Interview By: HASTI DOSHI
Katkina Kaif – just the name is enough to personify beauty. Over the years, she has created a niche for herself, through her talent and hard work. Breaking the bars is what she believes and also works towards it. In her recent film ‘Jagga Jasoos’ we can see her doing something different. Her role seems to have a rare feel altogether which is usually seen in Anurag Basu’s film. We had brief conversation regarding her film and choices, which also led to know her more as a person. Excerpts-
Many films get delayed which then don’t work at Box Office, even ‘JaggaJasoos’ took long, so how relevant do you think it is in 2017?
No, I disbelieve that. As an actor who knows the process of being on set and making of film, I don’t think there is any relevance to any product of the film how long it takes to be made. There are many films like ‘Avataar’ took 10 years to be made, not that we made it (giggles) but, I mean to say every film has its own journey, and its own process, what’s important is the vision of the film and what you are trying to do with the film. There have been times when people make films because they have actor’s dates or have a contract signed and they have story and they put it together which is also fine. But there are some story which has passion and are passion projects, which has story and vision and kind of vision AnuragBasu has for ‘JaggaJasoos’ is that big, complex, new and unusual. Yeah it might have took 2 years to be made but it was always going to be a process which was a little lengthy and it has lots of trials and error and lots of things go behind the constructing the whole narrative of the film because, it’s all musical. So you have all songs that flow into scenes which are also songs but, it has to have a break as you shouldn’t feel you are watching one long song. So the musical element of background score and musical element of traditional song like ‘Galti se Mistake’ and then there are musical elements of scenes also. So when I have something to say to Ranbir or when he has something to say to me, it’s done through the lyrics. So to put all these things into a story it is time consuming project. Pritam da is a genius and as well as dada is, but they have their time because there are people who don’t work according to schedules and they work odd hours and have creative process which you can’t control and that’s the reason why it has taken a little time for this film.
‘JaggaJasoos’ is a musical which is tried for the first time in Hindi cinema, are you skeptical or nervous about the fact that how will people react to it and will they accept the musical crux of the film?
I think that every film has a risk of its own. You can have most tried and tested formula like action adventure film that cannot work, that’s the journey of making movies; you can’t predict it and it’s an unusual business that is risky and you can’t have definite outcome. I won’t say that ‘JaggaJasoos’ is more risky than ‘Tiger ZindaHai’ while some people may say that’s more classy and safe film, but if a story is good then it will work and it will find its audience. People have to willing to open their mind to see something new, if they are not willing to accept the newness of narrative and the way it is crafted then that may be an issue. But if people are willing to see and go on this journey and experience it then I feel people would accept it.
Was there any hesitation initially considering its musical format which is new to people, and do you personally like such music driven films?
I think from day 1 the concept was to always make it musical and I was very clear what Dada meant by musical and I understood that your scenes are sung like ‘Mary Poppins’, ‘La LA Land’ and I know what he wanted to make and I thought it was a great idea. I love music and I get driven by music and I love musical films. May be if there is one thing I could change I would have added a little more of dance in it, but maybe it was a wrong vision because what dada did with story is that, he still kept the emotion and story of it, where the boy seeks his father and he keeps it very strong and you never lose sight of that.
Ranbir has turned producer with this film, are you also keen for producing, so what is your whole vision as a producer and why are you seeking this business?
I think it is another element of this industry which would be nice to experience and would be nice to learn about. If I find a person who is making a story which I really like on a personal level and someone who I can partner with because I don’t know the technicalities and executing part of the production. So it is something I would like to do.
Do you think there is lack of content in the industry?
No I don’t think so; I think may be sometimes there is lack of vision and lack of willingness to accept new things. I think there is content and if you look this year itself we have films like ‘Hindi Medium’, ‘JaggaJasoos’ and I don’t what will work and what won’t, but in the attempt there are such different films and also we had ‘Bahubali 2’ which had great vision, also biopic. I think people want to see something that has some roots to it and they want to know what you are talking about and from where this perspective comes, which they can relate to.
What are the kinds of films you like to do at this point?
I would like to do something unusual characters like silver linings playbook where a girl is unusual, I have done characters this far which are traditional and where I am love interest.
Are there any biopics you are looking forward to?
It’s not the matter of what I am looking for, they should come to me. I can’t create a film, yes there are people who work from scratch and join projects. I think if ‘JaggaJasoos’ works then it will help me a lot and it will give people have confidence In me in this industryand give lot by general opinion. For me ‘JaggaJasoos’ gets critical acclamation also that will do a lot for me.
According to you what is the only USP of ‘JaggaJasoos’?
The story, the narrative and the screenplay are the USP. My only concern is that people should understand what musical story is like; they shouldn’t come with the hope of watching something else. As 95% of our movies have 5 to 6 songs in the space but this has all the songs saying story, unless people accept that portion of the film then I think it should be good. Dada is a director whose story and emotions are grounded and are very strong. It’s just that people should know that conversations are transformed into songs.
What is special about AnuragBasu as a director?
His vision, a director has incredible imaginative mind and then he should have that ability to express that imagination to materialize it. Dada’s vision is always in search of some certain connect to establish with his audience.
Now days social media is very active, so how difficult it becomes for actors to be who they are and deal with criticism which comes with it?
That’s your choice; you have to decide that for yourself. Firstly you should know who you are that would help. Sometimes in the symmetry you are so caught up in characters you play and the job you do, sometimes that line gets blur. It’s not a big part of my life, so I don’t know about criticism. Honestly it doesn’t matter to me.
“For me, the process of getting into the character is just to be next to director and going on a journey with them”
As Ranbir has worked with Anurag earlier which help him to play such different character, how was it for you to get into the character?
For me, the process of getting into the character is just to be next to director and going on journey with them. Unless your character has physical disability like Ranbir’s character stammers. If you play a footballer or a person who speaks particular dialect, then you need to do workshops and need to work on it. But for just finding the character I am just there to follow the director that’s how I have always worked. If director wants me to do something like workshops or sit in a room, then I will do it. Mostly dada doesn’t do that, he makes you to talk and construct character by conversations. Sometimes I go in between the breaks and shots and sit with him and talk, sometimes he is busy but you have to wait to get it from him.
Last few years your choices have been very different and your characters are been remembered, so over the years has there been a need as an actor to probably do films that satisfy you?
I think so, because otherwise you boar yourself. It can be a huge challenge for you, because I remember when Farah Ma’am came to me with ‘Sheela Ki Jawani’ it was a huge challenge for me to execute her vision, now if someone comes with similar song and new choreographer and new dance style but it may not have same level of excitement, because it’s not novelty for me anymore. So in terms of finding things that really challenge you or really make you kind of grow as a person then yes you have to find something new and new element. I am also not willing to randomly pull some women oriented characters that don’t speak to me. If it’s not a film that I would go and see or take my friends to watch I wouldn’t want my audience to put there.