She battled Hindi diction woes and the 'outsider' tag to win over Bollywood audiences and has worked with top-notch stars and filmmakers in her over decade-long acting career. Model-turned-actress Katrina Kaif says the industry only has space for those who are passionate about their craft - age notwitstanding.
Facing the arclights might seem like a cakewalk for many but Katrina, who at one point in her career, gave six back-to-back hits, doesn't find it easy.
"It's a hard industry to work in. It's not easy on a person to be sometimes 14 to 15 hours on the sets. Sometimes, you don't have a lunch or dinner break. It's taxing on a person. You have to be passionate about making movies. So, till the time you are passionate about it, there is space for you in the industry," Katrina told IANS in an interview here.
At 31, she has films like "Jagga Jasoos" and "Fitoor" in her kitty.
She doesn't see age as limitation in the field. Citing examples of actresses like Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi, who came back to films after becoming mothers, Katrina said that it's not age that decides a woman's fate in showbiz.
"Actresses like Madhuri and Sridevi have worked till the time they've wanted to. I think what happens with most women...it's law of nature...if they choose to get married and if they choose to have a family...and that will take her away from work for that particular time.
"Otherwise, I think women work as long as they choose to. Kajol is doing great work till today, Aishwarya Rai has started doing some amazing work now. It's up to the individual...how much he or she is interested in pursuing and developing art," added the talented actress, who has roots in London.
As an actor, Katrina, who has shared screen space with superstars like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan, aims to get her hands on good films, rather than focusing on whom she is cast with.
"People want to work with them (the Khans) because they are icons of Hindi cinema, but I don't think people are saying that that's all they want to do. If you are an actor, your job is to act... to be a part of a good film and do good work," said the actress, who has done a film as serious as "Raajneeti" as well as a mix of comedies and romantic films.
Having started with a box office dud like "Boom" and then going on to creating a success story started with "Namastey London", "Apne", "Partner", "Welcome", "Race" and "Singh Is Kinng", Katrina feels the current crop of films are "amazing", with women playing strong central roles.
"Even in the films which I've done with Salman and Shah Rukh -- 'Ek Tha Tiger' and 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' -- both were extremely strong roles for me...for any girl to do. So, I don't think it's just about whom you are acting with," said the actress, who essayed a Pakistani spy in Salman-starrer "Ek Tha Tiger".
Also a popular dancer courtesy her songs "Chikni chameli" and "Sheila ki jawani", Katrina is happy that she has worked with "almost all types of people".
"I've worked with actors like Govinda, Irrfan Khan, John Abraham and Neil Nitin Mukesh. It's all been amazing," she said.
She is currently filming "Fitoor" in which she is paired with "Aashiqui 2" fame actor Aditya Roy Kapur.