Kareena Kapoor
Labeled as a snob, arrogant and one who makes public displays of rivalry and wrath Kareena is always in the news for all the wrong reasons. But this ambitious and hard working actress is not bothered about any such accusations. All that she wants, is to concentrate on her work. Recently bagging the role of a street-walker in Pritish Nandy Communications film Chameli and also many other prestigious projects in her kitty this lovely girl is happy and contend about the way her career is shaping.

Excerpts from an interview with SeasonsIndia correspondent Sanyukta.

Tell me Kareena, in the past three years of your career is your image more infamous than famous because of your carefree attitude, bold statements and head-on battles with your co-stars?
Well, I really don't know. I don't have any bitter rivalry or war against anybody. Rather I have made some wonderful friends in this industry. I don't regret being frank in life. I am very happy with the way I am. And I believe people have accepted me for who I am. Initially when I entered the profession, people didn't know me well. The aura around me cloaked the real person. Filmmakers who have worked with me have eventually got to know me and like me a lot. That is why they wonder why such negative stories have been written about me. Today I don't want to react to any allegations at all. I have come to realize that anybody can say anything and get away with it. I am beyond controversies. I

But then why are you in some controversy or the other all the time?
May be it is because of my spunk. I come across as very brash and confident. They think that I have had people backing me. There is a lobby operating against me. And believe me that's fine with me, because there is a lobby operating against every star. It amuses me when people say anything they want and even believe it. I think it is fabulous. I love it. If according to the media I am such a tough person to deal with, then why do filmmakers want to cast me repeatedly?

How was it working for Sooraj Barjatya's Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon?
It was a great experience. Soorajji is the most sincere and down-to-earth person I've ever met. I went through a lot of personal problems earlier and the media was giving me a hard time during the making of this film. Sooraji gave me the strength during this period. Everyone was lashing out at me and portraying me as an insensitive person. I was victimised for no reason, when I had not harmed a single soul in the industry. I used to cry everyday on the sets and Soorajji would comfort me. I have learnt from him that one should just do one's work and go back home. Let the world pass a judgement. I've trying my level best to imbibe the qualities he's taught me. I will be eternally grateful to h

Hrithik-Kareena is one of the hottest pairs in the industry.Surely it must have hurt you when you weren't signed on for Rakesh Roshan's Koi Mil Gaya..
Why should I feel bad about not being part of Koi Mil Gaya. Just because I've worked with Hrithik in some films doesn't mean I have to be part of his home production too. If I start a production house, it isn't mandatory that I cast a star I've been paired with in five films. The director decides who suits the character most.

What is the film 'Chemeli' all about?
In Chemeli I'm playing a sex-worker. She's not a tawaif or a kothewali like Chandramukhi in Devdas. Nor is she a Chandni Bar like dancer. She's not even a Julia Roberts kind of prostitute from Pretty Woman. Chameli is a common street-walker who one night meets this man. It's the story of their interaction over the course of that one, rainy night.

You have been paired opposite Rahul Bose.Isn't that an unusual pairing?
Well yes it definitely is an unusual pairing but the chemistry is fantastic. Rahul's done several of these Hindi-English, off-beat kind of films while I'm very much the commercial Hindi film heroine. And then Rahul is a wonderful actor. He blends well in all roles. I think our pair is a good blend.

JP Dutta's LOC is scheduled to be released this year. Now considering the huge star cast what are your expectations from this film?
No expectations. I am just happy to be a part of the film. What can one expect in a battalion of big heroes??. I doubt if anyone will even notice me (smiles). But JP Dutta knew that I'd have been hurt if I wasn't a part of LOC after Refugee. I was ready to do one scene, one song, even be in a crowd of junior artistes at the back. I am what I am today because of Refugee. JP Dutta only has to tell me he wants me for a shoot, any place, any time, and I'll be there.

You are also working with Sanjay Bhansali in Bajirao Mastani. Are you doing Bhansali's 'Black' too?
No. I am not there in Black. Rani is doing that film. I have the main lead in Bajirao Mastani and that's enough. It is a dream come true to be finally working with Sanjay in Bajirao Mastani. It's great that Sanjay thinks I have Mastani's innocence, beauty and vulnerability and has enough faith in my histrionics to entrust me with a role of such epic proportions.

Why did you say no to Aparna Sen for the film 'Guliel'?
I didn't say no. I would love to work with Aparna Sen. Its just that the film is a hero-oriented film and my role is not meaty enough. I am sure I will work with her in the future.

How is it working with Mani Ratnam?
It's great. He is very particular and a meticulous Director. They call him an actor's director for nothing. The film is a multi-starrer but I'm very excited about it.

How was it working with Vivek Oberoi?
He is a simply great. He's a natural born actor. This is the first time I'm opposite him and we had a great time shooting for the film. It's unfortunate that he had this accident on the set. However, we should finish the film by October end. We're also doing Abbas-Mustan's thriller.

You seem to be tied up with work. Which are the other films you are working on?
Yeah, I am absolutely tied up. There's Govind Nihalani's Dev and Dharmesh Darshan's Bewafaa. And then there's Deepa Mehta's Water. We start shooting in Sri Lanka around November-December. I'm also committed to two films with Abbas-Mastan and one with Rirtuparno Ghosh. Ritu's film with Anil Kapoor, in which I play the young wife of a zamindar, should go on the floor in January-February. He's narrated another subject to me over the phone. That project should also be clear in another month. There're talks with Boney Kapoor too for a film being directed by Satish Kaushik who is one of my favorite directors because he gave me my first hit, Mujhe Kuchh Kehna Hai.

Tell us something about Karisma and your to-be brother-in-law Sunjay (Kapur).
They are a great couple. Lolo and Sunjay grew up together and make a picture perfect twosome. Sunjay spent the last week with us. I saw Lolo happy and laughing after a long time. Last year has been very tough on her, both personally and professionally. I have seen her in so much pain. I am glad that those days are over and she can laugh again.

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