Katrina Kaif drops the latest details on her highly anticipated romantic comedy, “Mere Brother Ki Dulhan!” Find out how it was to work on the film and how she got the role. She also gives us the scoop on the soundtrack, dance sequences, her co-stars and more! Even some Cricket lessons from actor Ali Zafar??
Let us start from the beginning. When you were first approached with this profile, what was your initial reaction?
Katrina: Well when I first heard the script I thought it was something very different, something very new. I was shooting for ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ in Spain at the time and I downloaded it from my email and I read it and I felt that it was something which had not been done before, something which had not been seen before and I mean at the end of the day that’s the kind of way I have always tried to choose my films. I don’t have any great detail or logic or exact point that I look for in a film. It’s just if I get a good sense from it and I feel that there is something interesting that we may be able to do with it then I just kind of go for it.
You were being paired opposite Imran Khan for the first time. What was your impression before you met him and what was your impression after you actually met him?
Katrina: Well me and Imran were offered films before which for some reason or another they would just not work out. There would be something-something on a script level or something on dates- or it just wouldn’t work and I think that’s always been the way. It’s always been like that for me where things have always seemed to fall into place at the right time when they were meant to be and I think we just both instantly liked it. I remember that I had said I liked the film and then they went and they spoke to Imran and the director told me that yeah, you know, he’s loved the film and it just happened very quickly. Everything just fell into place and we probably started shooting the film three months after saying yes to the script. So that was a really quick turnaround process and I think me and Imran both come from very different worlds…different kind of school of films almost I would say. I think initially there was some awkwardness but in the end I think it’s really worked out in a very great way. I think we slowly got to really appreciate what the other person brings
You’ve known director Ali for a while. He was the first AD on New York, your first film with YRF. Tell us a little about yours and Ali’s relationship.
Katrina: The director Ali was the first AD on New York, which was the first film that I did with Yash Raj and that was an amazing experience I think for all of us-it was something which we really remembered and everyone really, really had a great time on that film and the whole experience was just super positive and obviously I knew he was writing a script but I mean work is work and that’s very separate-I mean I really take my decisions very independently even if u know the person or don’t know the person. So I read the script with a very open mind and I instantly thought that this as I said was something that I just wanted to do. I don’t know the exact reasons but it was just an instinct I had that it would be good. I think that it has helped us in a certain way that everyone on the film is young – no one is conscious of each other and I think that enabled us to be very free, at least me in terms of the performance or what I tried to do with the character. You know I think there’s a lot of (probably) a certain personality or a certain side to me that most people wouldn’t normally see or have not seen before. I think that is something which could be good-I mean we have to wait and see for the result but it’s something which I am also curious to know, whether that kind of being really free and that kind of being really not at all conscious, whether people will notice something different in the film.
Could you describe your character and her style in the film?
Katrina: I play a character called Dimple in the film and she has two looks in the film. One is when she is in college which is more like the whole rockstar, grunge vibe, very unkempt hair, lot of kaajal on her eyes, just jeans and ganjees and doesn’t really care about the clothes that she wears, boots and that was a lot of fun. Rocky S and me kind of worked together on that to come up with that. The second look is how she is in the film which is about 4-5 years later and completely normal. I mean the kind of clothes you would go and buy from Linking Road, jeans, t-shirts, completely casual, not giving too much thought or not over-styled. I mean, the main thing was to try and keep her real. She’s not supposed to be an unattainable or overtly-glamorous girl. She’s a normal girl who is just you know kind of really adventurous and passionate about things and a little bit whacky and we didn’t want the styling at any point to overpower anything, except as I said for the college portion we wanted to keep it different but for the majority of the film we wanted it to be about her personality and not about the clothes or the styling. So I think it’s worked really well. In terms of the character, I think you have to see the film and decide. It is something different and you know with everything risky that you do with everything different that you do it’s always a risk and you have to wait and see what the audience verdict is at the end.
How did you prepare yourself for the character in the film?
