Katrina Kaif is once again the female in a Yash Raj Films production. The British Indian actress stars in the highly-anticipated Dhoom:3 opposite Aamir Khan.
Also starring Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra and Jackie Shroff, Dhoom:3 hits UK cinemas on 20th December 2013.
Speaking to Sunny Malik about the film, directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya (Viktor), Kaif talks about her role, the songs in the film and much more…
Yash Raj Films was looking to cast a fresh face for Dhoom:3. They were rumoured to have considered big names from Hollywood for the female lead. Then it was announced that you were part of the franchise. How did it all happen?
I know that they were looking at fresh faces in the beginning. I don’t know how or why but one day I got a call from Aditya Chopra and Viktor and they wanted me to hear the script of Dhoom:3. They told me that the role of the girl is primarily a dancer and circus performer and of course, the love interest of Aamir in the film. They also said that it is mainly about the performance in the film as an acrobat and that I should I have a look at the script and get back to them if it interests me. When I heard the script, I thought that it was a fantastic and very strong story. Dancing is a very strong passion of mine and I thought that I may not get another opportunity of performing with some of the best dancers, technicians, choreographers and circus performers in the world. I just decided to take it on.
Dhoom:3 is set in Chicago. How was it like to film there? Did you shoot extensively outdoors like Abhishek and Aamir?
Most of my scenes are actually indoors. I did have a twenty-day schedule in Chicago which was a lot of fun. It is beautiful place to shoot in and really peaceful. A lot of the main part of my character happens inside the circus for which we had a set in Mumbai.
YRF always cast you as a Non-resident Indian or someone from London. Is that a conscious decision and similar for Dhoom:3?
Well, I don’t think it’s about me when they cast me for such roles. It’s just that a lot of their films are like that where you have Indian characters living abroad. Dhoom:3 is set in Chicago and I am an Indian settled there. There is nothing much we can do about that (laughs).
‘Kamli’ is a Punjabi song in the film you perform on. The lyrics of the song are quite difficult to understand…
They are very hard, I do agree with you on that. You know, there was a lot of discussion about this. Adi and Viktor wanted the song not to be a frivolous dance performance, hence a song with easy lyrics. They wanted the lyrics of Kamli to be very contrasting with what I am doing in the song. Honestly, I said exactly what you said, that the lyrics are hard to understand. But they said that that is what they wanted out of it. They wanted it to be a contrast between the lyrics and performance. I think in that sense, they have achieved what they wanted to do. The attitude and the dance moves are very western and aggressive and the lyrics are very ethnic, almost poetic in a way. It also makes the song new in a way. Let’s see what happens.
Aamir sings a fantasy song in the film for you. We haven’t seen an anti-hero do this in the Dhoom series before. How much of a love story will we see in the film?
The song Aamir was referring to is called Junoon which is an amazing song. Actually, it is one of my favourite songs in the movie. I really wanted them to show the promo and I really wish they would. They (YRF) have a marketing strategy in place that they will only release 30 second promos. They are trying the theory of only showing little tidbits of everything and allowing the audience to come and experience the whole film in the cinema. I think that it’s a very interesting idea and for a film like Dhoom:3 there is a lot more that you will see when you watch the entire film. I believe that it will be exciting for audiences around the world because they will be seeing everything for the first time.
You were going to the gym daily to prepare for your role in Dhoom:3 while you were shooting for Jab Tak Hai Jaan in London. Did you have to prepare a lot?
There was a lot of training because I don’t think that I am very athletic. If I am going to play a circus performer, I have to look the part. I have to look strong and be able to do these things. I had to be strong enough to do the circus stunts in the song ‘Malang’, which you will see in the film. All of my stunts are done without wires, by me on my own. I had to put in a lot of training.
That is why people call you very hardworking. You sometimes don’t like being called that all the time. What would you prefer to be called instead of hardworking?
No, I am okay with anything. Actually, that’s good. I am perfectly fine with that. I think that every role demands different kind of work. In Dhoom, it’s very easy for me to talk about the work because it’s physical. You can talk about four hours of rehearsal or four hours of training. But in a lot of other films, you do character workshops. That is more difficult to talk about but is equally as hard.
What is your character in the film all about?
I don’t know how much of the story line I should really give out. I would like for people to come and see the film and figure out my character and experience the film and take away from it what they can. I can tell you that my character works at the circus which Aamir’s character runs. Her name is Aaliya and she is the lead performer. That is how the two meet. The rest of the story is part of the film.
You have now worked with the Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir Khan in YRF productions. Does it matter to you who your co-star is?
You are obviously going to be excited to with actors like Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir because they are such legends. Also, working with a good actor always helps you. I really believe that. At the end of the day, it is about working in a good film. It’s the films that you leave behind that matter. For me, it’s always the film that comes first and everything else is an added bonus.
How was your experience working with the hilarious Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra?
They are extremely sweet and funny boys. Every time we were interacting with them, they would make us laugh, especially Abhishek. He is a darling and a very nice person to be around.
Some people have said that the film is similar to Now You See Me. What should UK audiences expect from Dhoom:3?
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen Now You See Me so I can’t help you there too much. The best thing to do with any film, not just my films, is to go in with no expectations. That is what I do when I go to watch movies. If you watch the promo and it interests you, then go and watch it. When you come out, then you can make a judgement. The best thing in life is not to have expectations. You will be pleasantly surprised if you like the film and won’t be let down if you have no expectations. Having said that, Dhoom:3 is not similar to any film. It’s an amazing script. A huge amount of effort has gone into making it and I think that hard work always pays off in the end. Now we just hope that the audience likes it and that’s all we can do.