From "Boom" to "Dhoom" : Katrina Kaif's journey in Bollywood
Hailing from mixed parents, her father being an Indian Kashmiri, and her mother, an English woman, she has today carved out a niche for herself in the country that can be termed as her “fatherland.” Katrina Kaif, one of the most celebrated actors in the industry in current times, never had it easy. Neither was she a star kid, nor did she have a godfather in the industry; on top of that, she had earlier been written off as a mere “plastic beauty” with no expressions, and very poor acting skills. But the picture is different today, and how! It is for all of us to see how she just persevered and gradually gained a strong foothold in the industry. Starting off as a model when she was just fourteen, she won a beauty contest in Hawaii, and subsequently received her first modelling assignment as part of a jewellery campaign. Thereafter, she continued as a model in London, working for various freelance agencies and also featuring regularly at the London Fashion Week. It was in one of her appearances at a fashion that brought her into notice by London-based filmmaker Kaizad Gustad who cast her in his erotic heist film Boom, alongside an ensemble cast of Amitabh Bachchan, Gulshan Grover, Jackie Shroff and others. Her modelling career also simultaneously received a boost and she started getting offers to endorse various prominent brands. Though there was a lot of buzz about her debut release, it was a dud at the box office and also met with negative responses from critics. She enacted the role of a supermodel ensnared in the Mumbai underworld, but it was not well-received at all; rather, the leading ladies of this movie were sharply criticised for their vacuous expressions, and directors henceforth were apprehensive of casting her due to her inadequate command over Hindi. She was however not the sort to accept defeat. With immense grit and determination, she began working on her diction with the help of Hindi classes, and soon bagged a role in a Telugu film Malliswari. Though very few might have heard of it, but she was then not only paid the highest amount to any actress in the South industry, but the film also tasted economic success. From then on, there was no stopping her. Her initial movies such as Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya, Humko Deewana Kar Gaye, Partner, Welcome etc. were commercially well-received, but she was stereotyped as a “glam doll” who, critics and audience unanimously opined, did not have much to offer when it comes to substance. Though she had a refreshing presence onscreen, but her contribution to the movies was mainly confined to her glamorous looks, according to movie-goers. The general opinion surrounding her was that she truly had this Barbie-doll kind of adorable charm and lights up the frame every time she appears, but was a sore oddity with her dialogue delivery and subtle nuances of acting. She was labelled as a ‘non-performer” who could not land up in any meaty role and was cast simply as a prop in the primarily male-centric films. On receiving such recurrent negative reviews on her acting prowess, she had reflected that just as Boom does not happen to be an important happening in her life, as back then, she was quite ignorant about India and its film audience, besides the fact that the film had major flaws; she also stated in the media later that her first few films were part of her learning process, and not part of any target. However, with New York, she made critics sit up and take notice of her acting. The rest, as they say, is history. She followed it up with Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani, Raajneeti, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Ek Tha Tiger etc. which were not only hits but also established herself as an actress to reckon with. She could now be trusted entirely to carry heroine-oriented movies on her own shoulders, and this fact could be amply supported by the number of critics’ choice as well as popular choice awards she has won in the last few years. Her next movie, Dhoom 3, which is slated for a December 2013 release, showcases her gymnastic moves. Reportedly, she has worked out very hard to get that perfect body to suit the role of a gymnast, apart from taking para-gliding lessons to do justice to those jaw-dropping action sequences. This is undoubtedly the most awaited movie of the year and Katrina has already made headlines with the teasers and trailers going on-air. She has now proven her versatility with a variety of roles, and now with Dhoom 3, she is sure to earn accolades for her thrilling action stunts. The heartthrob of millions, she is achieving one milestone after another in her career which looks even more flourishing in the upcoming years. She has made her mark not only as an actress who can hold her own in a multi-starrer movie, but also as one of the highest paid actresses in terms of endorsements. Truly, who knew that the "flop" heroine of Boom would charter such an illustrious journey, come a long way and become an "actress" in her own right! Keep it up, Katrina! We look forward to seeing more of you soon!