Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Ek Tha Tiger helmer Kabir Khan was a documentary filmmaker 10 years ago who gave it a try in Bollywood. He debuted as a director in the Hindi film industry with Kabul Express starring John Abraham and Arshad Warsi in 2006. After this, he directed one of the successful actresses of B’town, Katrina Kaif in 2009 film New York. It was the first time Katrina and Kabir met.
Katrina was a mainstream actress, while Kabir was a documentary filmmaker. Reminiscing his experience of working with Kat for the first time, Kabir wrote in a special piece for Harper’s Bazaar India, “I had no connections with Bollywood. Yet, there I was trying to make a mainstream film out of a political subject like illegal detentions of Muslim men in post 9/11 New York. When I wrote the script for New York, the central character was Maya, an American girl of Indian origin. It was Adi [Aditya Chopra] who suggested Katrina’s name for Maya.”
Kabir added, “She had never done a Yashraj film at the time, and I had never directed a celebrity actor like her. She was a creature of mainstream cinema and we were a bunch of newcomers, shooting a rather unusual film, with no song and dance. But she joined us and we were thrilled to have her on board.”
It’s been a decade now, Katrina and Kabir bonded strong and became very good friends. Kabir is all praises of Katrina that how she established herself in the industry.
“That brings me to what I find most special about Katrina Kaif. She’s stood the test of time. There is, of course, a long way to go but she has been here for 13 years and she continues to be relevant. Sometimes we treat mainstream cinema casually and with disdain. But it’s really tough to capture the imagination of millions. You have to cater to the banker in South Bombay and the Rickshaw Vala in Meerut and engage them both. For an actor to be able to do that for years, it takes a lot of relentless determination. And at the risk of a cliche, it simply needs that X factor. There might be many girls as good-looking, as glamorous, as good an actor as she, but there’s a mystique about Katrina and that makes her who she is today,” added Kabir.
Kabir Khan will soon direct Ranveer Singh in a movie based on cricket’s 1983’s world cup.