Katrina Kaif
Upala KBR (DNA; May 8, 2017)

People often fail to see beyond Katrina Kaif’s reserved façade and treat her inability to express her emotions as being unemotional. She’s far from it. With her guard down, the actress is warm, funny with an appealing sense of humour. She’s visibly in a happier place as we catch up for a quick chat on her upcoming films, her family and her current state of mind…

When the trailer of Jagga Jasoos finally came out, what was your state of mind?
I don’t think I was in town. Also, it’s a teaser, not a trailer, like a first look at the world of JJ. All my friends who saw the teaser were intrigued by it and found it interesting and wanted to know more about this world. And that’s what Anurag Basu was trying to do with the teaser. The film releases on July 14. The shooting has ended.

There is much speculation about whether you and Ranbir will promote the film together. Are you anxious about it?
What is there to get anxious about the promotion of the film? It is too early for us to know what the plan is. Whatever it is, the producers come up with it and I will support the film right to the end. I always have been supportive of all my films.

Why did the film take so long to be made?
I think that Dada (Basu) is an eccentric genius, but a genius nevertheless. He has got a mind which has so many things going on inside of it that when he tries to vocalise to the person in front of him, most of the time they won’t understand. He’s got a large, complicated picture in his head and is only able to express a certain part of it. That’s what I feel is under process. When it comes together, nobody can predict the outcome and it’s not in our hands and not our job to, either. What is our job, is to try to make people who watch the film say that they understood why the process took that much time. The final outcome — good or bad — or if people will like the film or not, is something none of us can predict. At least, we know that Dada’s attempt was to create a new, unexplored world, in a different language (through music). Even the way the story progresses and the characters interact with each other is extremely innovative and that’s why putting it all together has taken a certain amount of time.

Do you play a journalist in the film?
Yes, I do, but I can’t elaborate about my character.

Have you modelled it on any real-life journalist?
Yes. You! (We burst out laughing). This is Anurag Basu’s journalist and one we will not know. And honestly, the journalist part of the character is just a part of it and not the overall character, overriding everything.

Coming to your next film Tiger Zinda Hai, the first picture of Salman and you trended for two days. Did you expect this reaction?
Tiger Zinda Hai (TZH) is coming from a great space — there was Kabir’s Ek Tha Tiger, a film that was really loved and which had Salman, me and all the goodwill that Kabir brought to it. Then came all the goodwill that Salman and Ali brought from Sultan, which was such a loved film. Salman himself has the amazing knack of doing incredible films, so for me all that goodwill combined made TZH very big. Ali and I have such a great rapport after Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. We always had that equation and people who know you in that proximity can bring out the best in you. So, it’s a very happy and exciting place to be in. There’s a very happy space and energy on the sets.

Please continue…
Ali is one of my closest friends and I have known Salman since I have entered the film industry. These are two people who know me and have trust in me, especially in the work capacity. I know they are there to make sure that the best happens to the film. Salman has the added advantage of knowing me well as a person, while Ali is one of my dearest friends, so that’s the best possible place possible anyone can work in. And that’s exactly what I feel when I am on the sets of TZH — I know that I’m in really good hands and I have people like them to help me every step of the way.

You are also doing lots of action in TZH?
Yes. The main action sequences are going to start in June and I shall start training for that soon, which is going to be challenging, but I love doing action, dancing and the physical aspect of that. They have a great action team on board and I think Ali is really clear what he wants to achieve.

What’s your current state of mind — personally and professionally?
Professionally, I am very happy and at peace with the routine and the way I am approaching work right now — which is that I am ready to focus a lot more on the process and less on the result and not worry or try to see the outcome of things. I want to be a part of the creative process rather than worry about the results. I want to try and do things that challenge me. I have been acting for a certain amount of time. For any person to have longevity in their career, you need to keep reinventing yourself and add different dimensions to your work. You can’t chase it, but you have to be open to it with the right attitude and the right approach towards your work. Personally, I am exactly in the space which is I am completely focused on my films and the work that I am doing. If there are times when your mind wanders, you just have to let it drift and focus on your work again.

You are looking happier in the last one year and going with the flow…
(Laughs) I am happier today. Everyone has to go through times where they have to learn and unlearn some things. This is what every human being does, not just actors. Everyone goes through a process of self-discovery to understand and correct oneself. One has to evolve, become better to cope with life and to live life in a correct way. One has to embrace life in a way that you feel happiness, joy and love, and are not constantly consumed by worry or stress or are moping in a corner all by yourself. I have also realised that being happy is a choice, and it’s something you have to move towards. You don’t just wake up one day and say, ‘Okay only when I have X, Y and Z, will I be really happy’. It’s not. You have to find your happiness in the situation and also have a little bit of belief in life that things will get better soon. Being happy is an attitude you have to have — it’s not about being dependent on anything or anyone. I have not discovered anything ground-breaking, but the basic rules of living, which every human being must learn at some point. I just put my head down and focus on my work because that is my job. Every person has to have a job, have a goal and motivation in life. It’s crucial for all human beings.