Kajol on her VIP 2 experience: 'Down South actresses get to play strong characters'
Even as she felt “traumatised” doing Minsara Kanavu (Tamil film dubbed in Hindi as Sapnay) 20 years ago, in 1997, Kajol decided to take up Dhanush’s comedy drama Velai Illa Pattadhari 2 (dubbed VIP 2: Lalkaar in Hindi) for its script, story and her character.
“I remember, when I did Sapnay, every night I would sit and study my Tamil script along with my assistant for two hours. I had not studied so much even for my tenth ICSE exams (laughs), and after that I decided no more other-language films that I don’t understand,” said Kajol.
She furthered, “But the VIP team insisted on narrating the script to me and I loved it. The clash between two characters (her and Dhanush), two different personalities and their ideologies sounded interesting. I asked them if they were planning to change it in Hindi and they said that 50 per cent of the dialogues were in English and the rest of it I can even speak in Chinese which they will dub. First two days was really hard, but fortunately Dhanush is also the writer on the film. So he and Soundarya (director) worked along with me. I couldn't sleep for couple of nights due to stress wondering if I could do it, but on the third day I understood the rhythm of the language.”
Dhanush had earlier said that he had an impossible dream of working with Kajol. She responds, “I know for the fact that I have definitely infused the character with lot more life than what was originally written in the script. Once you start shooting things do change and most of the time, the writer sees what he has written come to life in a completely different way. Sometimes it lives up to his imagination and sometimes it surpasses his imagination. The character is close to my life.”
Besides revolutionising the movie-going experience with their masterful execution of the Baahubali saga, what made its story stand apart is the manner in which it presented its female characters, and Kajol feels that in South cinema, women do get meaty parts to play.
“I don’t know enough about Tamil cinema but I do feel that down South actresses get to play strong characters. In fact, there heroines have temples built in their name. They have done lot of female-oriented films, probably more than Hindi cinema,” said Kajol, who completes 25 years in Bollywood, “I am still enjoying my work and that is a huge pat on my back (laughs). But I haven’t done much work maybe because I am both, lazy as well as choosy.”
We can't help but wonder what is Kajol's take on the whole nepotism debate.
“I think it is a debate brought on by two personalities who have decided to quote-unquote each other,” she said, further adding, “I honestly think it's a moot point because every child wants to grow up and be like their parents. Lawyers' children grow up and become lawyers, and doctors' children grow up and become doctors. And sometimes both their children become actors. It is an open world. It is a free space. Anybody can become anything that they want to become. People who succeeded in the industry, and by example you can take any name you want, they have succeeded because of their talent and their sheer hard work. I don’t think all the people who have succeeded have that much to claim over their bloodline.”