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Friday, July 12, 2024

I love the buzz of cinema: Kajal Aggarwal during Satyabhama release 

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Actor Kajal Aggarwal is back in the Telugu film industry after marriage, thrilling fans as a kick-ass cop in her latest movie Sathyabhama. With over 57 films in 17 years, her iconic role in Magadheera, a statue at Madame Tussaud’s and a role in director Shankar’s Indian 3 soon, the Arya 2 girl tells us why she continues to be the star we love

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When an actress bags a title role and the producer is discussing business, money matters and first-week collections, she knows it’s a great place to be. That’s what Kajal Aggarwal feels as she sits back and looks at the action around her recent June release Satyabhama – (streaming on Prime Video now) With Indian 3 and a Hindi movie in her kitty, mom to a two-year-old boy, straddling her time between Hyderabad and Mumbai, Kajal feels she’s at the right place at the right time.

From her successful debut film Lakshmi Kalyanam in 2007 to being the first Telugu actor to be immortalized in wax at Madame Tussaud’s, Kajal, aka mana Mitravinda’s journey in SS Rajamouli’s blockbuster Magadheera resonates with milestones that reflect her unparalleled dedication and versatility.

Transitioning seamlessly between Hindi and Telugu cinema, Kajal carved a niche for herself with each character she portrayed. Her performances in blockbuster Telugu films such as Magadheera and Darling cemented her status as a powerhouse. She then stepped into Bollywood with Special 26 alongside Akshay Kumar and proved her mettle. WOW! chats up to know what’s exciting in her films and life.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON YOUR RETURN TO THE SPOTLIGHT AND THE ADRENALINE RUSH OF THE ACTION-PACKED ROLE?

I want to call this phase the ‘Kajal 2.0’ version. I’ve never done a full-fledged action role and this one is packed with it. Being back on the sets and limelight feels great.

HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR YOUR CHALLENGING ROLE IN SATYABHAMA?

I didn’t expect to bag the role so early in my postpartum journey so I started weight training just before the shoot. I was doing cardio and Pilates (considered the safest post- delivery), then I added horse riding and kalaripayattu. I spent the last few months training for both, Satyabhama and Indian 2 (starring Kamal Haasan).

WHAT’S A DAY IN KAJAL’S LIFE A WEEK BEFORE THE MOVIE RELEASE

I end up doing 10-12 promotions that last an hour each. That’s over 10-hours of solid work with outfit changes and cameras. Staying away from my son Neil is hard, though both his nanny and nani take care of him. It’s a thug life, but one’s gotta do it.

EVERY ACTOR FACES FAILURES. IN YOUR CASE, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU CALL A DEAREST FAILURE?

Do Lafzon ki Kahani where I played a visually impaired girl. I spent eight weeks learning Braille, but the movie was a blink-and-miss. Sometimes even when we pour our heart out it doesn’t work. Whether it’s cinema or life, you need to be detached.

HOW DO YOU DISENGAGE FROM BOX-OFFICE NUMBERS AFTER THE MOVIE RELEASE?

I’ve never been attached to the result of a movie as it’s not in our hands. I follow the dictum that don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart.

HOW HAS BEING CAST IN A MOVIE LIKE SATYABHAMA CONTRIBUTED TO YOUR CAREER?

Though I focus on the creative side, I am also enjoying witnessing the biz buzz of cinema.

HOW WAS THE TRANSITION FROM KAJAL AGGARWAL TO KAJAL KITCHLU?

It may sound cliche but I met Gautam at my best friend’s wedding just before COVID. He was the best man and I was the best woman and we both struck it. After a few dates, we realized it was more than friendship. Then came COVID. We decided that if the world is going to go this way, we may as well be with each other. We got married in October 2020.

HOW’S THE MOMMY ACT COMING ALONG?

With the right tools and support system, I do think we can do it all. My son studies in Mumbai and Hyderabad (yes, that’s possible) and that helps me be the professional on the sets and a doting mom after work.

LOVE BEING UNTETHERED

Phones aren’t my thing; I’m old-school. When I am on the set or with my family, I don’t even know where my phone is. There are times when my folks have to call the spot boy or the assistant or even my husband to reach me as my phone would be stuck in the crevice of the sofa or the chair. I like being untethered to be at my creative best.

COMING UP NEXT

Indian 3 followed by a Tamil and a Hindi film.

QUICK TAKE

Fave hangout cafes: Kadali and True Black

Hashtags that define you: #DotingMommy #DutifulWife #GrowingActor

What’s your love language: Communication – talk to me

Me-time indulgence: Work out twice a day, yes, weird but it relaxes me. OTT binging and hanging out with friends, book back-to-back shows in cinemas

Five years from now: Be more versatile and a cooler mommy

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