Kareena Kapoor's most open interview till date... on love, sex, men, co-stars, films and fantasies

I don’t know when last you saw her, but I did on Sunday, from spitting distance in her vanity van at Mehboob Studios. And never mind size zero, Kareena Kapoor is a dreamboat of a woman, all smouldering sexuality, honest emotions and sensuous curves. Besides, of course, being God’s gift to Saif Ali Khan. I hope he knows this, because she is crazy about him. “He’s my best friend,” she told me. “Being lovers is easy, but remaining friends is tough.” That kind of honesty is hard to come by anywhere; in Bollywood — don’t ask! But I did. What was it that she looked for in her man? Was it sex? Companionship? Or did she require a man in her life 24/7 and so moved from one relationship to another? Kareena pouted, “Friendship first, and then love. Saif and I were friends right through Tashan. After that, we became lovers. Jab We Met was before I met Saif. I thought, if he can be my best friend, and be such a wonderful father to his kids, the rest will just follow.” But, given his past, wasn’t it true that while he might be a great lover, he was lousy as a husband? “There’s no such thing as any man being perfect husband material,” she shot back, “the most stable guys make awful husbands. In Saif’s case, I followed my heart and instinct; that always make me happy, especially when I sleep at night. When you follow only your head, you end up frustrated.”

She has, I must admit, the courage of her convictions. How many actresses at the top of their careers have been honest about their relationships to their family, fans, the media? None that I can think of. Did she not fear that sometimes people might tend to forget she is Bollywood’s No 1 actress and think of her only as the woman in Saif’s life? “By being honest and coming clean, I can hold my head high,” Kareena replied. Not a trace of irritation at the bluntness of my questions. I pushed further. If he was unwilling to commit to marriage, would she care to have a child out of wedlock with Saif ? A love child? “No,” she said firmly, “I’m open about my relationship, but traditional in my values. Saif thinks I’m the most conservative and traditional woman he has known. I tell him, if you have a problem with that, then go be with someone else!” Was there any other man who turned her on more? “Apart from Saif, nobody else... But Leo (di Caprio), oh God, he’s unnaturally good looking, he’s hot and also intelligent. I’d enjoy his company,” she said brightly. Enough to if the opportunity came up, have a fling with him? “I’m traditional,” she reminded me, “I won’t have a fling.”

But this is not all about Saif only, and the love life between Kareena and him, we talked films as well. She’s got a fascinating fistful at the moment. There’s Kambakth Ishq with Akshay, Idiot with Aamir, Mr Aur Mrs Khanna with Salman, Golmal Returns with Ajay, and she’s doing Karan Johar’s next film (“It’s untitled and it’s based on terrorism,” she revealed) with Saif. “I’ve chosen the right roles in all of them,” she said with a look of smug satisfaction. Who was her favourite costar? Kareena hummed and hawed a bit, then came up with, “Akshay, it’s so strange, I’ve done more films with him than Saif. Akshay and I look nice together, I share a comfort level with him, an emotional bond. But I’ve always wanted to do a film with Aamir. And one with Shah Rukh Khan. I’ve not done a love story with Shah Rukh. I was in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham with him, but opposite Hrithik.” She being the Queen of Bollywood, did her heroes treat her as being on par, or... ? “Bollywood is male dominated,” she admitted, “but they are a little partial towards me. All of them have worked with my sister. And from way back then, they have treated me like a kid.” Did she, as a kid, have fantasies about any of these male hunks who were her sister’s co-stars, I asked. “All of them,” Kareena replied without batting an eye.

Talking of male hunks, would she do a film with her cousin Ranbir Kapoor, play his lover on screen? The eyebrows shot up, she laughed without embarrassment, “I don’t think so, and it would be my loss, because Ranbir is fantastic, he’s a brilliant actor. It’s so in his blood, he’s natural on screen. But I don’t know. Maybe Ranbir and I should do a film. Act as friends, perhaps brother and sister, but as lovers... maybe if the audience wants to see us that way. He’s hot and good looking, the best in the family, and I like interesting and different roles, I like taking risks, I’m ready to experiment. Jab We Met was different from Omkara. But I’m hopeful some director will write a film for me. I’d like to do a film like Erin Brockovich. Or be like Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada. I hope, at that age, I too have that fire in me that she has.” That the fire is raging in her at 28, there is no doubt. She’s at the top of her career, she’s getting a film a day, she believes 24 hours is not enough even if she is facing the camera till 2 am, she’s been open and honest about her relationship and still maintained her popularity, films are her life — “I live, eat, breathe, drink films, often Saif and I slip into suburban multiplexes to enjoy films over a carton of popcorn.” Popcorn, I asked. “Yes, I love to eat, I have never been overweight, I’m fit and healthy, always slim. I don’t know what is it about size zero!”