Katrina: There wasn’t much character preparation to do. I mean the same for Zindagi-a lot of people have asked that question. Obviously as my last release-and in that film it was different, there was diving and stuff, but besides that the character it’s just finding your interpretation of it and its just kind of getting onto the set and finding who is this girl and who do you want her to be. It’s not like you are having to train for something, read books or do some research. It’s a really fun, romantic comedy so it’s not about that. It’s more getting onto the set and everyone working together and trying to bring whatever they can to the scene.
There were lots of road scenes and places where you were in a car or a scooter in the middle of Delhi and in the middle of Chandigarh, with the crowds following you all around, how was that experience?
Katrina: I mean obviously if you are going to shoot in public places there are always going to be people there so you have to really keep your concentration and not allow it to distract you because you’ll be doing a really important scene or a scene which requires you to concentrate and you have people on either side of the street which are not visible to the camera or in the frame and they’ll be shouting and screaming. But in the end it was really fun and a nice experience to see all of that.
Let us talk about Ali Zafar, who plays the character called Luv.
Katrina: Ali Zafar was somebody who I think none of us really had met before the film and he of course plays Imran’s brother in the film – when he came onto the sets I thought he instantly added a really fresh and new dimension into the whole dynamics of everything. He instantly got the tone of the film. He is a really, really good performer, I think he is great at comedy and he just kind of brought a really fun vibe onto the whole shoot of the film and obviously he is also a musician so in between the shots-we were shooting mainly outdoors in big spaces so we had a lot of space a lot of time and he played his songs for the whole unit, you know playing on the guitar which was nice. It was just kind of a big bunch of group of friends kind of all hanging together on and off the sets.
Ali Zafar claims to have given you some guitar lessons which later translated onto your screen image.
Katrina: (Laughs) well I don’t think he should be taking any credit for my guitar playing skills or lack of them in the film coz I don’t think they are very impressive. But, yeah…he did try to teach me some guitar and I did try to learn but I think it was a little futile, we didn’t get past more than 3 chords so I don’t know if he is the best teacher or I am just a bad student but it didn’t work out too well.
He also seems to take credit for your cricketing skills…
Katrina: Yeah we played a lot of cricket in the film. That is something which I really enjoyed and actually kept me fit and gave us a form of exercise in between the shots. Imran would be patient enough but his kind of tolerance level was about 15 minutes and then he was like ‘I am done playing cricket with you, I am not throwing the ball for you anymore.’ So he would kind of wander off and Ali is extremely passionate about cricket. But the sad thing is he is under the misconception that he is a great cricket player. In fact I think I am probably as good as him; but he is under the impression that he is teaching us all cricket because he really feels he is supreme in the game when he is quite ordinary. I have tried to explain that to him but I don’t think he really gets it. (Laughs) The whole unit would sometimes create two teams and play. Of course I have my own special rules – when I play cricket which everyone kindly lets me follow.
Let us go back to the song Dhunki, now Dhunki was an experience for the entire cast and crew out together. You all were shooting in the mad heat of the northern plains in Agra…
Katrina: Yeah we shot the song Dhunki in Agra and I think that was probably the most trying part of the film. One of the most difficult parts of the shoot. It was way too hot to be shooting outside, uncontrollable crowds, so there are people everywhere. So you know you are anyways hot and you are bothered and the media was constantly filming everything from a very close distance. It was probably the most difficult shoot I have been on. When you are on a set you don’t want to know that everything that you are doing is going to be shown on the television in the night but we couldn’t stop it. And I think everyone just really had to work hard and come together and say, ‘Okay chalo…it’s a 4 day shoot…it’s going to be really difficult but let’s try and see what we get out of this.’ I think we managed to pull it off together and it was like an ordeal at the end of it and everyone was really happy and just glad for it to be over, I think. But we worked really hard on it and everyone pulled together as a team. In the end there have been so many crowds around who actually helped us.
People have called it a brave attempt from your end to actually go through those crowds…there were some 10,000 people lined up all across the ground.
Katrina: I have never been afraid of crowds. I have never been afraid of people. I guess this is because I have always shot from the beginning of my career in public places and at the end of the day the people are there just to see you, they are not there to hurt you or to bother you. They are just there and they support you and I think you have to respect that and appreciate it. Sometimes, it is a little bit in your space when you are trying to work and it is difficult but it is ok and I am very used to it and I can learn to just kind of block it out.
