man of few words but very warm in his own way.
He was a quiet person, unlike Saif. I remember once we were in Pataudi and he put his hand on my shoulder and pressed it and showed a lot of warmth and affection.
That will always remain with me. He didn’t see many films but he had seen Omkara and he liked me in it.
Such lovely things were written about him by the Indian and international media when he passed away and that showed the respect and the importance of the man.