Katrina and Akshay... the new hit jodi, is it true you don’t like her working with him?
• Honestly, I have no issues with Akshay. He’s a simple, hard-working guy. They look good together on screen and their films are doing well.

And Shah Rukh, what if Katrina does his ‘Temptation’ show?
• She should, I have no problem. She’s even working with John and I have no issues with that. But Vivek is a big NO... there’s no chance, she cannot work with him.
You’re still bitter about the past?
• Salman ko chamat maar, maar ke phir puchte ho maaf karoge? Tell him (Vivek) to save his acting for the screen and not off it. I cannot forget what he’s done to me.

But you’re such a large-hearted guy...
• But I’m not God. The same people said I was bad boy, daaru peeta hai, jail gaya, maarta hai... accident karta hai.

What if you became God for a day?
• I wouldn’t be able to handle the responsibility so I don’t want to be Him.

Shah Rukh’s not vocal about the differences you both have...
• I wouldn’t have talked about it, but I had no choice, I feel so bad that something like this has happened. For me to behave in such a manner at my own party... imagine the enormity of the problem and what must have happened between us. The problem is from his side, not mine. You must remember, true success doesn’t understand crab mentality. It’s secure and beautiful.

Has somebody played mischief here?
• No, it was entirely my choice. We had fought earlier, too, and I forgave him at the behest of my brother. Sohail asked, ‘If your brother does wrong, will you not forgive him?’ And I went and hugged Shah Rukh. I was genuinely happy and celebrated his success everytime.
What are you all about?
• I know right from wrong. I accept my mistakes. I’m driven by my heart, my heart is in my thinking, it’s not just a pumping machine. I live in my own world, but that world is very humane. I am touched by the needy’s need. That’s me.
Is cinema your life?
• No, my life outside is more fulfiling. I don’t consider myself a filmstar. I cycle to work, meet people on the way, oblige them, nobody bothers me on the road. Cinema is a threehour jaunt in which I pull people away from their daily woes. Logon ne hamein sar pe chada ke rakha hai. And what I make of that adulation is in my hands. If I start believing I’m invincible, that’s when the downslide will begin.
Will you ever get married?
• Next year. I’m settling down in 2009 and would like to become a father immediately.
With Katrina?
• She’s my girlfriend, so, yeah

Genelia is crazy about Beckham

She might have made a place for herself in everyone’s hearts as the cute Aditi, but Genelia D’Souza insists she became an actress by accident. “Honestly, I didn’t ever dream of acting in my life. I’m a sportsperson and have been a state level athlete and a national level football player. So acting was the last thing on my mind,” says the lass. Does that mean she will be watching the Olympics? “It’s great to see sports being promoted in India. And yes, I will be keenly following the Beijing Olympics, but not by sitting in front of the TV.” Any favourite sportsperson? “My all time favourite football player is David Beckham. I admire his looks and his stylish way of playing the game,” says Genelia.

Akshay’s the new king of Bollywood

Akshay Kumar is unstoppable. Now, that his latest venture Singh Is Kinng has been declared a hit, the new Punjabi ‘King’ has moved much closer to the No 1 position and his market price has soared manifold. “Now he will be charging more than Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir. And like them, he too takes a territory as part of his remuneration,” says a trade pundit. So Bollywood ka naya king kaun? No prizes for guessing!

‘I won’t give up my career for anything’

There was heightened expectation from your last release, Tashan, because of you and Saif.

We did what the script required us to. I don’t think people should’ve gone to see Tashan as Saif’s and my love story. We’re playing characters. Jab We Met worked because the characters worked. I had done so many films with Shahid while we were seeing each other. They didn’t work. Why?

