Wednesday, July 11, 2012


BY ADIL RASHEED (Khaleej Times Staff Reporter) / 15 January 2005

Sitting in her chair and watching the waves batter a bank of sturdy rocks at the Jumeirah Beach, Bollywood beauty Kareena Kapoor appeared a little pensive from a distance. A tinge of sadness lent stateliness to her demeanour as if innocence had finally reconciled to the early blows of experience (in the wake of the MMS pictures controversy).
City Times caught up with this elegant and affable scion of the Kapoor clan, while she was filming the last few scenes of her forthcoming movie Milenge Milenge.
Do you think 2004 taught you some hard lessons in life? Have you emerged wiser after the trials of the last year?
You mean professionally.

Yes! Your films Chameli, Dev, Yuva and Fida did not do that well at the box-office even though they won you critical acclaim. Was it a tough year?
Please, do count in Aitraaz and Hulchul, which were successful and as you yourself said even films that were not commercial successes brought me the praise and commendation of the critics. I can say it was a fairly wonderful year for me. I feel humbled by the thought that I had the opportunity to work with film directors like Govind Nihalani and Mani Ratnam.
Do you think fame is as much a bane as it is a boon?
There is always a flip side. There are pitfalls and upheavals in the life of every individual. So one has to take it in one's stride.
Many of your fans and well-meaning admirers believe that though you may have been justified in taking legal action with regard to th recent unfortunate controversy, your reaction blew the whole issue our of proportion.
It was a very traumatic experience for me. It was hurting to know that someone could turn it into a national issue. It was not a matter pertaining to the country's economy to merit such coverage.

Do you still say the photos are bogus.
They were tampered.

It is said that Shahid Kapoor and Salman Khan helped you tied over this critical phase.
Salman has always been a close family friend. His advice was very useful. He told me to let things be. He said it is all part and parcel of fame. Let me say he is one of the few genuine people in the film industry today.

Do you regard the Indian film audience as prudish? It laps up any titillating tale offered to it but baulks at any serious attempt at addressing social issues such as the one taken up in the movie 'Chameli'?
I would not say that the audience is prudish or immature, but it has got used to being in a comfort zone.

You did a lot of films last year. Stars these days don't do so many films out of fear of getting burnt out. How do you manage?
I think I am just following the precedent set by great actresses like Sri Devi, Madhuri and my sister Karisma. I have learnt a lot from my sister and I owe her a lot for my success.
 You have a different style of acting, which is free of mannerism. Some would say it is different from the style of other members of your family. Has it been a conscious move or is it something which came to you naturally?
 One can say that I have consciously tried to be different from my very first film. I had a very deglamourized look in 'Refugee'. I learnt a lot while doing the film.
Since then I have tried to broaden my horizons and have been doing different kinds of roles. I surprised many critics by doing 'Chameli'  and in my forthcoming film 'Bewafai', I am playing a mother with three kids.

Do you like coming to the UAE?
Yes and I love the country. The people of the UAE are very warm and loving. I feel surprised to see that Bollywood stars are so popular among people of various nationalities such as the UAE nationals and the Lebanese and they give such respect, hospitality and warmth. It just adds to the sense of responsibility we feel towards our work. 

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