Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bollywood's No.1 Mum Kajol: Step ahead MOM!

IIPM BBA MBA Institute: Student Notice Board

She is Bollywood's No.1 Mum and the boundless enthusiasm she brings on screen shows no signs of waning. From bringing up little Nysa, to playing a mom again in 'We Are Family' after 'My Name Is Khan' to doing her bit for society, the effervescent yet elegant Kajol talks to Neha Sarin...

Step ahead MOM! You are a third generation actress. Did you feel that this tag weighed you down in the beginning as you needed to live up to your family name?

Ajay and KajolNobody from my family pressurised me; there was no pushing and no expectations of any kind from my family members which made the journey so much fun. As for what the rest of the world felt, it really didn't make a difference to my world.

There is a certain honesty about you that makes you the character you portray. How much time and effort goes into Kajol becoming the character?

I think it is instantaneous. The minute you have grasped what the character is all about, you just have to emote. Homework helps but it is what you synthesise in your mind.

You say that you don't prepare before a scene. Do you rely completely on spontaneity?

Well, there is a certain amount of mental preparation that is required, which I obviously do. There is an internal process of translation information from script to performance. I guess everyone needs to do that and of course, reading the script properly is equally important.

From your family, who has had the maximum influence on Kajol, the actor and Kajol, the person?

It has to be elements from everyone around me ' Mum, buas, chachas, my extended family, my in-laws and not to forget, my library. I used to read like mad; voracious reading has helped me gather information to synthesise and use them at times unknowingly while performing.

What do you look for in a film before you decide to become a part of it?

Firstly the script, then my character backed by decent production values so that the end product is good. Above all, I guess it is timing, everything has to fall in place.

You have worked with all the three Khans. Who has been your favorite co-actor?

I have had a blast working with all three of them. They all have different styles of working and I have genuinely had a pleasant experience with all of them. I have worked the most with Shah Rukh, so naturally, I have a comfort level with him. Step ahead MOM! Did marriage bring about a certain change in your outlook toward cinema or the kind of movies you choose?

Not really. Marriage for me was a step in the right direction. It has not changed my persona; my basics have remained the same. So, the instincts that play while deciding on a film have pretty much remained the same.

Kajol With ChildHow much has motherhood changed you as a person? How is Nysa like?

Nysa has changed me a lot. She has taught me to be more patient, she has pumped up my tolerance for a lot of things and it's because of her that I am more tolerant for certain things and less tolerant for other things. In her own way she has taken blinders off me and I can see people in different ways. One thing which I would any day stand up against would be any form of child abuse. Now that I have a child I can feel it much more than ever. Earlier it would make me sad but now I would vehemently take action against it. Nysa has a lot of me and her dad in her. I can often see traits of her maasi and bua but she has her unique individuality as well.

Do you see uncanny similarities between your mother and yourself as a mom?

You bet, it is a feeling of deja vu and how?? It's going back in time but a role reversal. I just hope I do a great job bring up my children equally well as my mum has.

SRK, Karan Johar and you are like magicians when you guys work together. What do you think makes for a great time?

It's an intangible thing. I think it is the comfort level which we share with each other. We can talk to each other without hesitation, we are brutally honest with each other and we know it would not offend one another. Above all, we have been working for a while now so we know each other inside out.

You belong to a family of strong and accomplished women with a mind of their own. How much did that make you what you are?

Strength is something to be emulated. Yes, if it is passed on through genes then I'm lucky to have inherited some. It helps you appreciate things in a certain manner, helps you view things objectively while making choices. Overall, it just holds you in good stead. I think my environment has instilled a certain sense of responsibility in me and worked in my favour while making difficult choices.

'We Are Family' is based on 'Stepmom'. How much did Susan Sarandon's character influence you while you were doing the film?

I had watched 'Stepmom' long back and ever since Karan (Johar) and I were in talks of the remake and casting me for Susan Sarandon's part, I had consciously dropped the idea of watching the film. I have viewed Maya's character with my own senses and what you get to watch is my take on Maya. Good, bad or ugly ' I leave the judgment to you. Step ahead MOM!

How is it similar to 'Stepmom' and in what ways is 'We Are Family' unique?

'We Are Family' is a commercial Hindi film so that in itself is a genre away from 'Stepmom'. Yes, the premise is similar but then again it is absolutely Indianised. The characters are different in their own ways, they react differently to situations. 'We Are Family' has emerged as a separate entity with its own unique identity.

Kajol Sexy LookNow that you are a mom, was it fun playing mom in the film as well. Did the character come naturally to you?

In a way, yes. I'm used to motherhood now. I have been living the life of a mum, so I know how mums react to situations. But on another count, Maya is a different person. She has her way of doing things, so in all my natural reactions I still had to capture Maya, bring her out, over and above Kajol. And oh yes, it was oodles of fun playing this role. We are one big happy family on the sets and every day was new.

How was your experience working with Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal?

It was a fun experience. Kareena has a sharp sense of humour which I have always appreciated. She has come a long way from her "K3G" days. Arjun was a thorough gentleman.

What made you sign 'We Are Family', considering you are really choosy about the films you do?

Script is the numero uno reason. The screenplay is extremely well-written and I loved my character ' Maya. Also, there is a certain amount of faith in the production; Dharma is capable of producing a par excellence product.

There has been a little bit of a controversy around Ajay (Devgn) feeling that you should have been positioned differently than Kareena in the film. Do you justify his anger?

Is it so? I have not heard of anything like this. Besides I am really no one to advise Karan on how he should be promoting his films. I guess he has been doing a great job all these years, so 'We Are Family' is in safe hands.

You are also involved with social work and were also awarded recently. How did you get to be a part of Shiksha?

I associated with Shiksha several years ago because I strongly felt that kids should be well nurtured. They are the future and they will make the world what it is going to be. So by all means if we can support them, educate them and more importantly empower them, I guess they would grow up with values and decide for themselves instead of following blindly.

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