atrina is amazing with action: Isabelle Kaif – When you meet Isabelle Kaif, you notice that she is similar in some ways to her older sister Katrina Kaif, yet is different in some aspects. While Kat takes time to open up, Isabelle is more talkative. However, both of them are focused on their respective careers.
Isabelle, who was first seen in the Canadian romantic drama Dr Cabbie (2014), is all set to debut in Bollywood with Time To Dance opposite Sooraj Pancholi.
Over a cup of coffee, she talks to us about her film choices, dance and more.
How many projects were you offered after Dr Cabbie?
There were some offers that weren’t so great and others where the makers wanted to start immediately, but it wasn’t possible for me to leave everything and shift here within a month.
There have been rumours about you doing a Hindi movie since a long time. How did you react to them?
I would be so confused about those reports. I would be like, ‘Which are these films that I’m doing and why don’t I know anything about them?’
Was it a conscious attempt on your part to attend an acting course?
I liked acting, but I was always shy. So, Katrina told me I should go to college, take up an acting course and see for myself if I enjoy it. That would help me get rid of the shyness too. Because getting on set and finding out that I don’t want to do this would be a little too late (laughs). So, it was a conscious decision.
When did you finally realise that you wanted to pursue this?
It was after I did my first play. At that point, we were just a week or so into the course. When I acted on stage, it was a different high for me. We were hitting every line perfectly and ended up getting a standing ovation. I just knew this is what I had to do, in whatever capacity I’m allowed to.
Are there any roles that you veer towards?
I don’t think I’m the funniest person in the world, so comedy scares me a little. People laugh at me rather than with me (laughs). I have always veered towards drama, maybe because in theatre, it was so much prevalent. I have done epic love stories, classics and I have enjoyed that space. I’m also drawn towards action.
Just like your sister?
Ya, totally. One of the first classes I had signed up for was action. There was stage combat where they teach you how to fight, sword fighting and stunt training, etc. Katrina is amazing with action.
How did Time To Dance happen?
Discussions started when I was in the US and had sent some audition tapes. The makers asked me to come over to Mumbai. Around the same time, a leading cosmetic brand was looking for a face and they signed me. Later, I met director Remo D’souza and everything fell into place. That’s when I decided to commit full time to the job and shift here.
You are training rigorously in different dance forms now…
Yes, Sooraj and I train for almost 10 hours a day. We are doing 12 different dance forms and each of them has a different musicality and technique to it. I’m excited because we are trying to do some cool drops and spins in this film. And I am like, ‘Sooraj, you better not drop me because if you do, I am going to limp back and kick you!’
How would you rate yourself as a dancer?
As a kid, I was drawn towards Jazz, Modern Ballet, Hip Hop and Tap Dancing. Today, I’m definitely a better dancer as compared to my school days. Hip Hop makes your moves sharper while Bollywood dance gives you fluidity.
Do you agree that now dance films today have a different audience altogether?
Yes. Although we dance in every single film of ours, we don’t have something like the Step Up franchise. It was Remo sir who created the ABCD: Any Body Can Dance series and his movies have done so well that I feel now is the right time. People are interested in the genre, so it’s just about delivering a good film that they can connect to.