"My film-makers have accepted me. They know I'm in a league of my own. Madhuri Dixit gave her first hit after nine years. Sridevi never had a historical hit. And yet they were the top actresses because they were immensely talented. The same goes for me too."
(Filmfare, Mar. 2002)

The younger sister of Karisma Kapoor holds the unofficial title of Most Outspoken Actress in Bollywood. Targets of her wrath have included...

 • Salman Khan: "I'm not at all a Salman fan. I don't like him, he's a very bad actor." (print interview with Umesh Jivnani)

 • Bobby Deol: after a squabble on the sets of Ajnabee, allegedly over his wife's behavior, the two actors and former friends are no longer on speaking terms (and apparently Karisma is shunning him as well). "Actually, there was a problem with his wife. She didn't behave properly with my mother. And I didn't like that." (Filmfare, March 2002)

 • Preity Zinta: her comments about the privileges of star children ruffled Kareena's feathers. "She said something about me and I retaliated...There was probably some misunderstanding which she wasn't interested in clearing up. That's fine by me because she's nowhere in competition with me." (Filmfare, May 2001)

 • Sanjay Leela Bhansali (director of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam): he screentested her for the role of Parvati in his upcoming film Devdas, and then cast Aishwarya Rai instead. Kareena has publicly stated that "Sanjay Bhansali is a confused director. He is a person who does not stand by his word. He doesn't have any morals and principles in life." (print interview with Umesh Jivnani) In the July 2002 issue of Filmfare Magazine, Bhansali confirms the tale: "She came to my house with Neeta Lulla and said she wanted to work with me... I told her that I hadn't seen her work and that before casting her, I needed to see what she was capable of. We fixed up a photo-shoot with the right costumes. Since Babitaji and Karisma Kapoor were also at the shoot, I made it clear to all of them that the shoot wasn't a confirmation that I would cast Kareena. They were okay with that at the time. After going through the photographs, I told Kareena that I felt Aishwarya Rai was fabulous and perfect for Paro; she has the aristocratic looks I required. Kareena didn't say a word then but some days later I found her lashing out at me in print. She accused me of backing out after having given her the signing amount and contract. Believe me, this is not true. She also said I didn't know how to make films. Kareena is a fabulous girl who's doing very well in life. However, I'd like to inform her that I do know how to make films. She has tried to tell me that she was misquoted but I'd like her to know that I've heard those tapes. Recently, we met at Sikander Kher's birthday party. I told her that if I have a suitable role for her, I'll cast her. Till then, I'll brush up on film-making." (Filmfare, July 2002)

 • Bipasha Basu: On the sets of Ajnabee, Kareena was allegedy irritated that Bipasha's costuming was receiving more attention than her own. Bipasha adds, "They mentioned that Kareena had called me kali billi ['black cat' -- an insult regarding the shade of Basu's skin]... and I was mad at her. Why rake up all this now? I'm not denying the tension between Kareena and me. Yet I'm not looking to take her on. Ajnabee is over and done with." (Filmfare, Jan 2002)

 • And above all, Amisha Patel, whose role in Kaho Na...Pyaar Hai was originally intended to be Kareena's debut. The following is excerpted from an interview with Kareena in the March 2002 issue of Filmfare magazine:

Q: Why have you been making nasty statements about Amisha Patel then?

A: Listen, I have no problems with Amisha Patel. In fact, I even called her up after Gadar. I thought she was good and I told her so. Even at one of the award function I went up to her and said hello. If that's not graciousness then what is? What more can I do to make peace? On the contrary, her mother has been bitching about me to all and sundry. She's been going around saying that who does Kareena Kapoor think she is. She has given only flops. She'll never make it. Fine. So what happened to Amisha Patel's Zindagi Ka Safar? If Amisha's so confident of her talent then why is she screaming about her hits? Okay so I have given only flops. But why am I still being paid more than her? It's only talent that matters here. Raj Kapoor sold off his last shirt while making Mera Naam Joker. But he's considered the greatest showman even today. I have the talent. I'm confident. And I know I'll be remembered always. I don't want Amisha Patel's history hits. I don't want to be mediocre in hit films. I'd rather be brilliant in flop movies...

Q: It's said that you take potshots at her only because she's a threat to your position.
A: What nonsense? I carried Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai on my shoulders. Zindagi Ka Safar was riding on Amisha's shoulders. What happened?...

Q: Apparently, you refused to go on a world tour of stage shows with Amisha Patel. So the organisers had to replace her?

A: (Smirks) If she was a bigger star than me, I would have been replaced. So I rest my case.

If you're wondering why Kareena's name is sometimes spelled as 'Karienna,' 'Kariena,' and 'Kareina,' it's not because the journalists are illiterate. On the advice of a numerologist, Kareena temporarily changed the spelling of her name to make for a more auspicious combination of letters. The box-office failure of Asoka -- and perhaps the media's widespread confusion -- have prompted her to revert to the original, though not before starting a trend which has been eagerly followed by Shobhaa (formerly Shobha) De, Suniel (formerly Sunil) Shetty, Tushar (formerly Tusshar), and playback singer Sonu Niigam (formerly Nigam).

Kareena Kapoor

Kareena Kapoor
born: September 21, 1980
height: 5' 5"

2000 Refugee*
2001 Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai
2001 Asoka*
2001 Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham*
2001 Yaadein
2002 Jeena Sirf Merre Liye
2002 Mujhse Dosti Karoge

2003 Chameli
2003 Khushi
2003 LOC: Kargil
2003 Talaash
2004 Aitraaz
2004 Dev
2004 Fida
2004 Hulchul
2004 Yuva
* acclaimed performance

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