The Weather Girls' iconic song "It's raining men... Hallelujah" will forever be associated with 'Pooja' aka 'Poo' from "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham" for a generation of Bollywood fans, but actor Kareena Kapoor Khan, who essayed the character on screen, says the role initially left her bewildered. 'Poo' turned out to be one of the most memorable characters from the 2001 Karan Johar family drama feature, which also featured top stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Hrithik Roshan.
As the movie clocks 20 years this December, Kareena, in an interview with PTI, revisited the unapologetically bold 'Poo', a role she said was more difficult to play than many of her other characters.
"There has never been a character on Indian screens where a mainstream actor will be so open and bold. It was way ahead of its time. When we were shooting it 20 years ago, Karan used to tell me that 'This is going to be an iconic character' and I would be like 'Why am I doing this?"
Kareena's dialogues while looking at herself in the mirror: "How dare you? Tumhara koi haq nahin banta ki tum itni khoobsurat lago. Not fair", her catchphrase "Whatevaa" and "Koun hai ye jisne dobaara mud ke mujhe nahi dekha... who's he?" are still popular with the actor's fans.
"Even after 20 years every girl remembers Poo or has some connect. It's just the way she carried herself. She was not a typical heroine. It's a difficult role to play... to have that kind of timing and dialogue rather than putting glycerine and crying. I think even I can't do that timing again if I tried getting back to her," the actor said.
In 2018, while there were some reports that Kareena would be returning to play a character inspired by 'Poo' for a streaming giant, nothing was officially announced. Kareena said Johar would love the idea of making a spin-off on 'Poo' but she would like to remember her character for what it was in the movie.
"Karan and I would love to have a spin-off, he would love the idea. But I think we should remember it for what it was. When people talk about 'Kabhi Khushi...' they talk about Poo and I would like it to remain that way and live with that," the 41-year-old actor said.
She was set to collaborate with Johar again for the period drama "Takht", which traces the relationship between Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and his brother Dara Shukoh.
But the film, also starring Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal and Anil Kapoor, was put on hold amid the pandemic. Johar moved on to direct "Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani", also starring Singh and Bhatt with Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan and Shabana Azmi.
Asked about the status of "Takht", Kareena revealed the filmmaker is still more than willing to make the historical drama when the time is right.
"I'm sure we will definitely make 'Takht', but it's not the right time. It's an elaborate film which requires a lot of people on set. I'm sure this film ('Rocky Aur...') he is making will be spectacular and I'm sure 'Takht' will definitely be made. He says he wants to," she said.
The Bollywood diva was talking on the sidelines of the FDCI X Lakme Fashion Week, where she walked for ace designer Gaurav Gupta at the grand finale on Sunday night. Gupta's collection was his representation of Lakme's this year's theme #DefineToRedefine. The designer created the entire range from upcycled ocean plastic, with an aim to motivate the fashion industry to move towards more sustainable practices.
Kareena, who wore a white one-shoulder gown with gold and shimmery highlights, said she was elated to return to the runway after February 2020 and support sustainable fashion.
"This year's theme is all about sustainability, fashion, recycling. I think that's what fashion should be about today. It's such an important subject to be spoken about and I'm happy the fashion week is supporting that. So many designers have showcased their sustainable collections in the fashion week and they are absolutely stunning," she said.
The FDCI X Lakme Fashion Week, which concluded on Sunday, was opened by Tarun Tahiliani with a digital preview of his collection last Tuesday.