Bajrangi Bhaijaan is a different film for Salman Khan and his fans too
That’s one of the reasons the gorgeous diva couldn’t deny Salman Khan’s maiden production Bajrangi Bhaijaan. In a candid chat Kareena Kapoor Khan tells us about her role in the film and future plans as an actor.
After Bodyguard you are paired opposite Salman Khan in Kabir Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Can you tell us about your role in the film?
Obviously, it’s the first time I am working with Kabir (Khan). I play a school teacher from Chandni Chowk who meets Salman and helps him in his journey to take a young girl back to Pakistan. Bodyguard was a love story, but Bajrangi isn’t just song, dance and romance; there is a story, drama and performances. It’s a very different film for Salman and his fans too. Bajrangi isn’t like the films everyone is used to seeing him in like Ready, Kick, etc.
What made you say yes to Bajrangi Bhaijaan?
I have always wanted to strike a balance between commercial cinema and offbeat films. I am known as an actor as well as a star, so, sometimes to maintain the star status it is important to do commercial masala films. But offbeat films will always be part of my life. I am working with Raj (Rajkumar Gupta), R Balki, Abhishek Chaubey, etc.
Everyone says that Salman and his peers want to work with 18-year-olds, but in this film he is working with a married woman and that’s a big achievement for me. I am thrilled that Kabir Khan decided that this is a role I could play and wanted me to be a part of it. So, here I am working in commercial films after being married, even my mother-in-law did it. And, who can say no to a Kabir Khan directed and Salman Khan produced film?
Salman Khan and you have worked in three films so far (Kyon Ki, Bodyguard and Bajrangi Bhaijaan). Similarly you have worked more than once with a lot of actors. As an artist how do you create a new chemistry with every new film?
With Salman, Bajrangi is different from Bodyguard. I did Golmaal as well as Omkara with Ajay (Devgn). Similarly, in Tashan, Saif and I were dancing with blonde wigs in Ladakh and we also did Kurbaan. The stories and atmosphere were completely different. Of course, I make a conscious effort to make it a little different, but a director is also largely involved in creating a new chemistry with the same actor. It comes through the dialogues, camera movements, etc. That’s why it is important for an actor to keep working with different directors even if it is the same actor.
How was the experience of working with Kabir Khan?
In the fifteen years of my career I have worked with every possible director in this nation, maybe once, twice and, sometimes, thrice. But I had not worked with Kabir. After being married I thought it was time to work with different and new directors, and that’s why it’s a conscious decision to work with Kabir or Raj or Balki or Abhishek. They are all different kind of directors and, of course, I will continue to work with Rohit Shetty. So, it’s an enriching experience. Kabir makes these larger-than-life, good-looking movies with good-looking actors but there is always a story in it. It’s not a mindless kind of film. He’ll make a commercial bonanza but it will have meat in it.
For the first-time you shot in Kashmir for Bajrangi Bhaijaan. What was the experience like?
Everybody from the family has shot in Kashmir, my parents, Lolo (Karisma Kapoor) and, even, Ranbir (Kapoor). So I was very happy that Bajrangi Bhaijaan took me there. I stayed in the same hotel that I stayed in during my family holidays as a child. It was a nostalgic experience, and I love Kashmir.
Do you think that today’s actress has a longer lifespan in Hindi movies?
I don’t know about everyone else, but I have been around for 16 years and am still around. And I am going to work till 80. I think it’s about your passion and what you believe in. It’s not important to be seen in every film, but it’s important to strike a balance between being a star and an actor. And, of course, it is important to always keep looking good. You are as old as you look.
It is believed that films like Queen, Piku, Tanu Weds Manu Returns are marking the return of women-oriented scripts. Do you agree?
I think even in the 60s-70s there were women-oriented films like Seeta Aur Geeta or Amar Prem, which had an equally strong role for a woman. I don’t understand the sudden buzz about heroine-oriented films. Films are content based. I think Jab We Met was a heroine-oriented film; Geet’s character was very strong but it could not be the way it is without Shahid (Kapoor)’s character. We are getting confused between content and heroine-oriented scripts. I have always done women oriented films whether it is Chameli or Dev or Omkara – Othello is incomplete without Desdemona. Back in the day I had a great role in a Shahrukh Khan’s film, Asoka. In Omkara, Saif (Ali Khan) had a great role, I had a great role too. So it’s about a strong character. If the script doesn’t demand a strong role then I am not going to do a heroine-oriented film just because everyone is doing it.
A while ago you had said in an interview that you wouldn’t like to romance Varun Dhawan and actors of his age. However, in R Balki’s film you play Arjun Kapoor’s wife. What made you change your mind?
The script demanded that I play his wife. When Balki told me that he was writing it with me in mind and believed it would be a great part for me, I couldn’t say no. When he gave me the film’s narration, by interval I told him I am doing it. Though he narrated the entire film so I would know what my role was. But I go by my instinct. If the script demands it then I will work with Varun, but I don’t know about dancing around the trees with him. He is a great guy though.
You have just begun shooting for R Balki’s film. What has been your experience working with an actor from a younger generation?
I played Anil Kapoor’s wife and now Arjun Kapoor’s wife, so I feel very lucky to have this opportunity. And it is because the role demands it. I think the younger generation is a lot more aware, conscious and brilliant as actors.
Is there a genre of film that you haven’t done and would like to work in?
I would love to do a film like Kill Bill, but I hate action. I wish I didn’t hate action and could do that kind of a film because I think Kill Bill is one of the best films made and I love Uma Thurman. I don’t have the fluidity of her body, I dance, but I can’t do those action scenes.