Over the years the actress has climbed up the ladder in the film industry. But did you know that she never planned getting into the film industry? Here’s the journey she narrated in a throwback cover interview with JFW!
‘My first film was accidental and then there was no looking back. Here I am, 26 films old’
After finishing her Bachelors in Mass Media, Kajal had a brief stint as an intern with cosmetic giant L’Oreal. She was part of the marketing and brand management team, post which she had her eye set on pursuing an MBA degree. She was always active in theatre but she never dreamt of making a career out of it. “In L’Oreal, I used to organize a lot of shoots and I bumped into a couple of photographers who insisted I get my portfolio done.” Kajal took their advice without hesitation and had her pictures taken. “I had no time to circulate my portfolio though, considering I was too preoccupied with what I was doing. Fortunately, the photographers themselves sent around my shots and the next thing I knew, I got my first film offer in a full-fledged commercial movie.” An offer to be a part of the silver screen still did not distract her from chasing her actual goal – going abroad and pursuing an MBA. “I thought an opportunity in films would look good on my resume and it would show some kind of versatility while I was looking to apply for courses abroad.” However, her debut role was so effective that she had to let go of plan A and embrace plan B, a career in films which she loves very much at the moment. “My parents were extremely supportive when I told them about my decision. My dad was in fact more encouraging than my mom. My family has been my backbone and even today, my mom travels with me for all my shoots. I don’t think I would have done so well for myself if not for them.”
‘Every role I have played so far has been very satisfying. It does not matter how the movies have fared at the box office’
Kajal’s career graph has been a steady one, barring a few box office failures in the Telugu and Tamil film industries. It took her a while to get recognized, to feel the taste of success. “I have worked with some of the best directors in the industry and I don’t think everyone has had that kind of opportunity, especially at such an early stage in their careers. In fact I think my films have done fairly well at the box office.” Losses according to her are just a part and parcel of life and she claims that she has not faced a massive loss or any major down in her career so far. “I look at losses as stepping stones and I am quite happy with the way things have turned out to be.”
‘I believe my acting appeal is one that is natural. I don’t act, I react’
Kajal says she uses a lot of emotions in her acting and tries to actually put herself in the shoes of the character she is playing. She also admits that she shares a very good rapport with all her directors. “I get easily influenced by my director, which is my job at the end of the day. I go by the way he thinks and explains a particular scene to me but I use my head nonetheless.” She is known for her unending list of questions on sets while shooting. “I keep asking endless questions to the directors, much to their annoyance but that does not stop me from clarifying my doubts. They also love interacting with me. I think it is a combination of me thinking on my terms and also being reaffirmed by the director.”
On the professional front, Kajal has Indian 2 alongside Kamal Haasan, Siddharth, Rakul Preet Singh and Priya Bhavani Shankar among others.