Kajol is one actress who has amazed me with her performance in all these years. Be it Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayange, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dushman, My Name is Khan or Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, the actress has performed brilliantly in these movies. I am now amazed to know that in this year she has completed 30 years in the industry. On this occasion, in an exclusive interaction with Team MissMalini, Kajol speaks about choice of films, two things she learnt in these years and a lot more.

Read the interview here:

On completing 30 years…

I don’t feel it, maybe because I have done little work. My work span has been less. Maybe I haven’t done 100 films, that’s why I am amused if I have only completed 30 years. That’s it! And of course, because of the fact that my mother is still working. She had a release last year and she has been working since she was six years old. My mother has been working for 72 years. It gives me a sense of how much further I have to go.

On becoming an actor…

I never wanted to be an actor. I always used to think that the job pays less money. So I told my mother, I never want to work as hard as you and I don’t want to wait for three months for one paycheck. That’s never going to be me. Circumstances were such and things rolled in a different way and eventually I figured out that I am good at this.  

On the feelings during her debut film’s release…

From childhood I knew that my mother was famous, I was a star-kid. Wherever I went I was treated  like a star-kid, so I had that while growing up. But I think when you do your first film. It is like you are giving a special part of yourself. During that time, there was no social media. It was like a do or die situation. If you want to be an actor, then you have to be one. You can’t afford to fail at this. When Bekhudi was released, I thought about what is going to happen next. Things turned out well.  

On memories related to Baazigar

My first scene from Baazigar was when my sister falls from the terrace. I remember I really cried during that particular moment. At the end of the scene I thought this was so scary. I feel like I have experienced this. It was a surreal moment. 

On things working out for her…

It was more that whatever work came into my way I chose from that plate and I can say I have chosen well. I didn’t have any particular goal in my mind, but yes I have worked very hard. I had some great directors, with whom I have had some fabulous relationships, had some great friends and it all worked out for the best. 

On her thoughts about Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

It is one of the best compliments that you give someone that you inspire me to do things better with my life. Or you made me fall in love again. It is so nice to hear. One of the sweetest things that happened was I was shooting for Humesha in Jaipur and there was a chef who came to be and he said I fell in love with my wife after watching DDLJ. I have this awesome woman as my wife today because of you. That was too sweet. Some people told me DDLJ has become a family tradition. They were saying, after us, our kids will watch the film, followed by our grandkids. I think the film is something that is beyond us. I got made and it got bigger and bigger. I am really grateful, it’s an attitude of gratitude. I am eternally grateful for people who have showered so much love.

On the feeling of being accepted by families…

After two months of DDLJ’s release I was at a signal. I was going home, I was driving and stopped at the signal. A truck comes and stops and I see the truck driver looking down at me. I saw fatherly expressions on his face. I waved at him. These gestures made me feel that I am a part of their family.  

On being a part of Dushman

I did what felt right for me, what I was offered, I am lucky and I am glad that I had the courage to take it up. I almost said no to Dushman as I found it extremely difficult to enact these brutal acts on screen. I find them disturbing. I am not that good an actor that I can surpass, it scares me in ways that are very difficult to explain. Pooja Bhatt and Tanuja Chandra were very sweet. They explained to me not to worry we will figure it out so that you are not uncomfortable at any point on screen. 

On getting attached to any character…

As soon as I finish the shot, it gets over. I am back to myself quite happily and normally. It’s not difficult for me at all. 

On signing Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

The role was fantastic, Karan was making it and I knew for the fact that we would work well together. My requirements were that I should get along with people that I am working with. I would like to believe the character Anjali has a lot of my natural persona.   

On being part of challenging songs…

I love preforming on songs and dancing. For me, whether I was shooting with Saroj Khan ji, or Chinni Prakash I got along very well with all the choreographers. They love me and vice-versa. I had a blast shooting songs. Yes, they were tough physically. I still remember we did a song for Hulchal during summer on top of a taxi. It was summer and terribly hot. So I have done unimaginable things.

On dealing with highs and lows

I have had a great run. I have kept my balance with my highs because I know for a fact that it is momentary. Whether you win an award or the film becomes a hit. It is like fifty seconds of fame literally. After that you have to go back to your normal life and you have to live your normal life with your normal people around you. They will sit with you across the table and have dinner. For me it was like yes it is a part of my life, or it is not the whole of my life and never will be.   

On when there was no social media…

I miss that side only for one reason as I got away with a lot of things as there were no cameras that time. There was no real social media at that time. No one had a phone camera, they only had a still camera. We got away with a lot of stuff that these guys of today cannot get away. That was the fun part of being an actor. We did not have airport looks, we walked around with our chappals,  shorts, track pants wherever we liked. We were least bothered about who is going to look at us, judge us or troll us. 

On learning two things from these three decades of experience…

I would go back and tell my 16 year old self that you are not as fat as you think you are. At that time, people used to tell me that you know you need to lose weight. That was like a constant refrain. I would tell myself as babe chill out. Second thing is that whatever you do as long as you are doing it with complete honesty the camera will capture that and people will recognize your honesty and appreciate you for it.   

You can watch the entire conversation here:

Meanwhile, Kajol is currently working on Salaam Venky, directed by Revathy. She is also going to make her web series debut on Disney+ Hotstar.