Chit Chat

Kareena & Katrina can never be friends perception is nothing but a myth: Kabir Khan

How is the chemistry between Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif in your next film, Phantom?
Amazing! Both enjoyed working with each other and it will show on screen.

Kareena Kapoor visited the sets of Phantom and bonded with Katrina, her arch rival. Were you the mediator?
Kareena came twice, during the Beirut and the Punjab schedules. She and Katrina were very comfortable in each other’s company. The ‘Two actresses can never be friends’ perception is nothing but a myth.

Few months ago, rumours were rife that Katrina and Ranbir had parted ways. Did it affect her work on the sets?
Katrina is a family friend and very close to me. She and I discuss everything under the sun, professional and personal. But she is too much of a professional to let her personal problems affect her work. Whatever discussions happened, took place after the work for the day was over.

Katrina and you have done three films together- New York, Ek Tha Tiger and Phantom back-to-back. We presume she is in your next film too, starring Salman Khan?
No, she isn’t.

Why not?
The role doesn’t suit her.

Is it because Salman doesn’t want to work with her? In an interview to Mirror (January 10), he said that he prefers to stay away from his exes…
No, that is not the reason. He was not dating Katrina when they did Ek Tha Tiger. I think I’ve answered your question.

With Phantom, you must be under a lot of pressure to repeat the success of Ek Tha Tiger, the film that redefined the numbers game?
No. Films should be judged according to their budget. You can’t break records with every film (smiles). I might feel that pressure when I begin my next film with Salman.

Surely producer Sajid Nadiadwala would want to score a hat-trick with Phantom which follows in the wake of the success of Highway and 2 States?
(Laughs) Then that pressure is on Sajid. His directorial debut, Kick, hits the theatres before my Phantom.

Isn’t Phantom S. Hussain Zaidi’s (journalist and author) idea?
Yes, Hussain initiated the thought. He happened to tell me about his next book and asked me if I would be interested in making a film on it. The premise was so exciting that I couldn’t wait for him to complete the book. I suggested that he and I start developing the book and the screenplay simultaneously. The book and the film will release around the same time.

Buzz is, your price as a director has escalated to Rs 12-15 crore…
I won’t answer that question with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. All I’ll say is that it’s good that directors are finally getting paid well. I don’t know what I deserve (laughs). Maybe I am getting lesser than my worth, but I am happy.

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