Kareena Kapoor on Giving Up Mutton Biryani and Loving Doodhi Sabzi

Kareena Kapoor talks about style, fashion, diet and maintaining her body type

4 min read
Kareena Kapoor is on a high with the success of <i>Ki &amp; Ka </i>(Photo: Yogen Shah)

Almost a week post the release of Ki & Ka, filmmaker R Balki confessed that he thought his film would be appreciated by critics and resisted by the audience. The box-office verdict of Rs 28.77 crore at the time of going online has proved contradictory. As the crew celebrates the film’s success, I recap my conversation with Kareena Kapoor, where for a change I don’t focus on her acting.

Q: How would you like to be remembered, as an actor or as a star?
Kareena: Both, it depends on the context. These days, all actors are called brands. I think fans expect their favorite stars to be multi-faceted and multi-talented and when a film like Ki & Ka combines both, they are more than satisfied (smiles).

Q: You are also revered as a fashion icon what is your definition of style?
Kareena: Style is not just about designer labels or expensive jewelry though they most certainly add to the package. For me, style is more about comfort and the confidence to be who you are - without trying to copy someone else.

Kareena and Arjun Kapoor promote <i>Ki &amp; Ka </i>(Photo: Yogen Shah)
Kareena and Arjun Kapoor promote Ki & Ka (Photo: Yogen Shah)

Q: Interesting that you mention comfort...
Kareena: Yes, because there are some people who believe that movie stars are all dressed up at home like they are going for a party. I certainly don’t. I wear printed cotton kaftans, often shapeless and aunty like, and that’s how I lounge on holidays at home.

Q: Would you agree that actors today are more focused on accessories than their characters?
Kareena: Not entirely because it’s all a package and the costume aids the character. Today it is not just show business but the world has become consumer conscious. I have shot a commercial where I cannot resist buying bags but in reality I’m crazy about footwear.

As a teenager, I would obsessively shop for chappals on Linking Road because then I was not introduced to the brands (laughs). Seriously, it does not matter what you wear and how much it costs as long as you like it.

Q: Is there any one essential beauty product you can’t do without?
Kareena: I’m addicted to kajal and this also has to do with Saif liking me with kohl in my eyes.

Kareena Kapoor is just a jeans and T-shirt girl (Photo: Yogen Shah)
Kareena Kapoor is just a jeans and T-shirt girl (Photo: Yogen Shah)

Q: What’s your personal favourite look?
Kareena: If I’m attending a formal event then I have to be dressed formally – Western or Indian depending on the occasion and my mood. But if I’m stepping out to meet friends or family or even work then you will most probably find me wearing blue jeans and white T-shirt, hair pulled into a ponytail and no make-up. From my teenage days I have always been a jeans and T-shirt girl.

Q: In the olden days heroines only wore saris at formal events. Today, heroines don’t like wearing traditional clothes.
Kareena: That is not entirely true, yes, more and more young heroines dress western but honestly, I feel safest in ethnic clothes.

I would any day prefer to dress in kurtas, saris, lehengas and Patiala suits than gowns. Our traditional attires are so much more feminine and flattering to our bodies.

Kareena went from being non-vegetarian to a strict vegetarian (Photo: Yogen Shah)
Kareena went from being non-vegetarian to a strict vegetarian (Photo: Yogen Shah)

Q: You were once a healthy girl how did you transform to current size?

In the year 2007, I signed Tashan with two of the fittest actors in filmdom - Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan. One of the requirements of my role was that I emerge out of the sea like a Bond girl, wearing a green bikini. I was having nightmares how I would shoot the scene being overweight. I looked for a trainer and then slogged in the gym till I accomplished my goal.

Q: Is it that simple to change body type?
Kareena: If you are focused and devoted it is. Being fit and healthy should not be an option – you just have to work on yourself and now! If you want to enjoy life, look and feel good, you have to be fit and it is possible to be fit without sacrificing on food. All you need is correct diet and exercise. If I can bid adieu to mutton biryani and appreciate the positives of doodhi sabzi, anyone can do it -all you need is that incentive.

Q: And your incentive is Saif obviously?
Kareena: I would correct that and say –also Saif, one of the reasons we click as a couple is because both of us love to exercise and travel. We are all the time surprising each other with impromptu holidays (laughs).

(Bhawana Somaaya has been writing on cinema for 30 years and is the author of 12 books.)

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