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The phrase “a rare talent” describes Kajol to a tee. In her case, it shows: there’s a zest and verve to her work that not only suits her, but clearly suits her fans as well. It’s a rare talent who finds herself at the zenith of her popularity at the age when Indian actresses have either vanquished in the oblivion or have stopped getting the main lead offers. Given the traditional paucity of fine roles for more mature women, this is proof positive that Kajol’s talent can often turn manure into gold-dust. She may not have earned the tag of ‘The highest paid actress’ today but everyone recognises that a Kajol movie will be worth its weight in gold and worth an investment. Everyone knows this about Kajol: that the mantle of the most acclaimed film actress of our time could not be worn with such grace and humility. But everyone already knows that. What people don’t know is her kindness, her collaborative nature and her great humour. It is however, these unknown things which Kajol brings to her matchless performance. So much so that you forget being her co-actor and stand in one tight corner observing the magic she’s been spreading on the celluloid since 1992. UK’s Harrow Observer columnist and Bollywood Hungama‘s London correspondent gets to know the woman who can fittingly be described as ‘seamless’.
“Siddharth wasn’t the only one who gave us suggestions”
Well that is not true. Altogether, there were other members in the crew as well; I was not the only one. If you are dealing with children in your real life, to an extent it helps you play a parent. You get the hang of the body language; you know how moms react, so your job gets slightly easy. Well, inputs can come from anyone and you needn’t really have a family to visualize something. So yes, we did have our fair share of brainstorming as any other film.
“Ajay and I never talk work at home”
No, we don’t inherently talk shop at home. We leave our work back on the sets.
“Arjun was a good reel life husband”
He was very accommodating. Arjun is a very nice person and a thorough gentleman. He was a good husband on the sets (laughs). He is a parent in real life too but I didn’t get a chance to sit down with him and discuss about parenting. I didn’t think it was needed to help the film. We both were natural in the film just like off it, as we both know what goes in the making to be a parent.
“I haven’t got Elvis Presley out of his grave, have I?”
Of course I have danced, and not just on ‘Jailhouse Rock’ but on quite a few numbers too. I’m a huge Elvis fan, grew up on rock n roll. I loved that retro era and listen to it a lot even today in my car.
“Kareena‘s got a great sense of humour”
Lethal or not I can’t say. We have not killed each other (laughs); in fact we could have in this film as per the script’s demand. On a serious note, now she is a delight to work with, we had awesome fun and she has a sense of humour which helps when you work long hours.
“I don’t understand why people compare me with other actresses”
Kareena is undoubtedly a talented girl and very hardworking too. In fact she has come a long way from K3G. Kareena has matured as a person and a professional. I think it would be unfair to draw comparisons as it was a different era, the scripts she and I have been offered are all very different so I don’t see a fulcrum to hinge the comparison on.
“The little girl reminded me of Nysa a lot”
The kids were fabulous, brimming with energy and very smart. They were all well behaved and an absolute fun. The girl who plays my youngest child in the film reminded me of Nysa in a strange way.
“I wish Karan had merchandised We Are Family tissue rolls”
I hope realms and rolls of it (laughs). In fact Karan should have merchandised it. Imagine We Are Family branded tissue rolls??
“We Are Family will transcend beyond Stepmom“
It is very different. After all it is an Indian product, largely for the Indian diaspora. The premise of the film is Stepmom but it is smartly Indianized with Indian values and at the same time it is very contemporary. I quite believe that We Are Family will transcend beyond stepmom and carve its own identity.
“I don’t know how much of Karan’s inputs were there in scripting the film”
I really would not know that as I got a readymade bound script to read. Honestly, I really don’t know what went into weaving it. I’m sure Siddharth will be able to give you better inputs on this one. Karan was obviously involved in the capacity of a producer but he has a strong team in place now so he did not even need to frequent the sets.
“I play a mother, and that is the only common thread in MNIK and WAF”
Well, I can’t even remotely compare both the films and my characters. They are absolutely different story lines, different situations and individuals; of course the only common thread is that the woman in My Name Is Khan had a kid and in We Are Family has kids.
“I am open to new scripts and new directors”
I have always been open to new talent, but of course I need the right script in hand and somewhere down the line, there has to be one function in the unit which would be experienced to pad up the newcomer or else it is difficult to get the right product. A certain amount of strength is required in the form of experience for good work, which should reflect somewhere in the project. I have worked with so many new directors in my career. So the fact remains that I am open. But the script should sweep me off my feet and of course it should come to me at the right time.