Kajal Aggarwal on working with Bellakonda Sai Sreenivas in Kavacham, and with Kamal Haasan in Indian 2

Hemanth Kumar

December 07, 2018 11:07:44 IST

For someone who shares a lot of stuff about her films on social media, Kajal Aggarwal is extremely secretive when it comes to her personal life. For instance, not many knew that she was under strong medication and was advised bed rest for three months earlier this year, after she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.

“I thought I would just focus on my prior commitments this year, relax, and focus on my health. I was very ill during the making of Awe!. I had to slow down. God forced me to take a break (laughs). I didn’t even know I had this autoimmune disease for a long time. I even ran a marathon without knowing what was happening to me. I lead a very healthy lifestyle, but when I started having inexplicable fever every evening, it really stressed me out for a while. But all’s well that ends well. I've recovered now. I wanted to take it slow in the beginning of 2018, but then life always has other plans. Somehow, I have had the busiest year in recent times and I’ve not been able to take a break in a long time. And professionally, I couldn’t be more grateful because I’ve been getting some really amazing roles to play. My next film with Jayam Ravi is a laugh riot, and I’m playing an intense role in Teja’s next, and I genuinely feel that it’s going to be one of the best films in my career,” Kajal reveals.

Kajal Aggarwal. Photo courtesy Facebook/@ImKajalAggarwal

Kajal Aggarwal. Photo courtesy Facebook/@ImKajalAggarwal

She began 2018 with Prasanth Varma’s Awe!, in which she played the role of a writer and now, she is all set to end the year with a bang. The actress has been signed up to play one of the lead roles in Shankar’s upcoming film, Indian 2, which also has Kamal Haasan. Kajal is tight lipped about her character in the film, even though she says that she can “hardly contain her excitement about being part of such an exciting film.”

Right now, her focus is on her forthcoming Telugu film, Kavacham, in which she is paired opposite Bellamkonda Sai Sreenivas. The film, directed by newcomer Srinivas Mamilla, is an action thriller which has Sreenivas playing a cop. Ask Kajal what excited her to sign the film, she says, “More than my role in the film, I found the genre quite interesting. I have played a damsel in distress in the past too and I don’t know why people like seeing me that way (laughs). On a serious note, I haven’t experimented too much with genres which are different from mainstream commercial cinema. I’m at a stage in my career where apart from the characters offered to me, I also want to encourage and support young and talented filmmakers, who have something to offer. Kavacham is a fast-paced, edge-of-the-seat thriller, and it’ll keep you guessing.”

The actress is all praise for her co-star Sreenivas and says that she could relate a lot to his drive to do push himself and enthusiasm. “Sreenivas is a sweetheart and he’s one of the nicest people I’ve worked with. I call him 'enthu cutlet'. He’s very eager and ambitious. He’s got that drive to try new things and prove himself. He’s a lot like me in that sense. Also, what I admire about him is that he doesn’t take his family name for granted. Things can be a lot easier for him, but he wants to up the game all the time. Moreover, he has no qualms in wanting to learn on the set. I like people who are like that,” she reveals.

Sai and Kajal Aggarwal in a still from Kavacham

Bellamkonda Sai Sreenivas and Kajal Aggarwal in a still from Kavacham. YouTube

The more she talks about the varied roles she is playing in her upcoming films, it becomes evident that Kajal is making a conscious attempt to enter a new phase in her career. And she confesses that she is genuinely tired of doing the same thing over and over again. “My main focus this year has been to choose interesting scripts, I want to broaden my horizon and expand my portfolio. You’ve to do commercial films too every now and then. I’m trying to balance it out with films like where my role is equally important. I’m enjoying this space a lot,” Kajal says.

Throughout her career, Kajal admits that she has tried to play it safe and not experiment too much with her roles, even though she was offered a few over the years and in recent times, she has been making a conscious attempt to break free. “Maybe, I wasn’t ready to take up such roles back then. I was in my comfort zone and now, I feel that I’ve to break out of that shell. I’m open to challenges and opportunities. After a point, once you reach a level of safety and security in your career, you just want to do different things. But to get to that level of stability, you’ve to take the conventional route.” The turning point behind this approach to her work, she says, has been her acceptance that she cannot too attached to her work anymore. “I wouldn’t say that I’ve nothing to lose now. Every actor has something to lose on any given Friday. It’s very challenging and the environment is shaky. I’m not really that confident. But I don’t get jitters or sleepless nights. Personally, I’m in a space where I don’t get that attached anymore. I do my best and leave the rest to fate. I’ve learnt to accept that. You just have to work hard to prove yourself every single time and show how committed you are to what you are doing,” Kajal adds.

Earlier this year, Kajal was named by India Today magazine as one of the most powerful changemakers in the entertainment industry. Admittedly, she was pleased to be on the list, and in a rare confession, Kajal revealed that she has been actively involved with the education of tribal kids in Araku valley in Andhra Pradesh. “I’m just trying to give it back to the society in whatever capacity I can. Two years ago, I met the team from Think Peace organisation, and I was really happy to hear about the kind of work they have been doing. So, I decided to collaborate with them to raise funds for a school that they were planning to build for tribal kids in Araku valley. I’ve been there several times for my film shoots, but I’ve never been able to pay a visit to meet the kids, after the school was built, due to my work schedule. Their medium of education has a lot of fun stuff and it includes a lot of singing and dancing. Apart from that, the organisation is also providing mid-day meals and proper sanitation for the kids. They keep sending me videos of the kids wishing me and wanting to interact with me, and I couldn’t be happier that I’m doing something which is making a difference to so many lives. I’ve never shared this in the past couple of years. I don’t like talking about all this because I want to protect the sanctity of what I’m doing,” Kajal signs off.

Updated Date: Dec 07, 2018 11:07 AM