Kaif is always known for her glamour and the way she looks. Even tough in 'Rajniti' she didn’t wear a make up her looks were the talk of the town. Onlookers are saying that if Katrina looks so beautiful without the make up then with make up on she would look like a goddess to die for.
Is it going to be a busy year again?
Yes! I have quite a few releases. These include Kabir Khan's New York, a romantic comedy, Ajab Prem ki ghazab kahani directed by Raj Kumar Santoshi, Priyadarshini's comedy flick De Dhana Dhan opposite Akshay Kumar, and end-August, there's Prakash Jha's Rajniti opposite Ajay Devgan.
With no filmy background, it must have been a struggle to reach the top rung of contemporary Bollywood actors?
The journey so far has been absolutely amazing. Honestly, it wasn't a pre-planned intention to get into Bollywood. I came to India strictly as a model. I was getting a lot of modelling assignments. In the mean time, filmmakers were also aware that I was around. Then, as a model, I reached a point where I strived to do more and the natural progression was films. But it wasn't as easy.
I was not familiar with Hindi, I was not into dancing and I had no knowledge of cinema as such. With David Dhawan's Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya (2005) opposite Salman Khan, I learnt a lot from people around me including the choreographer. Every film since then has been a learning lesson. As an actor, it's imperative to understand what works for the industry. It's essential to gauge that what you do is interesting, not just to you, but also to the audiences.
So what would be the turning point of Katrina, the Bollywood actress?
I think for a long while, I was happy to be a model. I had no ambitions as such. Even after getting into movies, I just hung around for a while. But Namastey London (2007) was really the turning point of my career. I suddenly wanted to achieve a lot more. I strived for perfection. I was never as passionate before. I knew then that I was 100% into this and something I would pursue and go after for a long time. And in this process, my manager and friend, Reshma Shetty, has really helped me.
The film industry is incestuous - Comment.
It's somewhat true because it's a small, close-knit industry. People tend to talk to each other a lot and I hate that. When you're working with someone for 12-16 hours a day, you are bound to develop some friendships. So is the magical world of filmmaking, whether Bollywood or Hollywood. It's an exciting, beautiful place where you can make people love, cry or hate. But I also understand that it's not a place you want to spend the rest of your life in. Every actor has a shelf-life. For me, in another 10 years, I know I'll be doing something else. All top actors including Madhuri (Dixit), Sridevi, among others have gone on to do other things.
What would be your advice to those who aspire to be Bollywood stars?
You need a very strong personality to cut through this industry. Sometimes it can get quite lonely. You have to be grounded all the time. The media hype, the money, power and fame are a part and parcel. I have now learnt to control my mind. I go to the gym everyday for an hour without my mobile phone and I pray. That helps me relax.
Also, you need to know who your real friends are and whom you can trust. Don't make the mistake to consider anyone and everyone you meet at work as your friend. You need to choose appropriately because this is a difficult industry to survive in.
But isn't stardom superficial?
My job is to look glamorous and picture perfect on the sets. You might call that superficial. But that's my job. When I'm not at work, I like being simple.
What about competition and the rat race with so many new starlets?
My only focus in life now is work. Everything else, including relationships has taken a backseat. And yes, there are new people today. I liked Genelia (Dsouza)'s work, but someone told me she actually started around the same time as me! So yes, I guess, we are all in the same rat race trying to prove ourselves.
And do you ever think of returning to your family in the UK?
No. I am settled in Mumbai.
Designer: Rocky S
Perfume: Marc Jacobs
Must-haves in travel
kit: Mobile and vitamin supplements
Actor: Gerard Butler
time: Sleep and coffee with friends