Kareena Kapoor Khan is currently wearing many hats, effortlessly. Her upcoming film, Laal Singh Chaddha, opposite Aamir Khan, is already creating a buzz; she is donning the producer’s hat for the first time for Hansal Mehta‘s next directorial, and has recently authored a book – Kareena Kapoor Khan’s Pregnancy Bible: The Ultimate Manual For Moms-to-be. The actress talks about motherhood, turning a producer after two decades of working in the film industry and finding the strength to work throughout her pregnancy amidst the pandemic.
Anupama Chopra: When we look at you, we see this impossibly glamorous movie star, living this impossible glamorous life. But in your book, you puncture all of that. You’re talking about nausea, exhaustion, your lower libido. There’s even a picture of your swollen feet. Tell me why was this important for you?
Kareena Kapoor Khan: A glamourous life has nothing to do with what I have felt during a pregnancy that is as normal as the rest of the world. It’s normal to have children, to carry them for nine months and experience whatever you’ve asked me. The only thing that’s not normal about it is that it’s about a mainstream actor, whose glamorous side you keep hearing about, but never hear about the side that’s most normal. I knew if I did this book, it had to have everything I actually feel. Whether it was about breast feeding, a mother’s guilt, the fact that I didn’t feel as beautiful in my second pregnancy – all these things are as normal for any other mother. Just that she wouldn’t think that a Kareena Kapoor is probably feeling the same thing. This is to make people know that we are as normal. What you see is probably just 5% of our lives, which gets blown up by the media, but no one really talks about this. This is the first time a mainstream actress is addressing issues about not feeling herself, swollen feet or not getting enough milk. You’ve never heard them address such topics.
AC: You also talk about your second pregnancy where because you were older, you felt more exhausted and yet, you kept going, like you did with the first. You were working till the end of it. What did you do to will yourself to power through all of this?
KKK: Just the fact that I have worked all my life, from the age of 17. I’ve not been the kind of person who would say, ‘This is it. I’ve had my share of success, I’ve made enough money and I just want to hang up my boots now.’ I’ve always wanted to keep doing something, keep working and looking for more. During the second pregnancy with Jeh, the whole world was traumatized with the Covid outbreak. That’s when I happened to find out that I was pregnant. But the idea that I didn’t want to stop, that I wanted to take all safety precautions and still go on [kept me going]. The support of a loving husband, having that time with him at home and his encouragement kept me going too. I shot Laal Singh Chaddha when I was 5 and a half months pregnant. I actually shot for a romantic song with Aamir in the film carrying my baby. I find that confidence in me to say that just because I’m a woman and I’m pregnant, doesn’t mean that I can’t do it. It’s ok, I can do it. I think every woman has that, you just have to tap into it and find it inside you. Surround yourself with people who support you, not the ones who restrict you. I don’t keep such people around me.
AC: After more than 20 years in the business, you’ve turned producer with Hansal Mehta’s film. Do you think that women should have more control on movie sets? Is that why you took this step?
KKK: We have quite a few great minds out there – from Zoya Akhtar and Ekta Kapoor to Guneet Monga and Anushka Sharma. We have lots of women ruling the production forefront, making brilliant films. I don’t have a director gene but it’s a script that I loved and when Ekta offered it to me, I said, ‘Why not?’ It would be quite interesting to also have a little more control over the scripts and the films that I do after 21 years. I would love to give my input and just be a part of the production so that I know that it’s the best. I have something to offer, so I would like to share it. It’s only because of that rather than anything else.