Entertainment Magazine

Spoilt for Choice: Kajal Aggarwal Interview

Posted on the 12 February 2015 by Haricharanpudipeddi @pudiharicharan
When you look back at your career now, what do you think has been the most exciting part?

I started my career very young. I did my first Hindi film, Kyun! Ho Gaya Na when I was ninth grade, and my Telugu debut happened in final year of college. The most exciting part has been the love and encouragement I've got from people across all the industries I've worked in. Sometimes you're well received in one industry but not so much in the other. But that hasn't happened in my case. I've been unanimously accepted everywhere I go.

You are on top of your game, but how much is the pressure factor?

Expectations are very high and you're expected not to spoil it with the choice of films. When I choose a film, which I do instinctively, I'm not hundred percent sure it's going work or not. But people expect you to be always right and choose films that'll strike a chord with them and I think it's almost impossible.

Is there something you regret about being an actor?

Ever since I started I've been very clear about what I want to do. Thankfully, I had the guts to put my foot down and say if I'm not comfortable with something I'm asked to do. Whether people have liked it or not and it might have rubbed them the wrong way, I've stood by my morals and ethics. I'm not judging others on what they do but everyone has their own threshold and I have mine too but I've not crossed it. No regrets at all, because I've done everything consciously.

But has stardom snatched away the little joys, say like a stroll in the park or walking into a movie hall without going incognito?

I admit most of us go incognito, but I don't understand why. See, we work so hard to be recognised and then why cover our face. When people actually start recognising you and you've reached that level where you have a large fan base, why do you want to hide your face? I walk into a movie hall whenever I feel like, but I agree I can't go alone but that's not going to stop me from doing normal things. Maybe, I agree, taking a walk in the park is too public. But even if you wish to walk alone, the worst thing that could happen is people coming and requesting for a photograph. I think it's perfectly normal.

You're nearing thirties. Do you feel there's a certain age for actresses to get married and settle down?

I'm a strong believer in the institution of marriage. My parents are in love and they're still together. Seeing them I've realised marriage is very important in everyone's life. And I think the right time to get married is when you find the right person. I agree people are of the opinion that you should get married early in life and it makes sense because you grow old with your partner. That being said, I've been very busy for the last nine years and didn't find the time to invest in any relationship because I haven't found anyone yet. Most importantly, I'm deeply in love with what I do and my priority has always been my work. But my younger sister, Nisha, found someone and eventually got married. But that was her personal choice. I think career and marriage should not be mixed. Some heroes get married at 25 and continue to work and even go on to become superstars. It's stupid to think marriage and career is interconnected. Why can't actress's career be treated like a corporate job? Women in corporates get married but they continue working, don't they? I'm so happy some of the young actresses have gotten married and still continue working. Amala Paul, my friend, is the best example.

Going back to your films. You've worked with most of your heroes, say like Ram Charan, Vijay and Prabhas more than once. Were you ever conscious that this might lead to controversies and linkups?

I was conscious but then I asked myself how many actors can I be linked with? You need to understand there are only a certain number of star heroes and heroines. And we make so many films in a year. So it's obvious that these actors have to be circulated in the big-budget films. Also, if a director feels a particular heroine is most suitable for his story, it doesn't matter who you're co-star is, you do it if you like it. I admit I've worked with some heroes thrice but my relationship with all my actors has always been very professional. For instance, Ram Charan and I are great friends, but I also know his wife really well because they've been dating since Magadheera.

Since you have climbed the commercial cinema peak, do you feel it's time for you to experiment with parallel cinema?

I'd like to experiment with independent cinema and filmmakers. I want to take up strong and well-written characters. But for all that to happen I need to come across a convincing script and it should just feel right. But it's very important to striking a balance. I wouldn't want to avoid commercial films. I could do two commercial and two independent films in a year. But I'm waiting to get a script to bowl me over so much that I shouldn't mind missing a big film. But having reached a certain position in my career, I can choose what I want now.

What about woman-centric films? In 2014, Bollywood produced some remarkable films like Queen and Mardaani. Why don't we see such films in South?

I disagree because I feel our industry is opening up to woman-centric films. In the last few years, the trend is catching up. I think Malayalam industry makes great films with pivotal roles for women to play. We should be proud of films like Arundhati, which completely changed the perspective of woman-centric films at the box office. People are ready to watch such films and financiers are ready to bet on them.

You seem to have high respect for Malayalam industry. How come you still haven't worked in it or Kannada for that matter?

I've been offered lot of films in these industries but I've been so busy with one project or the other. I'm always open to working but I need to find time to accommodate offers. What's annoying is that most of the times you're offered a better film just after you signed a film. But once I've accepted a film, it becomes my commitment. And I don't like to go back on my word. Signing a film is like falling in love for me. I sign a project only if I love the script.

Is it true that you chose NTR's Temper over Sudhir Mishra's film?

I had let to go of Sudhir's film for certain reasons in the script. The plan was to do Temper and Sudhir's film simultaneously and I had given my dates accordingly. I was really looking forward to Sudhir's film, but like I said before I have my personal boundaries and I don't like to cross them for anybody. I'll soon start working in a Hindi film with Randeep Hooda. It's an intense drama love story and we start shooting from March.

Let's talk about Maari in which you have teamed up with Dhanush.

It's shaping up really well. It's helped me get rid of one of my worst fears. There are a lot of birds in our film and I'm really scared of them, especially pigeons. But thanks to the experience of holding pigeons in my hand, I've successfully overcome the fear. What's even more exciting is that Balaji Mohan is one of the youngest directors I've worked with. He's so focused and driven by passion for his craft that I really enjoy working with him. I really like working with people with fresh ideas, concepts and a different perspective towards cinema. With Dhanush on the other hand, the experience has been amazing. He's undoubtedly one of the most talented actors I've collaborated. When you're working with somebody of very high calibre, you automatically raise the bar. Dhanush and I were supposed to work together for Polladhavan. We even did a photo-shoot together, but I had to choose between this film and Chandamama in Telugu because of the dates. We were again supposed to work together, but things didn't materialise.

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