It’s been 15 years since your debut. Do you still feel excited and nervous before a film’s release?
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The excitement is still there. I want each release to be better than the previous one. I’ve always been this commercial, masala film heroine because I’ve grown up watching them. I’m always excited when a film with Aamir Khan, Salman Khan or Shah Rukh Khan releases. I love it. Now there isn’t much anxiety. It’s a lot more easy and relaxed. I’m also much more confident and secure now. Honestly, I felt nervous only during my first film Refugee.
Have you overcome the fear of failure?
After so many years of working and seeing so many ups and downs, I’ve realised failures are a part of the package. It’s part of the journey. Some films do well and some films no matter how much effort you put in them, don’t work. I’ve become immune to everything.
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How has your equation with Salman Khan changed over the years?
I’ve known him since I was nine. I’m 34 now. It feels like a lifetime. I’ve known him since I was a child, a teenager, when I became an actress… Now when I’m married, we are still working with each other. It’s been a lifelong journey with him and his family. Earlier he made a smashing pair with my sister Lolo (Karisma Kapoor) and now we make a great pair. I give full credit to him that he’s worked with two generation of sisters with so much ease. Back then people liked seeing him with Lolo and now they like seeing him with me. However, I know he has a soft corner for Lolo. They started off at the same time and have shared many experiences together. They continue being great friends.
You have worked with all the three Khans – Aamir, Salman and Shah Rukh. How are they different from each other?
Salman is relaxed. Aamir is relaxed too but he’s always prepared. Shah Rukh is always trying to better himself. He’s constantly improvising the shot. He’s such a bundle of energy that it’s difficult for him to relax. Though they are different from each other, one thing is common between all three. Working with them is like being in a boxing ring. You’ve got to be alert all the time.
Bajranji Bhaijan, Udta Punjab, Raj Kumar Gupta’s next and R Balki’s next… You’ve a pretty interesting line up of films ahead of you…
I’ve not worked with any of these directors, starting from Kabir Khan for Bajrangi… It was a conscious decision to work with new directors so that they can tap my potential in a different way. In the last 15 years, I’ve acted in possibly all kinds of films. I was ready to do different kinds of films again. I opened my doors and good offers came in. I went ballistic reading Udta Punjab’s script.
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You rejected films Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-leela and Dil Dhadakne Do. Any regrets?
I never look back. Sometimes things don’t work out. Sometimes things work out great. Ram-leela worked out wonderfully for Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. And I love Zoya Akhtar and I want to work with her. We both are here and not going anywhere.
So it’s cool.
Usually, actresses reduce work post marriage. But you are showing no signs of slowing down…
I’m getting great films ya. I’ve just done an item song with Sidharth Malhotra in Brothers. I’m looking great, I’m feeling great and it’s all rocking. It’s the Indian mentality that women have to quit working after marriage. I don’t believe in it. We are a youth-centric nation. And I can say I’m still young. I decided to get married when I wanted to. If you love someone you obviously want to be with him. Marriage gives you the license to stay with the one you love. I don’t understand the fuss about married actresses in our industry. I’m as independent as I was earlier. Earlier I had responsibility of my parents. Now I also have of Saif. I love it. Marriage makes me happy.
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Who will you pick as your favourite actress of the current generation?
I like Alia. She’s a cool chick and she looks great. She’s fantastic in both commercial and offbeat films. She has a good balance and there’s a certain positivity about her.
Do you plan to start your own family?
Of course! I want to be a mother. I wanted to be a star, I became one. I wanted to be a wife, I married Saif. Whenever I put my mind on something, I achieve it. Motherhood is a plan but it’s not going to happen for the next two years for sure. It actually scares me right now. You have to be so hands on ya. I’m so busy with my films. I’m so busy travelling with Saif. I need to fulfill all those things first. I went full guns blazing for my career and I will go the same way with parenting.
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People keep comparing Alia Bhatt with you…
Comparing Alia and me is ridiculous. She’s just 22. But I take it as a compliment. She’s supremely talented. I’m extremely fond of her.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I will be doing an interview with you for sure. Hopefully, I will be in a villa in South of France and talking to you. But still working in blockbusters…