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Old Interviews

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Karisma Kapoor’s Moment of Triumph!
27 Jun 2008 by Celina
Karisma Kapoor’s Moment of Triumph!

(Cine Blitz Magazine, January 1997)

One major step. One dynamite hit. A fervent prayer answered. It could get Karisma the invitation to the coronation ceremony. She has waited long enough. Right now though, she is busy taking her victory lap after Raja Hindustani. Gone are the ghatiya khatiya days. From here, from now, Karisma is queen bee.

Considering you were ignored by the industry for a larger part of your existence and you didn’t have family backing either, do you feel like cocking a snook at the world, Karisma? Is there an element of triumph in the smiles you sport these days?

“I am not feeling triumphant at all. In fact, I am thankful for whatever I had to go through when I entered the industry. At least it destroyed any illusions I might have had.”

But your reaction is not human at all. Which 22-year-old reacts like that after such a major achievement?

“You must believe me when I say whatever I have said to you, has not been for effect. I strongly believe in looking at the brighter side of things. The immense pain I went through, has helped me become a better actress & a better person.”

Could you elaborate on this immense pain you felt?

“When I first entered the industry, things were made tough for me. I am not saying I was singled out. I think every star son or star daughter has to go through this. Everyone was so unfair to me. Other newcomers were praised for every little achievement but Karisma Kapoor was not given an iota of acknowledgement. When it came to me, it was always, ‘Okay, she has done well but what’s the big deal about Karisma Kapoor?’. Nobody gave a 17-year-old credit for doing her job reasonably well.”

Maybe too much was expected of you?

“Absolutely, nobody ever saw that I was trying really hard. They only found fault with me. I was taken for granted. Nobody realised that I was just like anybody else. People were under this misconception that the Kapoor family was backing me. No big banners were promoting me...”

Including R.K...

“Yes, including R.K. Did you ever see my photographs splashed across like other newcomers? Even after my first major hit, Prem Qaidi, people criticised me. Can you imagine what I must have gone through? That was my debut film, for God’s sake. I knew then, that I had to make a decision about whether or not to quit. I also knew this industry would lap up anyone who was good. Maybe I’d have to struggle harder but I was ready to take that on.”

What was the great motivation? It couldn’t have been money or glamour...

“I come from a film family which has been in the profession for generations. Isn’t it a logical decision to have made? I had this big hope of keeping the banner flying high. My mother always wanted me to go out there & make it big on my own. I am proud that I did.”

Would you say that your grandfather’s prediction is coming true? Didn’t he say that you would make one of the best actresses?

“Can I get away by saying that I hope he is happy now?”

Don’t be diplomatic! You are defeating the whole purpose of this interview.

”I really don’t want to comment on this & sound pompous. I am glad that today, people have appreciated my performance in Raja Hindustani. Acting was more like passion, an obsession.”

You have had a problem with almost everyone in the industry. Be it producers, directors, actors & actresses.

“Please spare me this. I can’t afford to create a controversy again with anything I say. I have had enough of that.”

We are just asking you to explain. We are not asking you to speak against anyone.

“Initially, a lot of actresses had made their entry into the industry & we were all trying to get films. I think the problems arose because of that. Earlier, I used to trust very easily. Every second person I came across was my best friend. Then I realised that they were actually all back-stabbing me. I have learnt not to trust anyone. I think I have become a fairly good judge of people. The kind of culture and family background I have, does not permit me to retaliate in print. I can;t go around distributing Press Releases or slandering people. I know it’s all a part of being in the film, but I have never been able to operate like that.”

Do you feel there was resentment nurtured against you from the beginning?

(There is a thoughtful silence. She switches off the recorder to tell me, ‘Please, I really don’t know how to tackle this question.’ I tell her to be honest about whatever she thinks happened.)
“I don’t think that was the case. Like I said, every star son or star daughter has to go through it. I admit it was particulary hard for me.”

I don’t think Bobby or Twinkle or anybody else had such a tough time.

“I don’t know. I try not to think about these things. Frankly, I DON’T CARE. I mind my own business & do my work. All I know is, too many ifs & buts were attached to me. Even when Prem Qaidi (1991) was released & declared a hit people said ‘Yeh to bahut chhoti hai’. Even when I had hits like Jigar & Police Officer (1992) they said, ‘She is a commercial success but she won’t be accepted by the masses. She is too western looking.’ I proved that I could be accepted by the masses too when I gave a hit with Anari (1993), where I was a typical village girl. It was the second biggest hit that year after Aankhen. Then they created this big thing about the song in Raja Babu (1994), which was also a hit. It has been tough. Even when success came, it came attached with something or the other. Not like the others have had it all nice & pretty. But you have to accept these things.”

It must be great high for you, having three hits this year Raja Hindustani, Saajan Chale Sasural & Jeet.

“Yes, absolutely. I am thrilled. All these films are performance-oriented, so I hope that now, all the ifs & buts will be over. People would ask me, ‘Don’t you miss having a DDLJ or a Bombay to your name? I’d say, ‘My day will come soon.’ With Raja Hindustani it has.”

Considering you’ve just given such a big hit, I expected you to be bubbling with joy but you appear so calm & composed. Are you wary of this new found success?

“No, I’m not scared, it’s just that I have proved a point to the industry & I am happy. Success in the industry is not counted by the ups & downs in your career.”

What was that objective, to prove a point?

“Not in the way it sounds. I never manipulated. Things just happened without my having to do a thing except work very hard.”

From here, there is a new life ahead of you, a turning point in your career, you are rich & famous. What is your goal right now?

“First, I would like to say that from my side, everything is forgiven & forgotten. There is no bitterness towards anyone. I have put it all behind me. My goal right now is to learn more, to better myself as an actress & strive towards perfection. I won’t take my success for granted. It has come to me after a lot of struggle.”

(Cine Blitz Magazine, January 1997)