areena Kapoor Khan: Feminism isn’t about male bashing – Actor Kareena Kapoor Khan was massively trolled on social media for saying that she believe in gender equality but is not a feminist. The actor clarifies her misunderstood remark.
Riding high on the great response her Friday release, Veere Di Wedding, is garnering, Kareena Kapoor Khan has once again proved why she’s among the top names in the film industry. Having portrayed varied roles in her career spanning nearly two decades, Kareena has only climbed her way up in Bollywood. Having made a comeback on the big screen since she became a mother in December 2016, Bebo is as excited as her fans. In a freewheeling chat, the actor clarifies her misunderstood feminist remark and also talks about the kind of films she’s been a part of and scripts she would want to choose in future.
You called Veere Di Wedding a progressive film. Has this term lost and found its meaning in Bollywood over the years?
I feel Indian films were quite progressive back in the ‘60s and even in the ‘70s; we were quite out there making some interesting women-centric films. There was a lull in the ‘90s, I’d say. And now, we are back, again. Also, with films like Raazi, which have done so well, I think people are ready for the kind of women centric films, which is fun yet emotional.
Where do you see yourself fitting in this entire shift that Bollywood has undergone?
I’ve always been interested in doing women centric films, be it Chameli, Dev or Jab We Met — they all had a female protagonist, which is very strong in the film. For that matter, Omkara was so ‘male centric’ because it had these big [male] stars [Saif Ali Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Ajay devgn] yet, it had pivotal parts for girls too [Kareena and Konkona Sen Sharma] in the film. So, despite so much male presence, it was quite female centric for its time. I’ll always pick and choose a film is interesting for me to do.
You’ve played a girl getting married in VDW. Are you again trying to make any kind of a statement through this character?
Not directly, but probably indirectly in the film where we are trying to show how four friends just hang out in real life and how they react to things in the real world. That’s just the way how the film is and it’s not like based on feminism. We are trying to prove a point about women. Very subtly, it’ll come through that what kind of issue girls face.
Your recent remark about ‘not being a feminist but believing in gender equality’ got you trolled on social media.
What was wrong in the feminism statement? I still say that I believe in equality and there’s nothing wrong in it. Most people think that feminism means male bashing and that it makes women superior. That’s what they’ve always meant otherwise why they’d be fighting on twitter every time. It’s not just about that. In a way, I am a bit of a feminist but I am a feminist in the right way. I’m not trying to say than men are lesser because they are not. I believe it takes a two to tango in any kind of a relationship? But then, main kuch bhi statement bolun, trolls toh shuru ho jate hain, especially when it comes to feminism. Twitter is a playground for that and trolls thrive on it.
Do you think your words were misconstrued and taken out of context?
It’s fine. It doesn’t matter. The idea is I do believe in equality. I do believe it takes a man and a woman to set an example. If you don’t have a support system from a man and vice versa, a family also would be difficult to have. I don’t want to get associated with any ‘…ism’ — I mean why does it have to have a name or a tag?
After becoming a mother, has anything changed in the kind of films being offered to you?
It’s more to do with your choice and what you pick up. So, I’ll try and do different parts as much as I can in each film, but at the same time, it’s balancing little bit of commercial success too because at the end of the day, I am a mainstream actress.
Has Saif [husband] ever had a say in what kind of films you should take?
He never questions me about what films I do. Only if I ask him, we [might] discuss but he’s too progressive a man to ever ask me what I am doing. In fact, he says it’s your choice. Your success and your failure should be yours and mine are mine and I think anyway, both our film’s tastes are completely different.