Does all the attention given to your relationship with Saif scare you?

I can’t stop living my life the way I want to just because of the attention. As long as I don’t let my family down I’m not scared. But at times the endless attention gets scary. There are so many false stories about Saif and me. I understand the need to know what’s going in our lives. The best thing is to just do my work and not get affected by loose talk.

Are you fully comfortable in your relationship with Saif ?

Yes. But only the two people in a relationship know what’s going on. People don’t have the right to know what’s going on in my private life. They have my films to judge me by. I don’t need to explain what happens behind my closed doors. Right now I’m loving it. The paparazzi is doing their job. We’re doing ours. Saif and I understand that.

The two of you don’t have that much work together.

After Tashan we only have Renzil d’Silva’s film together. Both of us are too sensible to sign films just to spend time together. Saif is mature and extremely understanding. He respects the kind of work I do, as I respect his. And we keep our careers apart. Saif knows that right now my career is the most important thing to me and that I need the space to work. I’ve worked really hard to get where I am. I won’t give it up for anything.

So career wins over love? There’s no comparison. When I’m working, I’m working. And when I’m with him, I’m all there. Besides, Saif is a superstar himself. He’s so busy.

Are you anorexic?

No. I think I had a good physique even before I re-sculpted myself for Tashan. In fact, a lot of people preferred me when I had a little more weight. So, I repeat, this look was just for Tashan. People say I’ve been on an orange juice diet. I eat healthily, though I’m a pure vegetarian. Being a vegetarian helps me to stay light and healthy. I also do yoga or some form of exercise 4-5 times a week. I do not go to the gym. I go for walks regularly. I believe in healthy slimming. Eat well and stay fit. I do indulge once or twice a week. Like all Kapoors, I can’t stay away from good food.

‘Enough about my personal life!’

You’re romancing three girls in your second film?
What can I say, I guess I just got lucky! (smiles)
What’s Bachna Ae Haseeno all about?
It’s a romantic comedy. It’s a journey of a guy from the age 17 to 30 and the relationships he has in his life at different phases and how each relationship teaches him about life in its own sweet, sexy, sassy way.
You didn’t get the girl in Saawariya. Similar fate in this one too?
No, here I do end up with someone. Love is such that God grants us one person who we can spend the rest of our life with. It rarely happens that we don’t. So it’s a happy ending.
When did you take up this film?
I signed this movie before the release of Saawariya. At that point, I wasn’t signing any movies but then Siddharth Anand called and said he has a script for me. I was a little hesitant because I didn’t want to sign anything before Saawariya’s release but when I read the script, I fell in love with it. I told him I will kill anybody who does this role! It’s written for me.
Is it a deliberate effort on your behalf to move away from the lovelorn tragic image of your first film?
No effort at all. Every movie is different. Saawariya was my debut film. It will always be the most special film. I got to work with a master craftsman like Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Whatever I know about acting and cinema is because of him. Yes, I have moved from that phase to this film. My third film will be different from my second film. I hope I can do cinema that shows a different side of me every time.
Is there a towel-dropping scene in this film too?
I can just promise you there’s more than just towel dropping!
Some feel that your chemistry with Bipasha Basu is more crackling than that with Deepika?
What can I say? Bipasha Basu is sizzling and any actor has to just stand in the same frame to make it look hot. So I would give her the credit.
But does that bother you, since you and Deepika are seeing each other?
If they are saying that then I respect it. The chemistry of a pair on screen is known only when the audience reacts to it. This is movie-making, it’s about the characters and not their personal life. I think enough has been spoken about it and I think it’s high time that our work is spoken about. I don’t want people to relate to me because of my personal life.
Would you say you’re a one-woman man?
I would like to believe every man is a one-woman man.
What’s next on your list?
I’m currently working on Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani which is a Raj Kumar Santoshi film with Katrina Kaif. Then there’s Wake Up Sid with Konkona Sen Sharma that’s produced by Karan Johar and directed by Ayan Mukherjee. I’m scared of working with her. She’s so immensely talented. I don’t know if I can match up to her but I’m really looking forward to working with her.