Dressed in a black T-shirt and pants Kareena Kapoor Khan greets us with a big smile as we sit in her hubby Saif's Illuminati Films' office in Bandra. She seems to look a bit tired after giving countless interviews since afternoon for her upcoming film. But there is something alluring about her personality that instantly draws you towards her.
We settle for a quick chat with Bebo where she talks about what attracted her to 'Ki & Ka', how it touched her on a personal note, why she believes Saif won't ever be a house-husband, the ongoing Hrithik-Kangana controversy and many other things.
Excerpts from the conversation-
Q. What attracted you to 'Ki & Ka'?
A. It was the entire concept of Balki and the fact that it's slightly different. Everybody makes statements that it is a different film but I genuinely feel that 'Ki & Ka' is a different film because the fact that it does happen in India where there are stay at home husbands but nobody addresses the issue. There are talks about it in hush tones. But this is a film which Balki had a kind of courage to make it slightly quirky, different and out-of-the-box.
Q. Do you think that you did complete justice to your role since it's a bit tough one to pull off?
A. Of course. I think we both (she and Arjun) have given a lot and followed the director's vision. Ultimately film-making is a director's medium. It's the vision of the director that actually comes out on the screen. It's what's in his mind. I believe that I am a director's actress and I get guided by them. I am completely driven by them. Balki is an amazing director.
Q. Have you taken inspiration from someone for your role of Kia?
A. No. Balki was quite clear about the character and I just followed his directions.
Q. How do you connect with your role on a personal level?
A. The fact that we both are married and working. We are quite similar on that note. But the difference is that she kind of experimented with this marriage and this guy who has no ambition and wants to be like his mother. We normally meet men who say they want to be like their father. Nobody says that they want to be like their mom. So that's slightly different and quite a new take which I think that people will like.
Q. What was the most quirkiest thing about the film?
A. I think the way Balki shot this film and the way he wrote the characters. Not many women might have the courage to marry this guy who says I don't have any ambition and I don't want to work. I think that's the quirkiest part of Kia.
Q. What was that moment when you felt the most empowered, both as Kareena and Kia?
A. The fact that I chose this role is quite different and brave because not many people would want to do a role which is slightly off beat. But I thought that it was very interesting. Most people think that after marriage your career won't be great. But I think that has been broken. You can be married, you can be successful and working. At the same time you can enjoy being married. Our Indian film industry is not just all about 18 year old girls running around. There are roles for us as well.
Q. One unique thing that you noticed about R. Balki as compared to other directors
A. Balki himself is very funny and quirky. He doesn't think like a regular film-maker. He doesn't understand these glossy movies. He makes his characters very real. Every time we wanted to wear something like a Gucci or Prada he would be like, 'Listen you can't wear this please.' He used to tell Manish (Malhotra) that only Zara and Mango, she's a girl from Delhi who works in an ad agency. She can't be shopping at Prada and I was like yaa. (laughs). When you see the film you will know that okay fine.. that this is the normal clothes that she is wearing. People who work in an ad agency pick up clothes that are available and affordable today and that's what I felt proud about, the fact that I am wearing a very high street kind of office going wear. But it looks good. So actresses can also be normal and be in the character.
Q. Anything from the film that touched you on a personal note?
A. Not many people would have the courage to pick up this role like Arjun (Kapoor) where he needs to wear high heels, put on an apron and work in the kitchen at this stage of his career. But he has loved it. Everybody just wants to show off their six -packs, biceps and triceps and that's their sign of masculinity and being really cool and everybody praising it. But the fact that Arjun decided to do something so different is what I really took from the film.
Q. Do you think that would give confidence to the newcomers coming in the industry to pick up such roles?
A. Yes of course. The fact that we have done this film and he has agreed to do his part, should inspire a lot of girls and boys.
Q. How was it sharing screen space with Arjun Kapoor?
A. Arjun used to keep teasing me or messaging me some random dialogues from my movies which even I don't remember now. (laughs). But he was quite entertaining. Arjun is a very dear friend of mine and we have been friends even before he became an actor. So that really helped us in getting along. I am also personally very fond of him.
Q. What's next after 'Ki & Ka'?
A. I don't know what I am doing next and that's the most amazing thing. Because it's not important to be like 'Okay I am doing five films' because I am not at that stage where I want to do five films. I really don't. I want to have time for me, my families and a lot of other things. But either something is wrong with me or I don't know what because in the last six months I haven't liked anything. Every single script that I have heard has been terrible.
Q. You had said that you would love to do a film with Ranbir (Kapoor). So have you come across anything or been approached to do a film with him?
A. No, I haven't come across any good brother-sister script nor been offered anything. But I would love to work with him because I never got a chance to work with my sister. (Karisma Kapur)
Q. Any chances of Karisma making a comeback in films?
A. No.. not now. I know that she is amazing. But she has no plans as of now.
Q. Kareena, if Saif Ali Khan becomes a house-husband what things would you like him to do for you?
A. He thinks that he is a good cook but he is not. He has worked for 25 years so now I don't think that he would be a stay at home husband. However I would like him to learn how to cook.
Q. Are you a good cook?
A. Yaa.. I cook but I haven't gone into the kitchen for the last six years. But I can cook well. My mom always says if you make a good dal then you are a good cook. And I can make excellent dal. I am a very simple eater. I love dal and karela ka sabzi.
Q. Saif is doing the Bollywood adaptation of 'Chef'. Do you think that he can learn cooking for the film?
A. He will say that he knows how to cook. He can cook spaghetti but I don't think that he can cook something like rice or the typical Indian cuisine. (laughs)
Q. Alia Bhatt has always said that she is a big fan of yours. In fact one of her songs in 'Kapoor & Sons' also makes a reference about you. So what do you have to say about that?
A. I don't think that anybody can be me. (smiles). She is doing so well. I love her the way she is.
Q. Lastly a lot has been happening over the Hrithik-Kangana controversy...
A. Everyone has been asking me this. I think it is very sad. This is a personal matter and I shouldn't comment on it. In fact, I think no one should comment on it. Like Kangana said, she needs space right now. Then I think we should give her that.