A cocktail of dashing beauty and compelling talent, actress Kajal Aggarwal boasts the experience of sharing screen space with many bigwigs from Bollywood and southern industries in a career spanning 10 years. Despite being a staunch believer in fate and destiny, the popular artiste refuses to take things for granted, and trusts her own efforts to achieve her goals. She believes the industry is undergoing a transformation, with Indie cinema driving the change. Here’s the on-screen Singham girl in a frank tete-a-tete on her acting journey and more.
The field of acting is a continuous effort of learning and performing. One wrong move could change everything. What is the key principle of maintaining the reputation and demand for any actor?
I think, for me, the key principles are working hard, and at the same time also ensuring that you don’t get distracted by frivolous things.
With films like Neerja, Azhar, and M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story and more, would you say that the audience is more interested in “real” cinema nowadays?
Yes, definitely. I must say that times are changing. Although we all love commercial cinema, there is a growing demand for real life cinema. Hits like M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story are proof of people liking biopics. I would say that it is a very welcome change.
What drew you towards Do Lafzon Ki Kahani?
It was the story. And I must say that it was a lovely story!
After giving 10 successful years to the industry, do you have any plans of getting into scriptwriting or coming up with a short film?
Well, I am exploring all my options as I am not sure what I will do later. And I try to learn everyday; I try to grow and am trying my hand at new things.
How did you like sharing screen space with Akshay Kumar? Were you nervous?
No, not at all. In fact, I have acted with many superstars down south and never really felt nervous. I am not easily intimidated by people. I truly believe that if you know your craft and have confidence in yourself, there is no reason to get intimidated by anything.
Which character has been the hardest for you to play on-screen?
Jenny in Do Lafzon Ki Kahani.
Indian cinema is changing rapidly in terms of the movies that are being produced. What or who do you think is driving this change?
I think so many people are behind this transformation, and you can’t really point out just one particular person who is driving this change. A lot of independent work is happening, which is an important contributor to this. Also, a lot of very good movies are being made with very small budgets, so now the industry is very content-driven. And it is definitely more than just big names.
How would you characterise your career and the path you’ve taken?
I have had my share of ups and downs in life, and I’ve had a chance to work with many fabulous people. I consider myself lucky in that regard. It was a fun journey and I am fortunate to have been in it.
Who inspires you?
My mum, and many women, actually. But my mum inspires me alot in terms of how I like to be as a person. Priyanka Chopra is a huge inspiration.
What sorts of holidays do you like the most – all alone, with a partner, a circle of friends or a family outing?
Umm, I would say all of them, depending on my mood and on how much time I have.
What’s your personal style like?
My personal style is contemporary, chic, and classic.
Describe Kajal in short.
I am a very simple girl, someone who loves her work. I am very dedicated, honest, and extremely hardworking. I don’t take things for granted. Yes, I believe in fate and destiny, but at the same time I also work really hard to get the things I want. I give prime importance to relationships and close associations. --- Jaideep Pandey