Kareena Kapoor Khan has mastered the ability to slip between roles—from leading lady to mother, wife or sweetheart to a million admirers. In a league of her own, she shows us why she will always remain the prima donna of Bollywood
Kareena Kapoor Khan is sensational—on the screen and off it. The sheer buzz around her is demonstrated by the energy coursing through the set of our cover shoot as all eyes stay fixed on her. Luminously beautiful, she stands tall as her entourage orbits around her—making minor adjustments to her hair, the drape of her garment. Meanwhile, she stares at the camera—her expressions, stance and demeanour exuding confidence. Perhaps this is why she will always be regarded as a bona fide Bollywood heroine.
On screen, she’s animated and fiery; off-screen, she’s refreshingly laid-back. With two movies in the offing—Good News and Takht—her excitement is palpable. “With Good News, I reunite with Akshay (Kumar)—it’s great to share screen time with him after so many years. Raj (Mehta) is an immensely talented director and has such a fun take on the subject of the film. Then there’s Takht, which is a massive project with a talented ensemble star cast, so there’s great synergy on the set.” This year is filled with more promising work for Kareena and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Earrings: Shri Paramani Jewels
From Refugee (2000) to Veere Di Wedding (2018), her Bollywood run time is marked with iconic portrayals (who can forget Poo from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham), critical acclaim, and commercial success. Whether one attributes it to her genes or her effervescent personality, Kareena harbours a great love for the movies. “I’ve always maintained that films are my passion and I will continue working irrespective of the personal phases along the way. Of course, as a mother, today, I have to ensure that I prioritise my time in a manner that allows me to balance both, the professional and personal spectrums of my life,” she informs.
Even in motherhood, she’s paved the way for a new breed of Bollywood moms. Her son, Taimur Ali Khan—born in the full glare of the media—is viewed as one of the most popular kids in India. And Kareena has strived to not over-shield him, even as she deals with the burgeoning paparazzi culture surrounding her child. “Again, I have to give equal credit to Saif for that. We collectively believe that Taimur should never have to feel like he has something to fear or run away from; neither should he have to deal with the pressure of having star parents. We never gave it a lot of thought, but decided on an approach that was more organic and allowed our son to enjoy his freedom—the rest we deal with as it comes,” she informs. Speaking of the constant media glare and the current day demands for celebrities to be active on digital media, I ask her how she—one of the most photographed and sought-after A-listers—manages to keep off the social media game. “Everyone keeps pushing me to sign up, but let me tell you a little secret—I do get online once in a while to check what’s happening because it’s very intriguing for me,” she lets slip of her incognito voyeurism.
Born into a legacy, married into royalty—yet Kareena’s a woman who’s achieved fame and fortune on her own merit. What does it feel like to wake up and be her? “I won’t lie! It feels great!” she states, adding, “The movies have given me so much love and I’m blessed with the best family, friends, most loving husband and funnily enough, a son who is the country’s most popular sensation. Going forward a decade or two from now, I would like to still find myself working on a film set doing what I love and then going home to my family. I will work in movies till the day I die.” And if you think she’s done it all, she’ll have you know, “The best is yet to come. I want to do and achieve everything I possibly can!”
Here’s to Kareena, who— just like in the movies she so dearly loves—found success, married her prince and today, is living her ‘happily ever after’.
Photographs: Abhay Singh, Outfits: Tarun Tahiliani, Styling: Mohit Rai, Make-up: Subhash Vagal, Hair: Yianni Tsapatori, Location: JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu