The wait is over. Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif’s hit pairing is back with Kabir Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger. Sreya Basu catches up with the actors in Mumbai
The first song from Ek Tha Tiger – Mashallah – is just out and people are saying you gave a tough competition to Katrina with your moves…
Salman: What do you mean? That I gave a tough competition to Katrina in the song at this age! Well, almost. Katrina is damn good in the song. I am getting there. Just think what will happen the next time we come together, if it happens.
Katrina, what do you have to say?
Katrina: What takes us five days’ rehearsals to do, Salman does it in one minute. So I had to work extra, extra, extra hard.
Salman, do you agree?
Salman: That is a fact. Katrina is very hard-working. She rehearses for five-seven days for every song and also works hard on every scene. So that success rate and appreciation she enjoys today is actually due to her hard work. I have the talent side and hence don’t have to work very hard. That’s why at times I look so bad on screen.
Name a Bollywood actor whom you really find Mashallah (Wow!).
Salman, for the first time you are working with Yash Chopra camp (they being the producers). How was the experience?
Salman: It felt damn good working with them. I felt as if I was working with them for ages. My father (screenwriter Salim Khan) used to work with them and what has been his experience is mine too after working in this film, and that is, very good.
Salman: I read it in the newspapers that I am visiting Pakistan. If it is needed, then I will definitely go there.
The film is being promoted as a romantic action thriller. Can action and romance be put together?
Salman: See, the action does not work if the emotion does not work. If the emotion is there, you are doing something for somebody, for the country, your girlfriend or for something that is important to you, then only the action has a meaning. There is no point in just fighting with fighters.
Katrina, how was it to fall in love with a spy on screen?
Katrina: I had heard the script quite some time back. At the end of the film you would know nobody else could have done it like the way Salman has done it. It’s a character you have never seen before.
Salman: See, what you asked her and what she answered!
Katrina, after giving two hit item numbers (Sheila Ki Jawani and Chikni Chameli), is there a chance of being typecast as an item girl?
Katrina: I don’t feel that; don’t know if someone else feels like that.
Salman: She is not doing item songs. She is doing favours to her friends. Karan Johar (filmmaker) is her friend and he requested her to do the song (Chikni Chameli in Agneepath) and so she did the song.
Like we requested her that Katrinaji please do that small bit in the title song of Bodyguard. And she did us a great favour and did the song. So these are not item songs but songs that become hugely popular and it’s her large heartedness that she is obliging us. Else who helps friends in today’s date? All have become selfish.
Salman: How does it matter what I feel. My name is Salman Khan and I like my name very much which has been given to me by my parents. What fans gave me, ‘Sallu’, I don’t know how it became accepted by all. I think Jackie (Shroff, actor) started it.
Fans name you going by the flow of the Friday-Saturday (when a film releases) and the feel the promos give them. So you have Radhe (from Wanted), Chulbul Pandey (from Dabangg), Lovely Singh (from Bodyguard) and now Tiger (from Ek Tha Tiger). So these names will keep changing till the films become superhits.
There is a dialogue in Ek Tha Tiger where Katrina says you now don’t have the age to have an affair and that you should get married. So will you get married in real life only when Katrina asks you to?
Salman: Ask Katrina about it.
Katrina: I think it’s nobody’s decision but Salman’s about when he should get married. He has to decide.
Aamir Khan has said Ek Tha Tiger will be a superhit. What do you have to say?
Salman: Ji, unke muh mein ghee-sakkar. I also spoke to him. He said he has liked the trailer very much and that the film, as per his opinion, will run successfully.
Salman: Ya, definitely… on screen, off screen.
Katrina, you are considered as one of the most gorgeous actors in Bollywood. So what’s your beauty secret?
Katrina: I just follow a good diet. And also I work out when I can…yoga, meditation, even if it’s for a short time. And using good (beauty) products also necessary.
Do you believe in eating or dieting?
Katrina: I believe if you eat too much of anything, it will show on your skin. Like, if I eat too much fish, it will show on my face and hair. I keep it simple…fresh fruits, vegetables, protein. I don’t believe in a strict diet. You can have pasta but then, hit the gym after having it.
Do you think a clash between established actors and newcomers is unavoidable in Bollywood?
Katrina: I feel all newcomers should be given a fair chance…I was given a fair chance.
Who do you consider as your biggest competitor?
Katrina: I believe at the end of the day you have to compete with your self. Of course, you have to be aware of what people are doing around you. I mean, if someone has done four author-backed or female dominated roles, then I ask myself to keep a check on the kind of films I am doing.
Katrina: I am happy with the direction I am going right now. I am just trying to better myself than my last…whether it’s dancing, performing or doing slightly more complex characters.
Salman, you once said in an interview that real-life couples can’t necessarily create on-screen magic…
Salman: (Interrupts) I still maintain that.
But you and Katrina look scorching whenever you come together in a film…
Salman: We are not real-life couple.