'The first brief that I got from my director (Kabir Khan) was that 'it (the character) is the Katrina whom you have not seen in other films... She is not the one by whom you are intimidated when you see her'. I have just been myself in the film,' Katrina told IANS in a telephonic interview from Mumbai.
'I was told 'look at yourself, the personality you have and the things you go through in real life'... Of course, the situations would be different but Maya is what Katrina is off-screen. She is what I'm in real life,' she added.
Asked if it was a deliberate effort to have a deglamorised look in the film, she said: 'When I hear the word deglamorised, I think of someone who has put mud on the face and is wearing dirty clothes... It's not a deglamorised role... It's a very realistic role where I bring out what I am in reality.'
Portraying her real characteristics in the movie was also a 'different experience' for the 24-year-old. 'It was a kind of a challenge in itself, but it was the most wonderful part too,' she said.
Produced and distributed by Yash Raj Films, 'New York' is releasing June 26 worldwide.
Apart from Katrina, it stars John Abraham and Neil Nitin Mukesh in male leads with Irrfan Khan in a pivotal role.
Set in New York, the narrative spreads over nine years. It tells the story of three young friends whose lives take an unexpected turn after 9/11.
'My brief was very clear that Maya is not a Muslim and also that 9/11 attacks are only a backdrop to the film, after which their (the three friends') lives change and take a turn... it's about their emotional journey in the film than anything else,' she said.
The Britain-born model-turned-actress' career soared to heights after she gave four back-to-back hits in 2007 - 'Namastey London', 'Apne', 'Partner', 'Welcome' and the first hit of 2008 'Race' in which Katrina played a character with shades of grey. She continued the winning streak with the comedy 'Singh Is Kinng'.
Apart from honing her acting skills, Katrina has also begun dubbing her movies on her own with an improved Hindi accent.
'I choose to dub on my own and make the efforts. I try to make it sound correct. Where some other artist might take three days to dub, I take six days, but I am trying very hard,' she averred.
Katrina also denied taking Hindi classes.
'I don't think I need to take Hindi lessons.'
After predominantly juggling with comedy, Katrina has moved to serious roles with 'New York' and Prakash Jha's 'Rajneeti'.
'I've just arrived at a point where I am being offered diverse films,' said Katrina who was last seen in Subhash Ghai's dud 'Yuvvraaj'.
Her future projects include a bevy of big-budget ventures like 'Blue', 'De Dana Dan' and 'Ajab Prem Ki Ghajab Kahani'.
The actress is content with her career.
'Everything is given to us by god. All you can do is work hard towards something. I've always believed in that and have always tried staying professional and given my best. And I love criticism... you have to take it constructively and move ahead in life,' she said.ALSO READ: Salman Khan has a 10-minute elaborate entry sequence in 'Tiger 3'ALSO READ: Vicky Kaushal shares a gym post with a wise quote; Katrina playfully enquires about the person who said it