She knew the questions would be inevitable. No wonder then, she had her answers ready. And it’s to Kareena Kapoor’s credit that she didn’t even flinch once nor did she lose her smile or poise when asked to offer her opinion on Shahid Kapoor’s wedding. “Let’s not turn Shahid’s wedding into a soap opera. He’s beginning a new life and I wish him a lifetime of happiness,” is Kareena’s standard reply whenever asked about Shahid.
Kareena and Shahid broke up almost eight years ago. In the meantime, she got married to Saif Ali Khan but clearly time stood still for quite many people still fixated on what the ex-lovers feel. Not that the question is totally avoidable and unwarranted since everybody loves a scandal or a “soap opera” featuring good-looking people.
When past equations are refreshed, the best way forward for the celebs is to handle it with grace or as a top female actor once told me, “give an answer even before ‘that’ question is asked. This way ‘the hunted’ becomes ‘the hunter’ and the power equation between the journalist and the celebrity is restored.”
Being on the other side — where we ask and demand answers — it is quite an uncomfortable brush with reality to know that actors can think of you as ‘hunters’ but that’s the way the game rolls. As Salman Khan once told me, “While media judges us (film stars) by the answers we give, we judge the journalist by the question he/she asks.”
The journalist and the star always walk a tightrope. We have to ask uncomfortable questions and they have to answer. But a little respect, both ways, goes a long way in getting the job done as well as not spoiling the relationship you’ve built with a star over the years.
These days with the boom of social media and its vicious over-sharing model gaining momentum in Bollywood, deft handling is even more required. Everything is news nowadays. We live in a world where interviews are happening in selfies and tweets and instagram updates go viral in the time that it takes for you and I to blink. Even the celebs feel the pressure to keep the quips and smiles ready.
What gets their goat is when innuendos are made about their personal life or past relationships. To be fair, with time some questions do get boring and some past links need to be put in the trash can. For instance there is more to Deepika Padukone than being Ranbir Kapoor’s “ex-flame.” Bet both Ranbir and Deepika are also bored of their “soap opera.” Jennifer Aniston had some wonderful advice for everyone when the opera about her, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie was being played out. “Just turn the page,” she told the world. That’s not a bad advice.
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