Kareena on her career
"Sanjay Bhansali is a confused director. He doesn't have any morals."
Her surname precedes her and so does her reputation. Kareena Kapoor has walked into the industry escorted by a famous heritage and a temperament to match. She defies older sister Karisma's cool-n-composed approach and is eager to establish her own. "I hate being called a star, I'd rather be an actress," she declares flamboyantly. "I am here to work with the best. Second best simply won't do." Brave words from a newcomer, but Kareena just might have the mettle to match her mouth.
Comparisons are bound to be made between you and your elder sister Karisma, are you prepared for that?
When people see me on screen they will realise that I'm totally unlike Karisma. We are poles apart as actresses. Even as individuals, we are totally different. My sister has struggled a lot; she's made it to the top entirely on her own. Her career path has been very strenuous. As for me, I look up to actresses like Nargisji and Meena Kumari and hope to bring back those times. And I feel there is no other heroine like that today.
You recently said in an interview that you don't want to work with directors like David Dhawan.
My sister might have made her career with him, but I don't want to. I'll dare to be different. At least for the next four years, I don't see myself working with a David Dhawan. I'm not keen on that kind of cinema. I don't mean to say that I'm not going to do the regular stuff. I realise that I will have to sing and dance but that genre of filmmaking is not high on my priority. Kajol was such a good actress, people even wrote roles for her. If doing good work means doing less work, then I'll probably do less work. I only want to work with good makers.
Do you regret not doing Kaho Naa Pyar Hai?
The film is such a huge success so I would have definitely become a star. But I don't know if I want to be labeled as just a star. There is a new star every Friday. I'd rather be known as an actress, and that would have not been possible if I had done Kaho Naa Pyar Hai. After Refugee, I'll be known as an actress.
The film was made for Hrithik. His dad spent five hours on every frame and close-up of his, whereas not even five seconds were spent on Amisha. There are portions in the film where she has pimples and under-eye bags on her face. She just doesn't look beautiful, but every shot of his was a dream. If I were in the film, I would have definitely got a better deal, but I still feel that the attention would have divided between us. So, I'm glad I didn't do the film. I'm glad that even after I left the movie there is no problem between Hrithik and me. He's still a friend, I'm very happy for his success and we are even working in two films together.
I believe you are very upset with Sanjay Leela Bhansali for not taking you in Devdas after auditioning you and making you go through a special photo-session as Paro. Is it true that he had as good as committed the role to you before signing Aishwarya Rai?
Sanjay Bhansali is a confused director. He is a person who does not stand by his word. He doesn't have any morals and principles in life. Tomorrow, even if he is the next Raj Kapoor or Guru Dutt, and my films don't do well and if I'm a flop actress, I will still not ever work with him. I don't react this way just because I'm not doing his movie, but because he has no ethics. Firstly, his movie never inspired me, because I'm not cut out to play Paro from any angle. I'm too young to play that role. Even earlier, for Khamoshi, he had pressurised me to do that film. Then he ran behind me for seven months to do Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. He sent Salman to my sister, to ask me to do his film. I was just not interested, for me he was a nobody. Also, I wasn't interested in films then. Even for Devdas, he was the one who insisted that I was the ideal actress for his film. Sanjay had signed me for the film, after which I did the photo-shoot for him. And then he tells me that he is taking someone else. But I believe that every devil gets his due. I was upset initially, but the day after I was told I'm not in Sanjay's film, both Karan Johar and Subhash Ghai called me to do their films. And Sanjay is not a patch on both these filmmakers.
You've said somewhere that you have a major crush on Shah Rukh Khan.
I'm totally in love with him. Don't even ask me about him because if I start I won't stop talking about him for hours. Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh are the only two actors I admire. There is something about Shah Rukh that is amazing. He has that very boy next door appeal which makes every girl want to take him home to her parents. His performances touch me.
What about the other two Khans?
I'm not at all a Salman fan. I don't like him; he's a very bad actor. I tell him that he hams all the time. Aamir's good, I really liked him in Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke and QSQT, but out of the Khans, I'm a total Shah Rukh fan.