Am balancing well now: Kajal Aggarwal

Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 12:45

Ahead of the release of 'MLA' on March 23, Kajal Aggarwal says in this interview that hers is a strong role in the Upendra Madhav-directed movie.  Catch her talk about the film, how it was working with Nandamuri Kalyan Ram, how she is changing her career graph, and more.  

Kalyan Ram was recently saying that you have evolved as an actress since 'Lakshmi Kalyanam'.  He has done 14 films and you have done 50.  How was the bonding on the sets between you both?

Having known him in the past, I was very comfortable with Kalyan.  When I debuted opposite him, I was very raw and had no understanding of cinema.  Kalyan and I both have grown up since then.  As for bonding, we would discuss a range of things, from life to cinema, on the sets.  I couldn't be in touch with him after our first film.  There was so much nostalgia when we worked together again.  

Why is it that most actors don't have time to be in touch with their co-stars?

Speaking for myself, after a busy day, you get only 2-3 hours and you would want to give it to family and close friends. 

Coming to 'MLA', the film seems to have a message.  Also, your role must be different.  What can we expect?

The film has a message that is delivered without much emphasizing.  'MLA' is a commercial film.  It's a multi-genre entertainer.  You will see me in the role of an NRI girl and what she is going to do is suspenseful till the interval.  I love portraying strong woman's roles on the screen.  She is one strong woman.  It's not like there are no song-and-dance routines.  They are there.  

What kind of a person is Kalyan Ram?

He is such a dedicated artiste.   He is much focused and is also a thorough family man.  He would talk about his wife and children a lot.  

Having done films opposite the likes of Chiranjeevi, Pawan Kalyan, NTR, Allu Arjun, and others, we are seeing a change in your choices.  Is it all conscious?

As humans, we seek new experiences and want to diversify our portfolio.  I am glad that I am able to do experimental films like 'AWE' and 'Queen Once Again' (in Tamil).  Earlier, I wouldn't find time for such movies.  I would always be busy with commercial movies.  

I realize that audiences want to see experimental cinema these days.  It's now my priority to make an impact on the audience and influence to the extent I can.  When I have a chance, why not execute it?  

Can we say that you have started reinventing yourself?

It's not about re-inventing myself.  There came a point when I got bored of doing only one kind of films.  So, the idea now is to balance it out by doing both commercial and novel films.  For example, for an 'AWE', there is a 'MLA'.  For a Bellamkonda Srinivas film, there is a 'Queen Once Again'.  I am now happier this way.  

Having done 50 films, how do you see it looking back?

I am very proud of what I have done.  I wanted to pursue MBA after 'Lakshmi Kalyanam'.  I am also glad I have become an actress. Films kept on happening to me over the years.  After my seventh film, 'Magadheera', I was sure what I wanted to do.  I have grown up over the years.  

Just two years ago, you seemed to be more interested in Bollywood.  You have stopped doing Hindi.  Why so?

When I do Bollywood, people come and ask me why not South cinema?  And when I am busy doing South, they ask me why not Hindi?  Doing Hindi for the sake of it is not important.  Quality is what matters to me and South is bringing out amazing films these days.  

What are your upcoming films?  Why didn't you accept Ravi Teja's 'Amar Akbar Anthony'?

Besides 'MLA', I am doing Bellamkonda Srinivas's film in the direction of debutant Srinivas.  In Tamil, it's the remake of 'Queen' in Ramesh Aravind's direction.  I didn't accept 'AAA' because I couldn't afford the dates.