In a candid chat with Times Of India, Katrina Kaif talks about her Bollywood career, Salman Khan and future projects:
You ended 2007 on a high note with big hits this year.
Oh, yes, I had Namaste London, Apne, Partner. And all the films did well. It's been an extremely fulfilling year professionally for me. My career is moving towards the right direction. I have taken the leap in the right direction and hopefully next year will be even better. But trust me my best is yet to come.
What was your first impression when you worked with Salman Khan for the first time?
When I did my first film with Salman, it was like "Oh my god!" I'm going to do a film with Salman Khan. I had virtually butterflies in my stomach.
And what about your personal front? Your love life?
(Raising her eyebrow) Come on, don't start it all over again. I'm not answering this.
But you are known as Salman Khan's girlfriend?
Oh really? That's weird, no one has ever told me that.
Okay, got the message loud and clear. How has your family reacted to your new-found stardom in Bollywood?
My family is a little disconnected with the film industry. They have no proper knowledge about Bollywood. Whatever little they know about Bollywood is through me. But I'm glad that I have been able to give them financial security. It gives me immense pleasure to see my family financially secure because of me. It's a different high and satisfaction. I can't even explain it in words.
You started off with movies like Boom and now you have films with big stars like Salman, Akshay and Saif. How does it feel?
It's a wonderful feeling. Everyone wants to be on the top, but hailing from a non-filmi background the success is sweeter. I just wanted to prove it to myself.
Were you upset when critics called you just another pretty young thing who can't act?
It was harsh. They should have understood where I came from. I had no formal training and I was very raw when I came in. I'm learning and improving with each day and I still have miles to go.
You seem to become an expert in comedies these days?
You are right. Actually, I did quite a lot this year and also learnt a lot. Comedy is difficult, but once you get a grasp of it, you have a blast.
Welcome is also a comedy...
I would call it a commercial entertainer. It's not mindless and slapstick comedy, it's witty. What makes it special is the unusual cast. Feroz Khan, Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar and Akshay Kumar coming together. That makes it irreplaceable and special. I had a blast shooting with them. Nana is great, so is Anil and Feroz Khan saab is coming back after a long time and all the combination makes it so interesting.
And your chemistry with Akshay Kumar?
I think we look good on screen. I love working with Akshay. He is a non-judgmental kind of a person. You don't feel shy while working with him. He makes me very comfortable.
What's for 2008?
Plenty, my diary is full. There's Abbas Mustan's Race, Subhash Ghai's Yuvraj, Yash Raj's film, Vipul Shah's Singh is Kinng. Phew! I'm already tired (smiles).
Any New Year resolutions?
Just to go ahead, I don't want to get stagnant. Keep walking.