Katrina Kaif seems to have a spring in her steps these days. Busy promoting her upcoming horror comedy ‘Phone Bhoot’ with co-stars Ishaan Khatter and Siddhant Chaturvedi, she exudes a relaxed vibe, evident in her body language while interacting with the media. Nineteen years after making her debut in ‘Boom’, the British-born actress, who married actor Vicky Kaushal last year, admits she is in a new phase of life now. Her Bollywood journey has been peppered with hugely successful movies such as ‘Welcome’, ‘Singh is Kinng’, ‘Raajneeti’, ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’, ‘Ek Tha Tiger’, ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ and ‘Sooryavanshi’ among others. But now, she is in search of newer experiences to satisfy her creative hunger. In an exclusive conversation, Zee Zest caught up with Kaif to chat more about her upcoming projects.
1. You have a horror-comedy coming up with Phone Bhoot. Do you believe in ghosts or supernatural elements?
I definitely believe there are other dimensions — that’s something undeniable. I do believe you attract what you give out. I am a very susceptible watcher. If I watch something scary at night, I’ll have bad dreams. So, I have to always watch nice, fun, light films because I am easily impacted. I’m better now but I used to have a tough time sleeping alone. I went through phases where I would keep the TV on at home. So, ‘Phone Bhoot’ suited me well because it’s a horror comedy space. It takes all the cliché things and makes a joke out of it and that’s the kind of humour I like.
2. You have completed 19 years in Bollywood in 2022 and worked in some of the biggest banners. Are there times when you ask yourself, ‘what next’?
I think all of us wake up and think, ‘what next’. I know that has always been the case with me. I am a very inquisitive person. I am someone who is constantly searching and looking for new experiences and newer ways to present myself. At this time and phase in my life, I haven’t yet got the answer. I ask myself what is true for me now and what resonates with me. I know there have been changes in my life. I am not the person I was, say five years ago. I feel there has been a new shift. I’ve just gotten married; that’s a new phase of my life. What I have always tried to do in my career is be honest with myself. It didn’t matter what was the right thing to do — if I wanted to be in a certain type of cinema or a certain genre if it felt right to me and gave me happiness, I went for those types of films.
Now it’s a bit of a search. I am trying to see what it is that would give me the satisfaction that I consider myself privileged to have gotten in all these films. To complete a film and to feel that you gave it everything you had is a priceless feeling. I think that’s the feeling I am searching for now.
3. The OTT space has created some great roles for women these days. Are you open to exploring it?
I feel women have been taking up the baton right from the days of Rekhaji to Srideviji and all those who have followed. Women hold that power and that place in cinema. When it comes to OTT content or any kind of delivery method for films, that’s never been a barrier for me. There are many things that I want to do. I want to play a superhero — something like an ‘X-Men’ kind of space. I would love to do an action film, something on the lines of an Atomic Blonde, that has an emotional connection to it. There are many dreams I have when it comes to roles and if that gets offered to me on an OTT platform, I see no barrier to taking it up.
4. Tell us about your roster of films in the pipeline, including Sriram Raghavan’s Merry Christmas and Tiger 3.
We are still shooting for Merry Christmas. I will resume its shoot once Phone Bhoot is out. That’s an amazing film. Sriram is one of our most revered directors, especially in the noir thriller genre. Working with Vijay Sethupathi, who is such a phenomenal talent, is as amazing. The release date for Tiger 3 has been announced as Diwali 2023. That’s a film I am extremely excited about. It has a phenomenal role for me. That’s one thing with the Tiger series. Zoya (her character in the franchise) has always been given challenging situations. The sequences in the film are going to be a delight to watch.
5. Farhan Akhtar’s film Jee Le Zaraa starring you, Alia Bhatt and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, was announced with much fanfare. When is it releasing?
There are many different changes and phases in a woman’s life and the film has been moved for different reasons at different times. I do believe and I think we all share the knowledge that we will make this film. It’s a matter of getting everyone’s time together. As of right now, the film is scheduled for the end of next year.
6. How has marriage changed you?
I think the part about talking about myself — that’s more just the Cancerian trait of not talking about yourself all the time. But has there been a change post-marriage? Definitely yes. There is a lot of calmness and stability that has come into my life with being married to Vicky. He is the perfect counterbalance to the person I am and the person I can be. I can be very hyper, overthink and panic a lot about small things. He is the exact opposite of all that. He is very calm; he does not overthink and he does not take the stress. I think that’s a nice balance to have. He has that ability to calm me down and he also has the ability to let me be.
7. Does Box Office success and failure still affect you?
Every actor gets affected by success and failure. Some actors get affected for a longer period — that’s down to your personality and your emotions. But you will always be affected by success and failure in your heart. You will always feel elated when a film works and connects because it means the audience has connected with you and that’s a wonderful feeling. If a film does not work, it will hurt because it means they did not connect, and you will ask yourself where your translation or performance of the character went wrong.