Katrina Kaif: Often find myself battling against things I can't control
Katrina Kaif chats candidly on the changes in life, equations with the Khans (Salman, Aamir and Shah Rukh) and how she switched between her reel and real side while playing a dark character in Zero
Tell us about your character in Zero.
Babita Kumari is an actress, who is going through a dark and depressing phase, but she is not a terrible human being. Her relationship is over, her career is not doing well and she has no focus in life. She feels dejected and is vulnerable. What Aanand [L Rai, director] sir is trying to say is that as human beings, at the core level, most people feel incomplete. That's why he sets up Babita as an obnoxious and insecure person.
How tough was it to portray a character that is so far removed from the real you?
Playing her took a toll on me. I would always look for respite from the character. Every time there was a break in the schedule [by picking up something light and frothy], getting back to the character was tough. It was in a dark space. Aanand sir had given me clarity on my role, without which, I would have been misguided and lost easily. He would sit with me for days and weeks before the shoot and try to understand me as a person. Babita is exactly the opposite of everything I am as a person. If Katrina Kaif will avoid someone at a party, Babita Kumari would go right up to the person and say something obnoxious. She wouldn't ask for the audience's sympathy.
Have you faced a situation where you are fighting against something internally?
Yes. I often find myself battling against things I can't control. I try to deal with it by accepting the situation and making peace with it. Earlier, I would run away from it because it scared me. If I felt insecure or lonely or terrified I would force myself to feel happy. Now, I accept and acknowledge the situation as it exists. Sometimes I tackle it and at times it dissipates on its own.
Is there a tendency for actors to feel unwarranted depression?
I think being an actor can sometimes force you into places that can mess with your psyche. You are manipulating your emotions for the benefit of cinema or art, so it's not the easiest or emotionally most stable and secure life. It takes a certain kind of mindset to want to be in this field. It is important to have your family and friends around as they keep you grounded and help you to switch off.
Your next release is Ali Abbas Zafar's Bharat with Salman Khan.
That's a challenging role but different from Zero. Bharat is a lot of work as an actor, which is interesting as I am learning a lot. The character is well-written and I love it. I have been working continuously, which is wonderful, but it's consuming.
Do you find any difference between Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman's working styles from then to now?
It's been quite a few years since we all know each other; we now have a deeper equation. While our working styles have changed, when they say action, everything else fades away. They are only looking at what you are bringing to the character. Off camera, it is lovely to spend time together with all of them. They are fascinating people, at the top of their game and there's so much to learn from them.
Any plans of marriage in the recent future?
I may want to get married, but there should be someone whom I can marry. It's not in my hands, and now I have stopped planning. I had made plans to get married [to Ranbir Kapoor] once, but it didn't happen. So now, when I get married it will be unplanned.
Your perspectives on love and relationships have changed…
True. While my belief in love remains the same, my expectations and the pressure I put on it has changed. I have achieved a greater understanding with experience. Today, I am aware that only I am responsible for my happiness. Somebody else cannot always make me feel good. Even if I am charting rough territories in my relationship, I cannot let that pain consume my whole life. Then I end up losing myself and start hating him for doing this to me. Having that little distance from my own emotion is the biggest change in me.
Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone
The olive branch
It seems the cold vibes between Deepika Padukone and Katrina fizzled out when Ranveer Singh invited her for the Mumbai reception. Kaif said, she attended the function more as an emotional reaction. "If somebody reaches out to me I will also meet him or her half-way. I was invited to the reception by them and I reacted instinctively by going. It was an emotional reaction and there was no other thought behind it. It was a special night; love was in the air as we ate, danced and celebrated till the wee hours."
Priyanka Chopra and Alia Bhatt
Equation with Alia Bhatt and Priyanka Chopra
Kat says that maturity has prevailed and her outlook to life has changed. "Today, it is not about what that person has done to me or made me feel or vice versa. I have become more accepting. We are all colleagues leading our own lives. I am very fond of Priyanka, who I recently had a great time with. We have all known each other for a long time and today, certain things don't matter. We may have had a conflicted and angst-ridden relationship, but it's still a relationship of some sort. We are mature enough to move beyond the hurt and accept each other just as we are without limiting our relationship with past baggage."
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