I was never the first choice for ‘Bharat’: Katrina Kaif

Mumbai: It is well known how Katrina Kaif, at the last moment agreed to play the female lead in Bharat after Priyanka Chopra stepped out the film in the “nick of time”. Speculations were rife that Katrina was the first choice for Bharat until Priyanka apparently got herself drafted into the film which resulted in Salman signing Priyanka instead of Katrina. However, Katrina denies these rumours and says she was never the first choice for the film and was considered only after Priyanka stepped out.

Speaking to Dainik Bhaskar, Katrina said, “I was not the first choice at all for the director (Ali Abbas Zafar). Ali and I are very good friends. We are very honest to each other. We don’t lie to each other. Who was doing the role before me is not relevant to me. She (Priyanka) is a completely different person in a different place in her life and career as well. We all are looking for different things, acting is such a personal choice and it has to be with something you connect with personally for you to portray and give so much of yourself to the character.”

Explaining why she finally said yes to Bharat, Katrina said, “Ali told me that there is a change that has happened and although I was not the original choice for the film, he would like to offer me the script. So, it was a very simple conversation with him — say, that he is going to send me the script and that I have to read it and get back to him. So there was no friendship getting into the middle. It was a very professional call and I said superb. I read the script at night in one go. It took me three hours from start to finish and I called up Ali and told him that I loved it. I immediately feel in love with the role. For me it was a very happy moment as I felt it was a role that would challenge me and an experience I would love have.”

Speaking about her experience of working with Salman in Bharat, Katrina said, “It has been a great journey. I am really enjoying myself. The film pans across a few years. I am learning a lot. I am having a fulfilling experience on sets.”