By Arundhuti Banerjee
Mumbai, March 5 (IANS) She ruled hearts with her celebrated roles in “Baazigar”, “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”, “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”, “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…”, “My Name Is Khan” among several others. From being the Bollywood heroine who broke all stereotypes of image to become a superstar, Kajol also marks a huge change in her digital debut with the short film “Devi”, where she shares screen space with nine other actresses. She says she is at a point in her career where impact of the character matters more than length of the role.
In a three-decade mainstream career in Bollywood, she has proved herself as an actor and a star time and again. What does she look for in a script now? “The magic,” she replied. “Give me three scenes and I can create magic. I do not need a title role where all I have is the title, a poster and, in the whole film, I am furniture. If you look at my career and choice of roles, I have always done something where the character has an emotional graph, something substantial. I want to create a memory in the mind of the audience through the characters I portray. That is precisely the reason I keep saying that I have to like the script. If the character I am offered is not impacting me how will it impact the audience? So, if you think I am choosy, I would say, I am living the life of an artist that I have earned through years of hard work,” Kajol added, while speaking to IANS.
Starting her career in 1992 with “Bekhudi”, Kajol has bagged numerous popular awards and also proved her versatility with a variety of roles. She was equally impressive as the murdered Isha Diwan in the whodunit “Gupt” and the tomboy-turned-glam girl in “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”. She excelled as the mother who lost her only child in religious hatred in “My Name Is Khan”, and she exuded effortless ease playing twin siblings of diametrically opposite nature in “Dushman”. Indeed, there is hardly any experimentation that she is scared to try out.
Does success gave her confidence to do so? “Success surely gives you confidence, and financial independence also gives you the courage to live life on your own terms. But I have to mention that my idea of success is not just about earning fame and money. I know people who are successful by the definition of society but they are turning out to become people who suffocate in their own image. For me, I have to become the person I like in the first place. After a point, fame and money become inconsequential,” replied the actress.
She added: “I feel I am successful not because of the fame and money but because of the individual I have become. The family I have, my kids, my husband, my choice of films - success is a combination of everything to me.”
Asked about if her criteria of choosing a film have changed, Kajol replied: “My choices of films are the reflection of what I believe in. That is how I can be honest with my choices as a performing artist. I know there are some mitigating circumstances under which one has to do a film. Having said that, I am practising my choice because I am not working just to earn money. I rather earned this luxury through my body of work in the nineties. I am fortunate to have that financial freedom that many artists do not have, so I might as well utilise it to be a part of narratives that are thought-provoking.”
(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at email@example.com)