I can count on Saif for everything: Kareena
Kareena Kapoor Khan is looking as fresh as dew. Her rosy pink complexion is glowing; the tell-tale signs of a newlywed bride. There are several film scripts jostling for space on the coffee table at her Bandra home. Obviously, marriage hasn’t made a dent in the demand for one of Bollywood’s most sought-after actors. And if I may add, easily one of the most accomplished ones. Over to Bebo:
One hears you haven’t attached Khan to your name yet?
How can I not be Khan? Agreed everyone knows me as Kareena Kapoor. But my passport will have my name as Kareena Kapoor Khan. I never shied away from the fact that I’m in love and married. In fact, it’s a time to celebrate the fact that after five years of courtship, the relationship with Saif has culminated into something beautiful.
Besides the Khan name, you also have a title now. You are the Begum of Pataudi.
It is more love and respect of the people that I value. What title? I’ve no clue if these titles are recognised anymore. I’m just happy and proud to be a part of a heritage. I also realise that there is a huge responsibility that comes with it. I’m honoured to be a part of the Pataudis. I love them and I’m happy for my association. But whatever I am today is because I am an actor, that comes foremost and I will never forget that. Also, as far as I’m concerned, the Begum of Pataudi will always be my mother-in-law Sharmila Tagore. I love her and hers is the picture I have in my mind and heart when someone says, the Begum of Pataudi.
Surely, the emphasis on work continues?
Of course, I’m an actor and the movies are my life. Directors know that I’m a professional; and as long as I look good and perform well, everything else is unimportant. I have an interesting line-up. Dabangg 2 where I have done an item number is massy, Satyagraha is interesting because I’m working for the first time with Prakash Jha. Unlike many of his leading ladies, I’m not dressed in khadi salwar kurtas. For the first time, Prakashji’s heroine will be in modern clothes.
Are you saying that marriage hasn’t changed anything in your career?
No, it hasn’t. I do not know why people even bring up this question. Whether I’m in love or committed, that doesn’t interfere with my career. Saif and I have maintained that for five years and it continues to stay that way. Ultimately, it is talent that counts.
You have always segregated your personal and professional life, right?
In the five years that I’ve lived with him, Saif has never asked me, ‘Bebo which film are you doing? Or who is your co-star?’ Ditto me. I go visit him on his sets; I know who his co-stars are. But frankly, I never interfere in his career. On the sets he is Saif Ali Khan, the actor, and he has given me the same space and liberty in my work. That is why I love and respect him so much.
Mahesh Bhatt said, ‘You are a lucky girl to have a liberated man like Saif as your husband’. What do you say to that?
Well, I’d say I agree fully. I think Bhatt saab is a very liberated man himself. And I’m kicked about the fact that he said this about Saif. Saif and Bhatt saab have interacted a lot and Saif has many nice things to say about Mahesh Bhatt. God has been very kind to me. I am lucky to have found this man who is so modern, so liberated. He’s much more intelligent than me. I like the fact that he is so well read and that I can count on him for everything.
Heard you are the traditional one
I’m modern yet traditional. Actually, we kind of complement one another in many ways and find a balance. If he is too liberal, then I get traditional. And if I am very modern, then he kind of becomes protective. He is also someone who will always give me the right advice. When I ask Saif something he doesn’t take it lightly because he knows if I am asking him something; it must be very important. I take his words very seriously.
Do you feel lucky that you have worked back-to-back with Aamir Khan on two films — ‘3 Idiots’ and now ‘Talaash’.
Of course I’m lucky to work with Aamir on two films. I respect him tremendously. He has given me a very special film in Talaash. It’s different. Indian cinema has not seen something like this. I’m also happy that I am so important to the plot, I’m eager to know the feedback.
It is also your first film with a lady director?
Everyone said Reema Kagti is a tyrant. I think she is a tyrant only for punctuality. She insisted her actors be there on time. Other than that she is a lovely person to work with. She has never raised her voice even once during the entire shoot.
You’ve teamed with Rani Mukerji a decade after Mujhse Dosti Karoge?
Rani and I had a blast during Mujhse Dosti Karoge. I have always admired Rani as an actor. I look forward to meeting her because whenever we do, we have a blast.
Where’s home now — Mumbai, Delhi or Pataudi?
Work takes us to Delhi. But Saif and I live in Mumbai in the same house where we first met. Both of us are busy with our films and endorsements. Of course we have our private time; which has always been the case even earlier. Nothing has changed.
Heard the honeymoon is scheduled for December?
I love running away from India. We like our quiet time in London. It is liberating for me. Basically, it’s just simpler because we can dine out or spend time walking around without being disturbed. Here there are paparazzi at the airports, there’s media outside restaurants. Frankly, after the initial hullabaloo, everyone allows you to settle down. Yet it is a bit distracting. Saif and I enjoy our time abroad. We love India but we like travelling often.
Tagged Kareena Kapoor