Kajol on why her mother Tanuja is Helicopter Eela's antithesis and becoming more selective with films post-marriage
Kajol is not an ardent fan of social media but social media has done its two bits in contributing to the name of her upcoming film. Helicopter Eela was initially titled Eela and Kajol reveals the reason behind this change. “We thought it made a more interesting title and there is a very popular hashtag on social media by the name of Helicopter Moms and Eela is someone who falls in the same category. It sounded better and fits in with the context of the film aptly.” Kajol’s last Bollywood film to hit theatres was Dilwale in 2015 which flouted all expectations of a crackling comeback of one of the most celebrated Jodi of Bollywood only to encounter a tepid response at the box office. She is candid enough to admit that she has no expectations from the film per se and is only hoping that people like the film. “I hope and pray that people appreciate the film as much as possible and yes, of course, I would like to make money out of it which is possible as well, but I think we have made a good film and are proud of it.”
Helicopter Eela is based on a Gujarati play penned by filmmaker Anand Gandhi and has Kajol as the protagonist. Ask her if her mom, yesteryear actress Tanuja, was a ‘helicopter’ mother in real life and pat comes the reply – No. “My mother is completely the opposite of Helicopter Eela. I actually feel that Eela can take classes from my mother. She has taught me a lot about life. If my mother taught me about being independent, she also exemplified it. She taught us never to abuse anyone and there was a stage in her life when she cursed a lot. When she started inculcating these habits in me, she also promised that she will give up swearing and will never abuse again. Whatever she taught me, she practiced it in front of me and there could be no better teacher than her,” says the DDLJ actress.
Kajol reveals that it was the script and the accompanying humour of Helicopter Eela which really appealed to her. “I have said this before also that it’s the script which is the actual hero of a film. If it’s a bad script, howsoever you try, you simply cannot do anything with it but on the contrary, if it’s a fabulous script, then the possibility of making it even better are simply immense. This was one such script, which when I heard for the first time, I realised that a lot can be done.” Kajol has only words of praise for her co-actor and National Award winner Riddhi Sen, and believes that he is an extremely well-mannered and well-brought-up boy. “Whenever we finished our shots, we often conversed with each other. Riddhi is such a good actor that after every shot, irrespective of its nature, he would automatically become normal and then it becomes fun to work with someone like that.”
Kajol remains someone who — at a point in her career — was the darling of filmmakers and the sheer number of hits she delivered in late nineties and early 2000s is a testimony to the fact that she was a force to reckon with. It was only after her marriage to actor Ajay Devgn that films took a back seat and family became a priority. Does she feel any change after having had an extremely successful career? “I honestly don’t know because I have not done much work compared to others. I believe that newcomers have done more films than me. Work is an integral part of my life and I will always strive to keep working till the end.” Does the feeling that she has not worked much ever crossed her mind? The actress mentions that she never thinks about such things. “I started working in films when I was 16 and by the time I got married, I already had a work experience of nine years. I don’t think that I have worked less but yes, I definitely slowed down after marriage. Now I have become very selective about the films that I want to do.”
When asked if there ever was a film in her career she was not honest with and she mentions that there is no such film in her career. “I am very proud of the fact that there is no such film. Whether I believed in a film or not, I definitely have always been honest to my character and the film. I think it’s part of my job, isn’t it? That’s what people pay me for to believe in it and make it believable as much as possible. I don’t think success or failure of a film matters much; what matters is whether you have done your best or not and that really matters to me. The fate of a film whether it’s a hit or a flop does not affect me much.” Kajol considers herself lucky about the time when she became part of the industry. According to the actress, people were forgiving when she had just joined the industry. “I was given time to learn my craft. I believe that was a different world altogether and people were neither judgmental nor critical. People did not view us under a microscope and it never mattered to them if the make-up or hair was not in place.”
It might come as a surprise to many that Ajay Devgn is yet to see her wife’s most coveted film till date – Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayege. It seems that the actress has now given up after having put in years of effort. “Yes, Ajay is still to see the film and I have no clue why he has not seen the film yet. I have tried several times to show him DDLJ but every time he has refused categorically. He does not watch too many Hindi films and there is no specific reason why he hasn’t watched it yet. I suggest you put him in a spot and ask him the same question why has he not seen the film,” answers Kajol with a smile.
Updated Date: Oct 12, 2018 13:38:58 IST