Kareena gets $545,000 for a film


Kareena KapoorKareena Kapoor has just bagged a Rs.25-million ($554,000) contract for a film - an unheard-of fee for an actress in India - even though her films haven't seen much success.

The film is producer Harry Baweja's son Harnam's launch film.

Kareena Kapoor has just bagged a Rs.25-million ($554,000) contract for a film - an unheard-of fee for an actress in India - even though her films haven't seen much success.

The film is producer Harry Baweja's son Harnam's launch film.

In Chennai to shoot Priyadarshan's new film with Salman Khan after an endorsement trip to Chandigarh and Ludhiana, Kareena laughs at her good fortune.

"I guess it's just someone's protective eye over me. Otherwise how do you explain my place in Bollywood in spite of such a low success ratio?"

About her new release "Aitraaz", she is as defensive as the lawyer she plays. "It's certainly not a washout. It's doing well in the multiplex theatres in big cities. I enjoyed playing the wife and lawyer."

But it's the other woman Priyanka Chopra who has walked away with all the praise. "I didn't want to play the bad woman again. I had just done one in 'Fidaa'," says Kareena.

"I was happy doing the more conventional role and the few meaty scenes I had. I enjoy working with Akshay Kumar. We've a new release coming up next month."

In Dharamesh Darshan's eagerly awaited "Bewafaa", Kareena is cast as Kajal, a young vivacious girl compelled to marry a man much older. Though it's being perceived as a traditional story of a woman's sacrifices, Kareena shoots down the perception.

"No, no, the film is very contemporary in feel. It's been beautifully shot in Canada and though it does address itself to issues such as the sanctity of marriage and family, it isn't an old fashioned film at all."

But right now, Kareena is most excited about her new release. "'Hulchal' is my first comedy and my first film with Akshaye Khanna. He's a terrific co-star, and the film has shaped up really well.

"And weren't Priyadarshan's two earlier comedies 'Hera Pheri' and 'Hungama' big hits? I feel 'Hulchal' will complete a hat trick of hits for the director."

In the meantime, Kareena has started shooting for Priyadarshan's non-comedy film co-starring Salman. "I don't want to get caught in any one groove or style. I've had an eventful year. Now I want it to get better."

Kareena has been suffering a series of minor health ailments that have depressed her. "But that's okay. I'm a born fighter. Nothing can get me down for too long."