Tamil-Telugu cinema’s favourite diva Kajal Aggarwal goes from strength to strength

 Kajal Agarwal’s latest film Awe in Telugu is garnering Awe-some reports. In an interview with Subhash K Jha the pretty talented Aggarwal speaks on women coming forward in Indian cinema  to make their  presence felt.

Congratulations , your performance in Awe is being raved about?

Isn’t that something! All of us worked so  hard on the film and to be praised  for our hard work…what more can one ask for?I am not  going to pretend, I am  very happy.

Significantly the female actors lead the cast  in Awe.Do we see a break in the patriarchal system  of functioning  in  the South Indian cinema where prominent actresses like you had to play secondary  roles to leading men twice  your age?

I don’t think I was ever  a victim of that. With the exception of maybe one  film all my co-stars have been my own age. Having said that, I must admit that there  is a  shift in gender equation in our films. Many young directors are coming forward with fresh innovative ideas that do not adhere to gender biases. I love to work with  young enthusiastic directors. They know the future  of Indian cinema.

​I fully support films like Awe and Arjun Reddy and  would  love to  be part of such films in the  future.​

The  interesting thing about your character your  character in  Awe is that she is not psychologically stable ?

Yesssss,  my character Kali is  not mentally stable. She is distanced from reality. Before playing her  I consulted a psychologist inMumbai who provided  me with invaluable inputs. I read up a  lot on mental disorders…What I discovered was that  mentally disturbed people appear so normal on the surface.And mental ailments are  just not taken seriously in our country. They are allowed to go undetected in an individual, sometimes to his  or her death or worse, to other people’s death, as we saw most recently in the Florida mass killing.

Is it important  for you to play roles that are morally correct to you?

Yes,I will play only those  roles that are  morally correct  to me.The way things are in the country and  the  rest of  the world  I don’t want to send  out wrong signals to  people  out there. So no, I won’t play negative roles  or roles that I  believe would’ve  a detrimental impact  on society.With  success comes responsibility .

So do you pick roles with a social relevance?

Not necessarily. My next release MLA  in Telugu is an  out-and-out entertainer. I believe  my primary responsibility to my audience is to entertain them. The movie-going experience has  become extremely prohibitive  for  the audience . I remember as a child my parents would take my sister and I  to the movies every Sunday. It was  a treat that we looked forward  to. Now with the ticket prices being what they are , families can afford  a film only once every two months. The future of cinema lies on Amazon, Netflix and other web productions.

How  important  is it for you to  relate  to the  characters you play?

It is important . But the challenge lies in  doing  characters we don’t know. The girl in Awe  is someone is someone I  don’t connect with at all. But I know such  psychologically disturbed  people  do exist. Similarly in the last Hindi film that I did Do Labzoon KiKahani I played a  blind girl. Though she was disabled she  was a happy person full of life and  longings. I liked that.The best thing about acting is, you get to explore areas of the human experience that you may not have access to?

How  important  is it for you to remain grounded?

Very  important. That’s why I need friends from outside the entertainment industry.  It is important to have friends  outside your workplace. Most  of my close friends are from outside the  film industry. They don’t hesitate in  letting me know the truth even if it hurts me.

What  about that special someone in  your life? Are you apprehensive that a relationship may affect  your career?

 Not at all. I am totally open to  a relationship and will welcome  it whenever it comes in my life. My younger sister is happily married.So like all concerned parents, my parents  too want me to  find  Mr Right.

Maybe there is  a problem that successful actresses face . You meet fans rather than friends?

That , I admit,  is  a problem. I just don’t  get to meet enough men outside the  film industry.

While your career  in  Tamil and Telugu cinema  is going great guns your career in Bollywood hasn’t really taken off.Any regrets?

 None at  all. I don’t think cinema is language-bound any  longer. Telugu and Tamil are as  Indian as Hindi. Besides  I would rather be the queen of my domain than play a prop in a Bollywood superstar’s film.

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