Today the beautiful Karisma Kapoor celebrates her 47th birthdaythe Birthday, I remember the different occasions when I met her at different parties. The versatile actress has left her mark on the annals of Indian cinema from starting D Rama Naidus Prem Qaidi to choosing marriage and motherhood. To celebrate her birthday, I am reproducing this earlier interview of mine with her and wish her a happy birthday as I have known her from the day she made her film debut.
You were a juror on the Post Baliye Season 4 reality show. Is judging reality shows an alternative career for actresses today?
I don’t think being a reality show judge is a career alternative for actresses today. I consider it another way to meet the participants, interact with them and connect with the grassroots. While you can take on the judge’s mantle on the reality show, I believe that once you’re an actress, you’re always an actress. I love to dance. I like all kinds of jhatkas and kamar matkas. I have always identified with all of the participants because I could empathize with what they were going through as people waited to know what kind of songs and dances I was performing in all of the films I have appeared in to date there Mere Pant Bhi Sexy Hai in Dulara or Pardesi Pardesi in Raja Hindustani.
Worried about being seen on TV?
Before After Bliye 4 I had already made the transition from film to television with the series Karishma on Sahara One. Watching TV was a great experience for me. I admire all of the TV artists who do both fiction and reality shows because I know how hard it is to be on your toes on TV for 24 hours. Today in reality we should wake up and admit that the gap between the TV screen and the big celluloid screen has gotten smaller and very narrow, with any big star, be it Amitabh Bachchan or Shah Rukh Khan in Kaun Banega Karodpati or Kya Paanchvi Paas Se Tez Hai or Salman Khan in Bigg Boss or Dus Ka Dum, who come into play as the moderator of the game show, or jurors like Urmila Matondkdar in Waar Parivaar and Madhuri Dixit and Govinda.
Is it true that you previously turned down several reality shows, including Chak De?
I’ve been offered a few shows, either as a judge or as a competitor, but for some reason it didn’t work. You feel good when you realize that you are wanted. One of the reasons why I couldn’t take the offers before To Baliye 4, besides the money factor that didn’t appeal to me, was the fact that my daughter Samaira needed my time and attention and I couldn’t afford to be on her side give way to judge a show.
How difficult do you find it to juggle between home and career?
It’s not at all difficult for me to juggle my job as a judge and manage my home because honestly my job as a judge on a reality TV show doesn’t take up much time like a TV series or a feature film. I said yes to the offer to judge Post Baliye Season 4 when Star Plus approached me only after making sure the timeframe I was asking was right for me. All I have to do is devote a day or two a week to the show, which aired on Friday and Saturday weekends.
How excited were you about your comeback on television after a six-year hiatus after Shakti?
I never said I’d quit acting. In Hollywood, several actors like Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep take occasional breaks from acting to rejuvenate themselves. If they show up in a movie after a break, they don’t say they are making a comeback. I think it is high time we in India broadened our horizons in the direction of reality. Don’t women in other professions take maternity leave and return to work after having a child? I would say it has been a well-deserved break for me after having worked non-stop for almost ten years since my debut with Prem Qaidi. Your priorities in life change from time to time.
OK. How would you describe your film break?
It was a well deserved and great enough break for an actress like me who had the best of both worlds. I am happy with the way my career has gone. I’ve had the opportunity to work in major films like Khalid Mohammads Fiza and Shyam Benegals Zubeida, as well as commercial films like David Dhawan’s Hero No 1 and Biwi No 1, hearing people tell me they want to see me on the big screen again . I miss my craft because I’ve always had a passion for acting. You know because you saw me as an actress from day one.
Is it true that you persistently turned down acting offers?
To tell the truth, I have been offered a lot of films, but I have persistently turned them down because none of the films touched my heart or felt for the film on the inside and forced me to accept the offer. I think I should be proud to make a film regardless of its box office fate. The day I got a great offer, I’d grab it with both hands.
Did you refuse to play in Lamhe because you didn’t want to shoot in Kashmir?
I turned down the offer to play in Lamhe when Rahul Dholakia offered me the film, not because I didn’t want to shoot in Kashmir, but because Rahul wasn’t at all clear about my role, the shooting period and my dates.
You have not played in any film with your little sister Kareena Kapoor to this day!
I have been offered many films with Kareena. However, I think it would be a big deal for both of us to be in a movie, so we don’t want to make just any movie. It should be the ultimate. You never know that it might be a home production that my father may or may not direct.
How do you think you are different from Kareena?
Kareena and I are Poles apart. I’m old-fashioned unlike Kareena who shocks me all the time. There was no way I would have had the courage to have a relationship with any of my co-stars at the height of my career, or to marry like them. But I’m happy for her because she is a reasonable girl and the family stood by every decision she makes in her life.
What is the difference between yesterday’s Lolo and today’s Karisma Kapoor?
There are ups and downs in every marriage. Motherhood changes a woman a lot. It made me more mature and more balanced, if I may add that, because I now have a better perspective on life than I used to. I would say it is hands down the best experience a woman can have in her life. Motherhood, I would add, made me much more responsible as a person than it did when I was a carefree bachelor girl.