The Diva-fication of Katrina Kaif on Karan Johar’s show

Until recently, she was considered a pretty face, not dumb but nothing to write home about. Now, all of a sudden, on Koffee With Karan, she was the quintessential screen queen, the ultimate diva.

Subhash K Jha September 11, 2022 10:48:52 IST
The Diva-fication of Katrina Kaif on Karan Johar’s show

Katrina Kaif on Koffee With Karan

On Thursday, when the lately married off-media Katrina Kaif popped in for Koffee With Karan (wearing what looked to me like a bathrobe, though I shouldn’t be commenting on couture as Karan Johar rightly thinks I know zilch about it), the one thing that I noticed  about Ms  Kaif is that she had suddenly acquired a gravitas in her personality.

Until recently, she was considered a pretty face, not dumb but nothing to write home about. Now, all of a sudden, on Koffee With Karan, she was the quintessential screen queen, the ultimate diva. The host, known to take potshots at all his guests, for once, spoke to his VIP   guest in a hushed, reverential tone, even letting us know that she was ‘wise’.

Wow! So regal was Katrina’s presence (the casual couture notwithstanding) that the two other guests, Siddhant Chaturvedi (he proclaimed on the show that he hated being called Siddharth) and Ishaan Khatter, almost seemed like props. Sportingly, the two young actors  played supporting roles in what was clearly meant to be Koffee With Katrina.

Siddhant and Ishaan were like two little lambs, poodle-like in their acknowledgement of the diva’s presence in their midst. They even spoke of  how an awed hush would descend on the sets of Phone Bhoot (the film that the two fanboys are doing with their idol) whenever Katrina would arrive.

It was almost like two fans discussing Meryl Streep at a bus stop after spotting her passing by in her limo .Like I said, wow. Way to  go, girl. I remember when Katrina had arrived in Bollywood, the actors made fun of her (non-existent) Hindi. One of her heroes had guffawed  to me, “I thought my Hindi was bad. But after hearing Katrina’s Hindi, I feel like a Hindi scholar.”

When she went to meet Sanjay Leela Bhansali with Salman Khan, Bhansali refused to entertain her. Salman wanted to play Bajirao to Katrina’s Mastani. But her linguistic lacuna  played villain.

Over my dead project, said Bhansali.

How times have changed!  It is good to see male actors playing supporting roles to female heroes, not only on screen but in real life too. Taapsee Pannu has been doing a lot of female-oriented parts. But her heroes , though seen in supporting roles, market their films as equal to their co-star.

Khattar and Chaturvedi represent a new breed of Bollywood actors, who don’t mind being seen as supporting actors to female heroes. Recently, Chaturvedi seemed similarly reverential of Deepika Padukone while promoting Gehraaiyan and of Rani Mukerji during Bunty Aur Babli 2.

This week’s episode of Koffee With Karan was entertaining because of the two actors’  unabashed boy-crush on Katrina. Welcome to the new era.

Subhash K Jha is a Patna-based film critic who has been writing about Bollywood for long enough to know the industry inside out. He tweets at @SubhashK_Jha.

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