‘A Punjabi girl born and brought up in Mumbai and working in Tamil/Telugu films without dreaming of stepping into Bollywood’ – Now this indeed sounds weird indeed, especially so when dozens of girls from different parts of the country step into Mumbai every week with dreams in their eyes to make it big in the world of Hindi films.
However, Kajal Aggarwal was wary of stepping into this zone for long till Singham came calling.
“Not many are aware that Kajal had actually made her big screen debut, albeit in a bit role, as many as seven years back in Kyun…! Ho Gaya Na where she had played Aishwarya Rai‘s friend. The film was a major disaster commercially. After that no one knows what really happened but Kajal never returned to Hindi films again. She just chose to adopt a different route for herself”, says an industry source.
Leaving Bollywood behind, Kajal aimed for South and found gradual success coming her way before Magadheera turned into a huge calling card for her. She was being wooed by Bollywood filmmakers all over again which led to Singham.
Though Kajal reasons that doing a small part in Kyun…! Ho Gaya Na was out of ‘time-pass’ and since at that time she was in school and was unsure about what she really wanted to do with life, she doesn’t deny the fact that for long, Bollywood scared her to bits.
“I won’t deny that”, says Kajal who did require some push before she eventually came out of a shell, “I had heard negative stories about Bollywood and since I had never experienced anything wrong down South, I was obviously happy to be in my comfort zone there.”
This further impacted her thought process further when she stepped into Singham with Ajay Devgn and Rohit Shetty. Since she was new to the industry and carried some definite (negative) perceptions about the way things functions in Bollywood, Kajal chose to keep to herself instead of mingling much with her director and co-star.
“Yes, I was a little restricted but then I have no regrets since I didn’t want to get into any unnecessary complications and issues then”, agrees Kajal, “I used to think of South because it is a very warm industry to begin with. Of course today I have come to realise that just because everything about Bollywood is so much out there in public, people end up making their own opinions. Guess I too was guilty of that.”
It was only after she spent a few days on the sets and location when ice started to break for Kajal who is intrinsically quite talkative in real life. “In Rohit, Ajay and other unit members, I found some really nice, genuine and extremely professional people. I too was guilty of that but thankfully now I know that the scare factor and misconceptions around this industry being artificial and fake is all blown up.”