It's not Congress president Sonia Gandhi but her daughter Priyanka Vadra whom Bollywood actor Katrina Kaif followed to prepare for her role in the dark political thriller Raajneeti. But her character is not based on either of them.
"As part of the basic exercise I followed Priyanka because she is a very strong person. I feel she is very independent and a right blend of modern values, ethics and everything. And she is young," Katrina, 25, told in an interview.
"Prakashji (director Prakash Jha) liked Priyanka's movement and that was only to see a person who is independent and modern and who is a leader. But my character is not at all based on her," she said.
Commenting on the character's reported resemblance to Sonia Gandhi, "I spent some years in England as you all know that my mother is English. Sonia mam also has a foreign connection. She wears saris, I too wear saris in the film, so people connected, which is quite logical. I can understand it."
"What I feel most importantly is people should understand that I am not playing Sonia Gandhi because then they will come to watch the film with wrong expectations."
Scheduled for a June 4 release, Raajneeti revolves round a plot where Ajay Devgn, Arjun Rampal, Nana Patekar, Naseeruddin Shah, Ranbir Kapoor and Manoj Bajpai will be seen playing political games for power.
Initially Katrina didn't want to to do Raajneeti, but the story compelled her.
"A lot of people ask me why I don't do serious films. I don't enjoy it. I like fun in cinema. I like romance, I like songs... Initially, when I had the meeting, I thought that I would go to Prakashji and say it's not my kind of space."
"I went to meet him in between. He narrated the story to me and I felt this film has as much excitement as any other films I was doing. I thought I should give it a try. When I liked the story, why should I say no?" said Katrina.
Raajneeti is not only about politics for power but also politics within relations, she says.
"He (Jha) has taken a very popular subject. You know it's not just the raajneeti about what's happening in the Lok Sabha, it's more about the politics in life. "It's on the politics in the country, politics within your own family, between two lovers, between husband and wife. It's a politics of relationships as well as the politics of government or something like that," said Katrina.
The emotional sequences in the movie bothered Katrina a lot. "In the film, I didn't have to get into the political side of it because when I come into the political arena, there is nothing much I had to do except deliver my campaigning dialogues for which I had to understand a kind of body language. That was a very basic exercise. Prakashji had given me lots of videos to watch. My memory is very good. I can remember 10 pages of dialogues; so that's not a worry."
"The things that I had to try, understand and think about was the emotional scenes in the movie. I think you cannot do a scene if you have to find a connection to it. If there is someone very close to me and I like him but that person doesn't love me, how would I behave in that situation? In those scenes, I only tried to understand from my own personal experience and from someone close to me," said Katrina.
Asked if she would have taken Raajneeti if it had come at the beginning of her career, she said, "When I entered the industry, I didn't have many choices. So I don't think I would have got the choice. If it had come, I would have taken it.As it has great cast and a great director."
"I think it's more difficult when you have more choices. I just try to analyse it, and go by instinct. You can sit, you can plan, you can calculate, see it through a microscope and you are only going to end up more confused."
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