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Films are a great binding factor, or so the late film critic Roger Ebert would have us believe.
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I don't think I'm sexy: Katrina Kaif
How well do you know men?
I don't think you can talk about men in general just as I don't think you can talk about women. I don't believe that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Relationships and equations with anybody are based on each person's personality. One of the values my mom has instilled in me is to not be judgmental and so I tend to not analyse people. I try to understand that everyone must have a reason for the way they behave.
So no general statements like "The last thing I need is a man when I go shopping. "
Actually no, but then that's just a minor generalisation. But, in any case, I wouldn't want a man around when I am shopping, it would be irritating not just for me but for him too. (laughs)
Do you think men and women can be friends?
Of course, my best friend is a man.
You have always given credit to Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan for taking your career places. Any other names you would like to add?
Not where acting is concerned.
But you seem to have outgrown them. Earlier when you were working with Akshay you were the little follower, but now one sees a difference in the equation...
Yes, but that transition and that progress has happened in a very nice way. There was never any discussion about it, but Akshay, who is a very fair person, has just given me much more liberty and space to do my own thing. He will let me talk more and hog half the interview space. I've always said he is one of the fairest people I know. He is not a very emotional person, but he is very fair -what is right is right and what is a fact is a fact.
In real life, how would you seduce a man?
I don't believe in seduction. I've always said that words like 'sexy' and 'seductive' don't go with me, and when people talk about them, I become a little awkward. I grew up as an introvert, didn't have boyfriends in school and wasn't an outgoing girl. No guy would ever look at me in school. Period. I guess all this contributes to my discomfort with such words. I fully believe in attraction, which is what I would call it, between a man and a woman, but it's more an unspoken thing. I would describe it as a connection, which is intangible. It comes on like an electrical force or energy.
And yet, in Sheila Ki Jawani, you do the seductress act so well and have men drooling?
But that's work. If we were to analyse it, it's all about the way you smile, perform, and dance correctly and with the requisite energy. For my Sheila act, the inspiration was the Broadway musical Chicago.
Considering you cringe at the word seduction, how do you react to women throwing themselves at actors on the sets?
I don't see it and I never have. I have worked with very big superstars including Akshay, Saif and Abhishek, but barring minor incidents at shows these women genuinely look up to the actors. These are their heroes in the real sense of the word, not heroes like 'actors'. I don't see women throwing themselves at them in a 'hee hee ha ha' giggly manner.
That's like living in a bubble...
Yes, most people would say that and it's true to some extent. I am a perceptive person. I notice everything, but it remains in my mind and that's where it's filed away. But in terms of my general day-to-day life, I do tend to see what I want to see. I want to see life the way I want to believe it is. I don't want to go around looking for negativity and sleaze. If others feel that's na?ve, so be it.
I always believe that we all do what we have to do in life. Ninety five per cent of people are doing the best they can. It may be right or wrong in other people's eyes, but they are still doing the best they can. I think there are less than five per cent of people who intentionally go around doing wrong.
Do a lot of men make passes at you?
No. People say that I come across as cold and very arrogant.
Do you dress up for yourself or do you dress up for men?
Oh, God! No question at all. In my films, I dress up for my character. Off screen, I dress up for me, me, me and only me. Never ever have I dressed up for someone else. Not even for other women. Having said that, I have never been a fashionista. I only wear what makes me happy and comfortable and suits my mood that morning.
Is there any compliment that makes you blush?
I think I am generally bad at accepting compliments. I don't believe anything. I don't know what's genuine and what's not. The only way you can make me laugh and blush is when you are making fun of me. Not by saying, "you are a princess and a diamond in the sky. "
But you do believe you are pretty, right?
I think now after so many people have been kind enough to say that, I think maybe I am. But I didn't grow up thinking that way, so these are not feelings instilled deep down inside me. Unlike those girls in college who are voted the most 'popular' or 'beautiful' and, hence, they always come packed with attitude, I never thought that way or had that kind of attention.
Do you still look for father figures?
Consciously, no. I don't think anyone would want to accept that and want to feel that way about themselves. Do I miss the presence of having an actual father? Yes, of course, who wouldn't ? That will be there all my life. But I think as you mature what you look for is somebody who will accept you the way you are, who knows you completely and who you trust.
Is that easy to find?
No, of course not. (laughs)
But you still believe in marriage?
One hundred per cent.
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