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When Katrina Kaif Told Ali That She Would Join Bharat Only If The Character Is Strong Enough

Excelling in parts over her 15-year journey in Bollywood, Katrina Kaif, it may be argued, has only come into her own, recently. Despite the mixed reaction that Tiger Zinda Hai (2017) drew, cinephiles were pleasantly surprised to see the actor shine through with her athletic display.

In a bid to prove that the acting prowess she made evident in the Salman Khan-starrer was no fluke, she went on to put up a power-packed performance in Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero (2018). But even as she finds herself in the good books of critics who may pan her films, Kaif continues to green-light projects that bank heavily on their leading men. Even then, she considers herself ‘lucky’ to bag the roles that she does.

“I could be wrong, but Bharat is the best role of my career, on paper,” says the actor. “There are instances when [an actor] doesn’t get too much screen time in a Salman Khan-movie. But, I have been fortunate to get films with strong roles.”

While director Ali Abbas Zafar had told mid-day that he wouldn’t amend for her the character of Kumud, initially designed for Priyanka Chopra, Kaif says she too set a condition before signing on the dotted line. “I told Ali that I’d join the cast only if the character is strong enough. Kumud is that character. I went through a lot of prep work and attended workshops, because this role was challenging. The character spans 40 years in the film. Also, it’s a big-budget holiday release, so it will reach a wide audience.”

With her next, Akshay Kumar-backed Sooryavanshi taking further Rohit Shetty’s cop-universe, it could safely be assumed that the male protagonist will be the centre of this film as well. Interestingly, Kaif refers to this offering as one that will help her strike a ‘balance’ between her distinct film choices. “I desire to play interesting characters, but, at the same time, I can balance [that] with films that are simply about having fun. Rohit and I have been planning to work together for nine years. We felt this film could be one that we could collaborate on. I like [the message] he is trying to portray in it. It’s not just another glamorous role,” she promises.

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