'The Khans want me... I'm lucky'
Kareena Kapoor on being a favourite with the superstars, wedding plans and more
With three back-to-back blockbusters, I almost expect Kareena Kapoor to be sitting pretty on her throne with a tiara on, waving her magic wand.
Instead, I meet the star as we know her. Candid and confident as she talks about love, life and leading the big, bad Bollywood race...
You must have your hands full, guarding the number one status you've reclaimed with Bodyguard...
I am more than happy being number 100 on the list, too! But that doesn't take away from the fact that Bodyguard has shattered records. I'm enjoying every bit of it. I work to see and sense this adulation, not for tags that are hardly permanent.
But a Salman Khan film is always all about him. The heroine is generally incidental...
I can proudly say that here's a Salman film where the girl finally has something to do apart from hanging around and singing songs. Bodyguard is predominantly about the heroine. There is no movie without her.
Many say you're piggyback riding on the Khans' success. Is it easy to earn a hit that way?
It was the Khans who came to me. They could have chosen anyone, but they wanted me. If I don't work with Aamir, Salman, Saif, Shah Rukh and Imran, with whom am I supposed to work with? They are practically half the industry. I'm pretty lucky. I mean, I'm the only actress to have worked with Aamir in two back-to-back films.
Your equation with the three big Khans must be quite different...
They basically see me as Lolo's (Karisma Kapoor) little sister. With each of them, the relationship is very professional. Like Salman has his quirks, so do SRK and Aamir. They also know how I work, so there is a comfort level.
Is Aamir your favourite of the lot?
Everyone knows I am a huge Aamir fan. We share great chemistry, but I think Saif and I also make a deadly pair in Agent Vinod. It's probably why he insisted on casting me in this film.
Are you insecure when Saif casts other heroines in his home productions?
Not at all! I'm actually looking forward to a film where he'd be cast opposite Priyanka (Chopra). There's something very approachable about her and something very suave and sexy about Saif. Their pairing would work well.
On a personal note, we hear Saif and you are getting hitched next February...
I also hear about how many carats Saif has gifted me, and the desert we'll be serving at our wedding! It's very intriguing. I barely manage to meet my family and Saif and people are already planning my wedding in their heads.
Why hide marriage plans, especially since you've said you're ready for it?
I am the only actress who can proudly proclaim to have a personal and professional life. I don't understand when people say things like they don't have time for love. I have given some of my biggest hits with Saif in my life. What bigger proof that it works if you balance it out. There was a point when I said I want to do nothing but work. Now that has changed. My relationship is of utmost importance. So when a date is fixed, we will let everyone know.
Is there family pressure? What does your sister have to say?
She asks me to enjoy life and work at my own pace. Plus, nothing will change after marriage. I may cook for Saif when I get the time, but otherwise it's going to be the same.
You're doing the Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai sequel. Would you be comfortable if (former boyfriend) Shahid joins the cast?
I still have to read the script, but I would be okay with anyone.
Are you in touch with Shahid?
I don't pick up the phone and talk to him, but there is no bad blood between us. It's a chapter in my life both Saif and I respect, and it will always be like that.
Lastly, is there a role you recently saw and wish you did?
All of Meryl Streep's roles. It's incredible what she does. I wish, when I am 60, I work as much as her. That would be something.