She is one of the few Bollywood actresses whose name is synonymous with hard work, determination and perfectionism. An actor known for her ways to choose roles and scripts in Bollywood and doing absolute justice, Katrina Kaif has successfully made her mark despite being an industry outsider. The recipient of several awards, including 3 Stardust Awards, 4 Zee Cine Awards, 4 Screen Awards, 1 IIFA Award, 2 Star Guild Award, and the talented actress has done it all while staying true herself.
Born in Hong Kong and brought up in several countries before moving to London, Katrina started her first modelling assignment as a teenager and started her career in 2003 with the dud, Boom. She then appeared in the Telugu film, Malliswari in 2004, but she earned commercial success only in 2005 with the romantic comedies Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya? and Namastey London in 2007. She followed with a series of box-office hits but was criticised for her repetitive roles, acting, thick British accent, and inclination to male-dominated films. However, that started to change after her performance in the terrorism drama New York (2009) that earned her a Filmfare nomination for Best Actress. But it was the roles in AjabPrem Ki GhazabKahani, Raajneeti, Zindagi Na MilegiDobara and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan that got her wider recognition from audiences and critics alike. Her highest-grossing films came with the action thrillers in 2012 with EkTha Tiger, Dhoom 3 in 2013 and Bang Bang! in 2014, all of which rank among the highest-grossing Indian films. In the last few years, we’ve seen a substantial change in her films’ choice like the action sequel Tiger Zinda Hai, Bharat, and Zero. Read on as the globally recognised Bollywood actress discusses her life in the pandemic, upcoming projects, and her new venture.
So what were you up to in the lockdown? How does this forced sabbatical feel to you?
The pandemic, followed by the lockdown, has surely left many of us introspecting, on how blessed our lives are and how much we take for granted in our normal lives. With the alarming number of cases, I feel we all should have better immunity through our food habits and lifestyle. It also changed my perspective on life in some ways.
I took one day at a time, but, yes, there were days when I missed being on a shoot. Sometimes I also got worried about when will life go back to normal again. But I understood the world’s crisis and the importance of everything being practised to defeat the pandemic.
Not only this, this phase has helped me polish my cooking skills and kitchen skills in a big way. It has helped me improve in managing many household chores at once and has also given me a newfound respect for the homemakers who do it regularly.
What is your fitness regimen?
In my opinion, being healthy is key and not a body type. Everyone has a unique body type, and we should empower each other to embrace it. Fitness is supposed to be a healthy journey of your mind and body, so enjoy it but remember, balance is important. Whether it’s jogging or running, but I highly encourage the idea of being fit to everyone. Forms of fitness vary among people; we should follow a regime we enjoy the most and what works best.
I try to get in an hour of workout at home as often as I can, yet try not to be too hard on myself. I prefer a mix of activities like callisthenics and cardio to keep me entertained while I work out, whether in the gym or at home. My all-time trainer and friend Yasmin Karachiwala helped me achieve this even during the lockdown. And more than a diet, I see it as a healthy way of life... I prefer a low carb meal unless and until its cheat day.
Most international celebrities who have a strong fan base like Victoria Beckham or Rihanna, have branched out into the beauty business. How does it feel to be one of the first Indian actors to have your cosmetic line?
People who know me know that I have been fond of makeup ever since my runway days. Every time I worked with a makeup artist, I used to be very intrigued by the different kinds of beauty products laid out before me. I wanted to understand how they are made for individual skin tones and different textures or formulas! I have always had a very interesting relationship with makeup as I have had the privilege of working with so many professional makeup artists along the way, so it also helped me learn a lot about makeup and pick up on lots of tips and tricks. To sum it up, makeup has been an innate part of my journey- from runway to the big screen, and finally, I rendered my love for it to launch Kay Beauty, my first ever Beauty Brand!
I always thought that I would want to own a beauty label someday. It was years ago after a meeting with Falguni (Nayar) and Reena (Chhabra) when we decided to work together on our beauty brand, Kay Beauty, and finally, it went live in 2019. It has helped me fulfil my dream to own something I can call my own.
Makeup tools you cannot do without?
Earlier, when I was getting used to the city, I would get burns and rashes on my face very easily due to the humid climate. So, I would make sure that I always carry a moisturiser with SPF in my bag. My skin has gotten used to the weather here, but a moisturiser continues to be a must for me. I cannot do without a night cream and coconut oil either. While night creams have been an important part of my bedtime ritual ever since I was a child, I use coconut oil to remove my makeup before going to bed.
What were CSR practices implemented by the brand during the COVID?
Right from the start, we had plans for Kay Beauty collaborating with various foundations. There was a lot planned in creating awareness and helping people and associating with several causes. From the start, Kay Beauty stands for a brand that cares.
De’Haat has been our first collaboration and considering the pandemic; they were really happy to work together on this initiative. Vrundan, the founder and CEO of De’Haat Foundation, is an amazing personality; she is very strong-headed, works very hard for Rural India’s welfare, and her efforts towards the work is just great to see.
In our initiative, we are reaching out to the families of daily wage workers in Maharashtra’s Bhandara district, providing with their food and sanitary needs.
What projects are in the pipeline?
My next is Rohit Shetty’s cop action-drama Sooryavanshi, starring Akshay Kumar, and the horror-comedy Phone Bhoot, co-starring SiddhantChaturvedi and Ishaan Khatter. Phone Bhootis scheduled for a 2021 release. The film is produced by RiteshSidhwani and Farhan Akhtar and directed by Gurmeet Singh. - Inputs from IANS