Cinema, City & Conversations

Actors Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif open up about their 'lonely at the top' moments.

Words — mouthful, impactful and honest — reverberated at Delhi's Taj Palace Hotel's on Friday. What are the trappings of being a Bollywood star? How about rivalry between co-actors? As actors Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif took to the podium, in a session moderated by Vir Sanghvi at the 10th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, it was frankness and honesty all the way.

With their film Jab Tak Hai Jaan having just released on Diwali, the 20-minute chat with the two actors turned out to be a tongue-in-cheek conversation, full of personal experiences, trappings of Bollywood and relationships with other members of the film industry.

Khan, dressed up formally, opened up about his temper and toyed with his background of being a Delhiite. "I'm a Delhi man and one gets into fights! Seriously, though, with three fights in five years, I've sobered down a lot and I have had my share of meltdowns and the mid-life crisis," he said. Kaif, at this juncture, added, "You build up a personality so large as Shah Rukh Khan that you have to stick to that image and it's very stressful."

On her part, Kaif spoke about her initial years in Bollywood and her problems with Hindi, especially when a Hindi-speaking journalist once berated her. But she coolly said, "Sure, express your opinions but just say it a little more nicely." She rated working with the Yash Raj banner "not an experience but a personal accomplishment".

Keeping the conversation about the film minimal, the two actors were also seen sharing their lonely-at-the-top moments, with both confessing to having shed tears during their respective phases of vulnerability.

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