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14 - 20 Apr , 2012
Heroine Addiction
Kareena Kapoor on the heady buzz of romance and showbiz
Heroine AddictionShe's the queen of the showbiz world. Bebo's got that indefinable, grew-up-in-the-studios air about her and she's glued into the trade. As for the showbiz, she's just snapped up Sanjay Leela Bhansali's next, a gangsta version of Romeo And Juliet with Ranveer Singh and another film to be produced jointly by Karan Johar and Ekta Kapoor. Right now, she's also walking on velvet. Her candyfloss romance Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu drew all the stares and she came in for high praise as the free-spirited Rihaana. Which all adds up as the right time to chat up with the girl du jour, Kareene Kapoor. Excerpts:

Your character in Heroine smokes and drinks. What's your take on such addictions?
I'm playing an onscreen character. That doesn't mean I lead my life in the same way. That's why it's called acting. It's part of the script. And a Madhur Bhandarkar film can't be a family entertainer with ghagra cholis and stuff like that.

What's the best thing about working with Madhur Bhandarkar?
I'm having a blast working with Madhur. He's so chilled out. We're doing this deadly scene and he's eating bhajiyas on the side. But that's him and he's been doing that since Chandni Bar. Whenever I meet Tabu, she tells me the same thing. Every director has his own method and I love Madhur's because I'm like that too. I'm eating, doing yoga, chatting with my staff and suddenly breaking into an emotional scene.

Do you have any reference points while approaching a role?
I normally go by instinct. Like Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is more of an English film. Mine was not your typical Hindi film heroine's role. It needed courage to play this crazy girl who isn't bothered about her hair, her clothes and anything else. It was something that I hadn't done before.

What else is important while acting?
It's also important to look good. Because in some films I have just looked good and done nothing else.

Ra.One and Bodyguard were blockbusters but you got no critical acclaim. Does that bother you?
If some other actress acts in a film and it's a commercial success no one bothers about it. But when I'm in a film people expect me to perform. That's unfair. Honestly. I loved my role in Bodyguard. People have come up to me and said they loved me in it. I trust my fans. Ultimately, I am a commercial star. Bodyguard and Ra.One have added a lot to my repertoire. As for critical acclaim, I know I'm a good actress yaar!

After the aborted Bajirao Mastani, Sanjay Leela Bhansali has once again offered you a role. True?
Yes. Sanjay and I have wanted to work with each other for eons now. The film is opposite Ranveer Singh and we're working out the contract details. Let's hope everything works out well. He's the only director I've wanted to work with for a long time.

How was it working on Talaash with Aamir Khan?
I love Aamir Khan, I've loved working with him earlier. I love working with him now. He's one actor I'd love to work with again and again. He's the biggest and the best!

Are you doing Rohit Shetty's film with Shah Rukh Khan?
He has spoken to me about it but nothing is on paper as such. Let's see.

Insiders claim that you're already 'married' to Saif. True?
If I'm already married then has it affected my box-office status? Obviously not. I've given Golmaal 3, 3 Idiots, Bodyguard, Ra.One. I'm doing Heroine and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's next. I'm enjoying this phase. It's the best any actress could ask for. It's been a dream run. Whether I'm married or not, how does it even matter? Marriage can wait. The focus now is on Heroine.

"I Want To Do A Film Which Will Be A Hit Only Because Of Shreyas Talpade"
Shreyas Talpade has the air of a long lost friend. Casual and nonchalant. There's excitement in his voice as he talks about his film Housefull 2. Soon, he switches to talking about his school friends and the joys of Facebook.

The Clean Man
I Want To Do A Film Which Will Be A Hit Only Because Of Shreyas TalpadeSix years ago, his career hit the right pitch with the cricket tale Iqbal. It also won him a nomination for the Filmfare Best Debut Award. After a pause, he was seen in small but significant roles in blockbusters like Golmaal Returns, Om Shanti Om and Golmaal 3. But Shreyas still has to hit big time. "You're right. I would like to be part of the big league. I want my career to zoom but I'm still playing the waiting game. I guess, I haven't handled my PR and marketing well. There have been no controversies around me," he smiles. "The other day a corporate honcho referred to me as the 'guy with a clean image'. That makes me content." Mr Clean also abhors being linked-up with his co-stars. "That's the easiest way to come into the limelight. But I'm uncomfortable with it as it spoils your rapport with the actress. I share a warm relationship with all my heroines"

The Second Man
Shreyas has worked with talented directors like Nagesh Kukunoor (Iqbal, Dor), Shyam Benegal (Well Done Abba), Farah Khan (OSO), Rohit Shetty (Golmaal series) and Sajid Khan (Housefull 2). "Rather than getting involved in inane controversies I'd rather have my work speak for me. I'd rather see myself on page 1 than on page 3," he says adding, "I have been part of blockbusters but they weren't hits because of me. I want to do a film which will be a hit only because of Shreyas Talpade. Then I can say I've arrived."
Starting off with solo hero projects, Shreyas has been relegated to doing only multi-starrers. He confides, "I never wanted to become a 'side' actor. But I don't regret it. When I was doing theatre, the first thing that was taught was teamwork. If the team succeeds, then even you succeed. In that sense, I'm super successful."

The Funny Man
He's battled and flourished on both sides of the fence. Art and mart. But of late, he has restricted himself to only comedy films. "It isn't a planned decision. Golmaal Returns was a challenge for me. Just before that I had auditioned for a huge comedy with a big director. He said I was too serious an actor to do comic capers and that I wasn't suitable for hardcore commercial films. I felt wronged in a way and took his words as an accusation. I wanted to prove him wrong." And he did. "Nowadays most of the movies are comedies. So that doesn't leave me with too many options. A comedy challenges your talent. Till I don't get bored, I'll continue doing them."

The Man's Man
Shreyas treasures the equation he shares with his male co-stars. "Shah Rukh Khan will remain my most special co-star. He's the first superstar I've worked with." He goes on, "I did a lot of masti with Akshay Kumar too during Housefull 2. We worked out together and he helped me with difficult stunts." The other star he respects is Ajay Devgn. "He understood that I was new to the Golmaal cast. So he organised a dinner for me to mingle with the team."

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