One of the most talented and versatile actresses Kajol is back to woo the audience after a long time with Rohit Shetty's 'Dilwale'.
In a quick chat before the film hits the silver screens next week, the gorgeous lady gets candid about 'Dilwale', Shah Rukh Khan, her kids and her choice of films. Excerpts from the conversation-
Q.How excited are you about 'Dilwale'?
A. I am very tied up. I haven't spent enough time with my kids. I am a little hassled but I am truly excited. I am loving the fact that the film is releasing soon and hopefully all you guys will get to see it. There will be lots of fun this Christmas. I think it's going to be interesting to watch. All you guys see it and let me know how it is.
Q.Is the film ready? How you seen it?
A. I haven't seen it. I have seen portions of it but not entirely. I have seen half an hour of the film quietly and sneakingly (laughs). But I haven't seen the whole film per say as a whole put together. But so far so good. Crossed my fingers.
Q.Shah Rukh had said that this film will be a cinematic experience for everyone given on the scale on which has been shot. What do you have to say about that?
A. Well we have tried to make it, as like Shah Rukh says. Honestly he is the producer and he always strives as that to make sure that each films under his banner is better than the previous one. This time I think PVR has made good screens for that so when you go and watch it hopefully you will enjoy it even more. And I think honestly whenever we make films or whenever I do a film, I would like to make a film to entertain people. People should like it. I should like it. I don't want to work in such films which I don't personally like. I should feel like watching it. So I think that's important.
Q.Your kids are growing up. Would you like them to see this film too?
A. Of course. I am definitely going to show them this film. I don't know if my son (Yug) will sit or not for the entire film (giggles). I know he will get bored during the song sequences. But I will try to show both of them this film if possible.
Q.You have made a comeback into films after a long time. What sort of preparation did you go through for this film?
A. I haven't done any such preparation for this film. But yes, I am very health-conscious. I am very disciplined. So I work-out. I like to go to the gym. I did concentrate on my diet and workout six months before starting the shoot. I did pay attention to these things before the film went on-floors. I am happy with the way I am looking..
Q.Kajol, in the art of film-making what exactly attracts you as an artist? The role, the making, what gives you that extra kick?
A. Well I honestly think that first of all is the script what attracts me to films. Secondly what I can do with it. I think that's what makes it interesting for me. Otherwise it's not interesting. If I do a role which I have done multiple times, that I can do with my eyes closed, hands tied it doesn't make any sense for me to do that film anymore. If I do a film, I want to do a film because I want to make something different out of it. Like if everytime you make 'dal-chawal' every day, someday or the other you will feel like let me make chicken or mutton today. So my situation is something like that.
Q.How has Shah Rukh grown as an actor?
A. You will not find an answer to this question I am telling you. (laughs). As a human being I would say that he has definitely evolved. He has grown as a person. I think his attitude towards life is wonderful to see right now. He is in a nice place personally speaking. I think he is amazing as an actor. Whenever I work with him it's a learning experience for me. So I have learnt so much from him. Even in this film I feel that I have learnt something. Maybe I am not able to understand what exactly is it but I know that this learning will come handy whenever I do another film.
Q.Did your daughter motivate you to do 'Dilwale'?
A. Of course. Because when I was narrated the script of 'Dilwale' I was told that I will be having outdoor shoots. So that led me into thinking that whether I should do this film or not. I don't like outdoor shoots much. I have my kids at home. I will have to leave them alone there. So I actually asked her that you know baby it's going to be a really tough film for you guys as well because I am not going to be there at that time. So she in return gave me a really wonderful answer. She said , "Mom just because you love me that doesn't mean that you can't love anything else." Of course I was almost in tears. Like a typical filmy mom, clinched. So I cried a lot at that time. But I really felt very good that my kids gave me the permission to do this film actually.
Q.Is she excited about the film?
A. Yes. She is quite excited. She is dying to see the film and I have already been told that I will have to keep a show for her friends.
Q.'Bajirao Mastani' and 'Dilwale' both are big films. What is your stand on their date clash?
A. Honestly my stand on it is as far the number one position is considered I don't believe in the rat-race. I believe that there is more than enough for everybody to go around. And God willing, touchwood, if they are both good films then they will both do well.
Q.Did you have to undergo any acting preparation since you are coming back in that zone after a long time?
A. No it's nothing like that. I have kids. I don't need to practice acting.
Q.Your husband Ajay has worked with Rohit Shetty several times. So has he influenced you in any way to do this film?
A. Well, he has definitely influenced me. I couldn't have done this film without his help because he was the one who actually turned around and told me, "You don't worry about the kids. You know I am going to stay at home. I will take care of them so you go..you want to do this film or not. So I said that I want to do this film. I liked the film but I am going to be away from the kids. So he said that you don't worry about it . If you want to do the film then do the film. I will make it happen. I will make it possible. So that's true love.
Q.You said that you learnt a lot from 'Dilwale'. So have you also learnt some marketing skills from Shah Rukh Khan?
A. I am sitting here na (bursts into laughter). Sitting in this interview..isn't that marketing skill too? Ain't you seeing my jalwa?
Q.You are doing this film after 5 years. So will we see you doing another film after this?
A. I definitely want to work more. Maybe not at the pace that anybody else does. Definitely 1-2 films in two years. One film a year around by that time I think it's perfect. I don't want to do more than that. I definitely don't plan to do more than that
Q.Anushka Sharma recently spoke about the sexism in the film industry. Since you have been around here for many years what is your take on it and the pay gap that's very prevalent?
A. The pay gap is very prevalent. I wouldn't say that it's not. It's definitely there. I think that it has to do with the economics of the situation. But I also think that it has to do with what society has somewhere down the line taught us. There is an inequality in genders as far as our society is concerned and that is huge. So we will have to bridge that gap before we come up to the pay standards.
Q.How has you grown as an actress all these years?
A. I feel that I have grown a lot as an actress. Of course I have. If I hadn't then I wouldn't have been sitting in front of you comfortably and so calmly. So I think that I have grown as an actor. I have had to change as an actor. What was okay for me to do 20 years back is not okay for me to do today. I realize that and I definitely want to figure that out. Again it's always going to be a fight between what is expected and what I expect out of myself. So there is always going to be that fight on in my head and around me. Hopefully that will also challenge me to grow more and more.