Let’s move on to one of the tougher songs to perform, Madhubala.
Katrina: Madhubala again…we had a really, really, I mean we had the roughest time of any film I have ever done on this song because we were shooting in the wrong temperatures, at the wrong time and it was way too hot and it was the most trying shoot for me, for sure. And in this song where everyone is supposed to be a bit high on bhang and it is at a roadside dhaba and Ali and Imran have a lot of dancing to do…I don’t have that much dancing to do and I was finding it extremely funny because they both love dancing. Well, obviously it’s a joke (smiles). Imran doesn’t really love dancing and Ali, he has never danced before and it was a million degrees and it was an extremely funny situation where everyone…again it wasn’t about dancing so much as it was about everyone having fun and there are some of the funniest shots that I have seen in that song, some of the funniest sequences in that song. I think it’s just a matter of now whether people kind of enjoy that whole space and not take it too seriously and I think it’s a completely whacky song.
Now we talk about some specific events that happened on the sets. There was a very critical scene in the film where Imran confronts you and you are supposed to slap him at a certain point. Imran was saying that you slapped him at least 20 times!
Katrina: Yeah…there was a scene in the film where it’s kind of the confrontation in the film where Imran confronts my character about something. I wasn’t feeling we were getting the tone of the scene right and I felt that it was just not coming up and I was getting very frustrated and at one point I have to slap Imran. It was quite a long take and I think we did about 15 takes and because of the close proximity where he is standing and the camera, you can’t really cheat a slap so Imran was like, ‘Just slap me for real or look real and it will have more impact..’ so I said, ‘Okay fine..’. Well I don’t think he anticipated that we were going to shoot that particular bit like 16 times so he got like an awful lot of slaps from me and they were pretty hard. By the end of it he was like, ‘I can’t take any more slaps’ but we got it really well in the end and I think we were happy with it.
On a separate occasion, there’s a scene where you hold a gun…
Katrina: There’s a scene in the film which you can see actually in the promo where I am holding a gun to Imran and I am having an argument with him and I kind of have those long rifles that the watchmen usually have and I am holding it on his neck and he is supposed to kind of push me away. But somehow some mis-coordination happens and that gun ended up whacking me in the face pretty hard. So obviously all the staff on the film was saying, ‘Aah last time this happened that film was a hit, so yay! It’s good luck!’ and I’m sitting there with like a huge bump on my face in agony saying, ‘Yeah it may be good luck but it really could be avoided’ and (smiles) Imran of course completely blamed me and said it was all my fault and that I’m clumsy and I’m uncoordinated and that I pushed the gun into my own face and I am like, ‘why would I do that’ so I think the bottom line is that it is Imran’s fault and I think he is responsible for me getting that bruise on my face…whether he likes it or not (mock-seriousness).
According to your memory, do you remember any difficult sequences which you had where you really had to push yourself?
Katrina: I think the other sequence which was a little difficult was the scene where I did the dialogue from Sholay and it was the first day of shoot with Ali Zafar and I think my second or third day of shoot with Imran so none of us really knew each other very well and Ali and Imran are sitting down in the car-they are in the driver’s seat and I am standing on the bonnet, wearing a short dress and I am supposed to be kind of very high and saying Dharamji’s dialogue from Sholay where I am referring to Ali Zafar as Basanti and Imran as the, you know, ‘bad mausi’ who is coming in between …so it’s very funny and that’s what I liked about the character – it’s the girls giving it back to the boys. But anyways it was a little awkward since none of us knew each other and I’m standing up on the car and they are looking up at me and I’m screaming and shouting at the top of my voice and it was late at night but I think that in a way it broke the ice and everyone after that was like ‘okay you are kind of crazy’ (laughs) but I think that’s when we kind of got the tone of the character-that was like the third or fourth day on the shoot and it was a lot of fun.
Why should someone go and watch the movie?
Katrina: I never have a reason why someone should go and watch a film. As I said, you take a film, you put in as much love, as much hard work as you can, you give it everything and then you put it out for the audience to see and judge. And then you just have to hope and pray that they do -that’s the way it works.
Be sure to catch this flick coming to a theater new your very soon!!