Behind the scenes: Dates with Katrina
Disclaimer: The name of this blog is dedicated to Peter Jackson's ultra gory masterpiece which goes by the same name and in no ways is a comment/pun on the personalities that I interview. Yeah Right.
Katrina and Farah are doing some last minute pictures with the staff at DLF Promenade's DT Cinema. Me and my cameraperson arrive, we're panting heavily courtesy the sprint from the porch to the auditorium.
Farah and Katrina move away from the overenthusiastic staff after the shot, and in a jiffy attend a call on their respective phones in a strikingly synchronized manner. Farah is by the big screen her phone call lasts about 30 seconds Katrina moves to the top left corner of Audi-6, she takes her time.
'Kya... tune kitne time liya...' Farah enquires, I am watching Katrina wondering who she's talking to - she couldn't stop smiling, blushing actually.
'Kyaaaa??' Farah shoots again. 'Yaar, main kya boloon, in logon ne... khair anyways... chalo only 2 questions pakka'.
'Theek hai.' She too takes a glimpse at Kat, and offers another photo opportunity to the theatre staff. Kat joins in.
It had been a while since I last interviewed Katrina - at a press conference for some cosmetic brand.
Then, she was working with Priyadarshan for De Dana Dhan. During the press conference a reporter asked about Priyandarshan, who had won the national award for best director that year for his film Kanchivaram.
En Route her very predictable boring views on Priyadarshan she went on to say, "He has won several national awards."
I was behind the cameras and shot my right hand's index finger in the air, much like an umpire at a cricket match.
Kat paused , noticed and read my lips which by then without making a sound were signaling 'one' - he had won 'One national award' this was his first.
All this happened in about a second and a half.
'He has won 1 national award, I am sorry." She was still looking at me, embarrassed.
Since the entire media was present and this was the meatiest byte we made sure it was well exploited:
Earlier at one my first meetings with Kat a journalist enquired about Salman Khan's supposed affair with some Bruna Abdullah (hope I got her name right). This was the first question of the PC. Kat gave some gyaan on respecting the privacy of actors and walked off. That question went on to become the first last and only question , but was good enough for a 2 minute package , a headline and a half hour on several hindi channels.
Today was different.
Whoever's met Farah Khan knows she's a darling, and whoever's met Katrina Kaif - wants to meet her again.
'Tu hindi mein karega ya?'
'English, he interviews in English' Katrina cut Farah .
Both of them had these paper crowns - the ones that you get at birthday parties.
They were crowning all journalist who asked them a question they'd already answred more than 500 times for eg . 'Farah , aapka aur Shahrukh ka rasta ab alag ho gaya hai' , 'Katrina , Sheila ne kya Muni ko peeche chhod diya hai ?? Munni aur Sheila mei ye jung ..' you got it I guess.
These were off course done to death questions and of no interest to me, I was interested in Akshay Kumar.
'I will let Akshay know you are very interested in him,' said Farah .
Farah, Katrina, Me, My Camerperson, PR People, Theatre Staff - LOL.
'No No not that way'..it killed me that I couldn't come up with a witty one-liner of a response, still I was satisfied - that I clarified.
It is very important to clarify these days.
Farah went on to tell me how Kat had got 10 million hits on YouTube for Sheila ki Jawani, Katrina told me how Akshay Kumar never understood a word of what she said and that that was the secret of their success. And then she said. 'You can have it, I know you want it', placing the crown on my head.
The interview was over.
I've always had a special bond with Katrina, or so I believe. The very first interview that I did was with Katrina Kaif. That was 3 or 4 years ago at the fashion week. A colleague who was to interview Katrina was leaving for Greece to do a travelogue and said she was least interested in interviewing a 'Bimbette' .
So I was on, at the last minute.
As I entered the backstage area I was greeted by 'Shera', Salman Khan's bodyguard for over a decade or so. He was making sure no one, including the other bouncers could come close to Katrina. The PR lady - a dear friend, was petrified of him and told me he was being very difficult and refusing interviews.
I walked upto 'Shera'.
'Ji sir.' he said in a very humble tone, I wasn't expecting that.
'Tell Salman Bhai we all love him and that he should come to Delhi often' even though I meant each word I said as I am a big Salman fan , the timing of it all was a bit odd.
He smiled and let me through.
Kat was on the phone. Now I know she always is. I waited for the call to end; I had been rehearsing how to introduce myself to her all this while.
'Hi, Sushant, CNN-IBN.' I nailed it.
'Can you please ask me a question on Race??'
'Race, my movie, its releasing can you please, please ask one question - that??' This wasn't what I expected. I felt awkward and special at the same time.
It was a normal Tic-Tac as we call it, but I had this urge to do something more. After the last question I said 'You've answered all questions correctly, so you get the first prize'
'Yeaaahh' she said.
'The first prize is a date with me' she chuckled, took a moment and said 'Next year'.
That next year was supposed to be 2008.
Katrina as much as ive known of her courtesy our short 'dates', is no bimbette. She's a smart articulate woman suffering with public perception that a woman as beautiful as her can not be smart. Shortly after my interview with Kat and Farah aired on our channel, I heard Mr Sardesai call my name 'Sushant!' He was outside our main news studio.
'Katrina really seems to like you' obviously he didn't actually mean it, it more of a 'I saw you with Katrina on-air' statement (I've been accused of interviewing only actresses in the past, which is not true - not entirely)
'Yes Sir , I know .. I also like her very much' We both smiled, boss got back to his BlackBerry . I walked on.
Both me and Katrina look forward to our future dates. Yeah Right.
More about Sushant MehtaSushant Mehta is Senior Correspondent (Films) at CNN-IBN. He will be writing about stars, their films, gossip and his day-to-day experiences with actors. He is interested in knowing what the stars really are when the camera has been switched off.
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