Katrina Kaif has come a long way to become India's most glamourous and sought-after star. She has not just learnt how to speak Hindi, but can today read Devanagari. Her being private can get mistaken for her arrogance, but in reality, she is an extremely sensitive, emotional and caring person. She prides herself on being a director's actor, but she is equally focussed on achieving a healthy balance between her work and personal relationships and life. She is competitive but secure and the one thing she is clear about, is that she will give her 100% to whatever she does. Excerpts from a conversation with her just before she left to launch her wax statue at the Madame Tussauds, London.
I can read Devanagari today. Jackie Shroff taught me many years back. I would learn Hindi everyday for three hours. Those days, 11-12 years back, there were no bound scripts. Directors would come on set with the lines and some like Anees Bazmee would write them in Hindi, so it was very important to know how to read Hindi. And now, I insist that the scripts are given to me in Devanagari so that when I am sitting in my room, I read written Hindi.
It's very important for me, more important for me than for most people. People may not realise it, but I am actually a very sensitive person. So if my director has a disconnect with me or shows disinterest, I can sense it. So I need to connect, otherwise I feel alone and unwanted.
In the initial years Kabir Khan for sure. During the making of New York, he became a good friend. He had a lot of trust in me. Then I connected immensely as a woman with Zoya Akhtar while making Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Working on Fitoor with Gattu (Abhishek Kapoor), I get what he is saying. I know that he will put me up in a new and interesting way, but what is nice is that he is also interested in hearing your point of view.
In any profession, you go through different phases. At some point you are focusing on one aspect, while at other times you are focusing on other aspects. This is a little bit of another phase for me right now, in the sense the kind of films I have chosen this year, is slightly different. I purposely chose them that way. Like, may be two years back, I may not have done a film like Fitoor. But the moment I knew that Gattu was writing his script, it was something I wanted to be a part of. I have been wanting to work with dada's vision (Anurag Basu) for the longest time, but was waiting for the right film and then Jagga Jasoos happened.
Very, but it's complicated. It depends on the phase you are in your life. When I started, you are running behind your vision with your heart and mind. When you have achieved a part of that vision, then you get a sense of calmness and then, when you see someone else doing well in the space that used to be your target, you are okay with it as you have achieved that target already. Now my goals have to be different and cannot be the same that they were three years ago. And I see them changing on their own organically and naturally. I am a lot calmer. And that does not mean that your focus or drive is any less, but it just means that you are working on two films as against three, that you are balancing other aspects of your life and people in your life, that you are taking a lot of satisfaction from that as well. Also the different types of work you do. There was a time when I wanted to do as much as I could in the dancing and glamour space. But I think I achieved a lot in that. That does not mean that I don't want to do something new in that or a new film on dance, but now I also want to elaborate on other aspects of my persona in my films. To do characters that can show a different aspect of your personality, maybe the more serious, confused, layered, complex and anxious side of you, something every woman can connect with.
Nobody is 100% secure. But yes, I do feel secure now. Everyone goes through moments of insecurity, be it about your work or people in your life or about your family. Everyone goes through that, but at some point in time, you have to try and get yourself on the road and find peace with yourself. And I feel life does it for you. What life will give you is some amazing moments and at other times, will give you things you really don't expect. You need to experience your lows at times. Then when the high comes back, which it always does, you feel so much higher and better. Different strokes for different folks, but for me, I try and remain happy for the balance that I have in my life.
I am a private person, but am extremely sensitive and very emotional. I am quiet and mind my business. I keep to myself for the most part and the people in my life are the people in my life and they have my dedication, time and support. When I am working, I am 100% professional. I can live a very private life. I do stay away from events or functions or parties. I want to balance the things I do. Very few actors can say that they are arrogant. They are the most uncertain people as everyday you are faced with lesser comings or your weaker side.
I try and manage all aspects of my life well and that is why I don't take on too much at certain times and it may seem that I am staying away. I can take only that much that I can give my full dedication to. I have been much more out there in the past, but life changes and you adapt to the different phases that come in your life.
I am a terrible cook.
I have always been religious. While my father was a Muslim and my mom is a Christian, we have been brought up to practise all faiths. We have a mandir at our home. And while I don't do puja, I do light a jyot sometimes.