Kareena Kapoor: Ash would have done Heroine differently
She has invested a lot in it emotionally. Today, September 21, is rather special. Bebo turns 32 and Heroine hits the marquee. Nervous and excited, Bebo tells TOI that now it’s time for her to sit back and exhale.
Over to her:
In Heroine, you play superstar Mahi Arora. Since you are a superstar in real life, was the role a cakewalk?
On the contrary, Mahi was one of the toughest characters I have played. Mahi is completely imbalanced and she’s a grey character all the way. In real life, I’m very balanced. I know exactly what I want out of my career and my personal life. In my 12 years in the industry, I have learnt how to channelise and compartmentalise my life. Actually it is very important for a heroine to get her priorities correct. I like spending time on a set, because movies are my passion. But believe me, I also equally enjoy spending time at home with Saif. Coming back to Mahi, normally characters in Indian cinema are either black or white. According to me, no one has played a mainstream grey character because grey is considered a villain. But Mahi is grey all through the duration of the film and yet, in the last 25 minutes of the film, Madhur Bhandarkar and I have been able to successfully get her to connect with the audience. Or at least I hope we have.
You have adopted a really aggressive marketing strategy for this film; one has never seen you so involved.
I agree. In a career spanning a decade Heroine is one of the films I have felt very close to. I have invested so much in this film emotionally that at the end of it, it has left me drained. In fact Mahi is someone who has stayed with me…and in the coming days I need to exorcise her. The film is such an obsession with me; it almost feels like my first born.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was cast in the same role before you stepped in. Tell us who according to you is really the better choice?
Ash is an icon; she is a beauty. She would have done the film differently. And I have approached the role very differently. I don’t think I can make any comparisons.
After playing arm candy to the different Khans in the last couple of years, was it an ego trip to have a film titled Heroine and have all the attention focussed singularly on you?
Since The Dirty Picture and Heroine are both female-oriented films and have the Indian film industry as the backdrop, comparisons will abound. Are there any similarities between the two films? Only a daft person will compare the two. Heroine is based on the life of a superstar. And TDP was loosely borrowed from the life of an item girl who was around in the 80s. If I may say so, Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn both played cops in Dabangg and Singham respectively. But both films were diametrically opposite. Likewise it is the same with my film and Vidya’s film.
Heroine is the life of a superstar. Madhur has shown the underbelly of showbiz. There are no songs shot with the heroine in chiffon sarees against the backdrop of snow-peaked mountains. It is a hard-hitting film with gritty dialogue written by Niranjan Iyengar. The lines are going to stay with people long after they have left the hall.
Didn’t playing a superstar on the decline scare you?
Even my mother and my sister asked me whether I was sure that I wanted to do this role. Honestly I was. I just felt the need to do something different and when I say different I do not mean that it has been, skin show. Playing a bold and aggressive heroine was a challenge that I enjoyed.
And how about the man in your life, Saif Ali Khan?
Well, what about him? (Smiles) Obviously everyone seems to be much more curious about us and our wedding than Saif and I. When we decide the date then people will get to know. Come on, the world knows that we are together so what’s the big deal really. I hope that people talk more about me as Heroine than my wedding.
Last question; are there any knots in your belly today?
I have given this film my 200 per cent. Now I’m waiting for the verdict. Good, bad, ugly I want to know what the industry and my fans have to say. It is my birthday and the only gift I want today is for my film to succeed. We actors are greedy people; we want praise and more praise.
Tagged Kareena Kapoor