In an exclusive chat with BollywoodLife, Kajol candidly opens up about sharing screen space with King Khan, breaking rules, her take on the lack of gender equality in the industry and of course the way her personality has evolved over the years...
She enters the room with a bright smile on her face, instantly lightening up the atmosphere and chatters away unconsciously with everyone around her. She has absolutely no air about herself, is extremely articulate in her thoughts and most importantly is one of the most filmi personalities you would ever meet! That's Kajol for you. Genial, funny, genuine and unabashedly honest.
She makes absolutely no bones about who she is and is one of the few people in Bollywood who would dare to be herself even as ten cameras point at her. Kajol is full of energy as she is all geared up to hit screens with Rohit Shetty's Dilwale with the King Of Romance, Shah Rukh Khan. Here's what unfolded with our exclusive conversation with Kajol. Stay glued.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge to Diwale is a remarkable journey and you set fire to the screens with Shah Rukh Khan, but do you think that it is so overwhelming to see you two in one frame together that people do not take notice of anything else?
There is a definitely a chemistry between me and Shah Rukh. He is a fantastic actor and we share a great comfort level onscreen, I completely agree but we both are decent actors so I hope that people notice more than just the chemistry. Also, we have done some great love stories and that is not to our credit alone. People like our characters and 'us' together.
You are a working mother at the same time are very family oriented. How do you juggle work and kids?
It was difficult and I was skeptical and nervous at the thought of leaving my babies behind and going of for long outdoor shoots. But Nysa had the most perfect ladylike reply which helped me. "Mumma its okay that you love us, but can't you love something else too?" I just started crying inconsolably and she was like Mom, please stop crying for I will not talk to you. My husband too juggled his schedule to be with the kids and it was one of the most romantic gestures he has done for me. That is true love.
It was rather a bold move to get married at the peak of your career and start a family. Was it an instinctive decision to do that?
It was an instinctive but planned decision. I started working when I was 16 and by the time was 24, I had already completed eight years in the industry. I just wanted to then take the next step and not do four films in a year. It worked out all well for me because I did not take any advice from others.
Your take on the unequal pay issue towards the female actors?
There definitely is an issue where equal payment to actresses is concerned. But again, it is all about the economics. Once the audience want to watch sole female oriented films, this issue will be solved. I do not see female dominated films garnering Rs 100 and Rs 150 crore. I would most definitely want this situation to change but I am not the bra-burning type of a feminist and therefore feel, it should be workable for the filmmaker. We belong to the entertainment industry which depends on the 80 per cent illiterate population to decide about this issue.
Is the industry unfair on female actors after they attain a certain age?
Industry reflects what the society feels. Jaise hamari society badalti rahegi, cinema will reflect that. This is a great place for actors today, because lot of genres of films are being made. Fortunately, today we have films where love story honi jaruri nahi hai. So it is a great place for female actors to be in.
You were a bit of a reluctant dresser but now have evolved into this fashionista, what sparked this transformation?
Nothing has changed, mere chappal waise ki waise hi hai! But, yes I explored this aspect of my personality much later in my life because I realised that it is sad to let someone decide what looks good on now. I did not like that. It is good have an opinion on what I like and what I don't like and it is not rocket science!
You haven't done a sole female oriented role till now, why so?
I think all my roles are female oriented but, I have not done a film with only me in the frame because it is difficult for such scripts to come by. For me, it is all about the content. I read a lot of books, so I know that if the story is good, people will like it. Nothing can match the power of a good script. It does not matter if I am one of the seven characters, but the story should be good.
You have always been very a unconventional, mainstream heroine Bollywood has ever had and yet managed to enjoy mass popularity. Your thoughts on the same.
What is conventional? Who writes this rules? Is there a rule book? Yes, I have always been myself because usme bahot kam lagta hai na, and I am very lazy. I have always been myself because it is exhausting to be someone else off camera. Truth is that I am lazy, but you would like to believe it is strength.
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