Tollytown's sweetheart Kajal Aggarwal gets candid

In a tête-à-tête with Indulge Hyderabad, the diva opens up about her latest films, being a nerd girl and maasi. 

author_img Paulami Sen and A Harini Prasad Published :  27th October 2017 02:30 PM   |   Published :   |  27th October 2017 02:30 PM
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Kajal Aggarwal’s fans just can’t have enough of her. She hosts Facebook live streams for her 23 million followers and puts up her best and latest photos for her 6  million Insta followers, yet they seem to ask for more.  So the actress currently basking in the success of Mersal (Adhirindi, yet to release in Telugu) presented them with her official mobile app in March. She’s undoubtedly Tolly town’s sweetheart. From directors who love to cast her again to brands that sign her up repeatedly, she remains everyone’s favourite. Her charm is all-pervasive.

Vijay and Kajal in Merisal (Adhirindi in Telugu)

A few minutes of speaking to her and Kajal Aggarwal will find a way to endear herself to you. We do not remember the last time a top actress floored us with her candour. Where are the diva-like airs we were expecting? This Tolly town sweetheart easily breaks into giggling fits, assures you it gets better as you enter your thirties, and gushes like a fangirl while talking about her favourite author. Isn’t she relatable to the hilt? 

Her celluloid trajectory
The 32-year-old actor with Punjabi roots who recently added another hit to her filmography with Tamil film Mersal starring superstar Vijay has created her own celluloid trajectory. In the past decade, she has starred in 50 films in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. “This year has been great, I could not have asked for something more. Khaidi 150, Nene Raju Nene Mantri (NNRM), Vivegam and now Mersal, I feel blessed,” says the actress. She is also one of those few female celebrities who has stayed on top of her game way past what the detractors would say is ‘the shelf life of a heroine’. The diva has broken these norms and how!

A still from Khaidi No 150 starring Chiranjeevi and Kajal 

She seems rather at ease with herself in her 30s. So how was the transition been from her? “Most of us are impulsive and driven by emotions in our twenties. But once you hit 27 or 28, you realise that the world is not a fairy tale,” says the NNRM hitmaker, adding that patience is one of the virtues she has learned to master in her twenties. “Now, in my thirties, I love my me-time in between shots. I read, watch TV shows and catch up with people in my vanity van,”  Kajal confesses.

Coming full circle
Interestingly, her first film in T’town was with director Teja and her 50th one was with him as well. “When he directed me again for NRNM, it felt like life had come a full circle,” says Kajal while talking of her mentor. When it comes to the number of roles she takes up in different languages, she is quite the maverick. Slipping in and out of roles in various languages is not an easy job, but she makes it seem like a walk in the park. For instance, this Mumbai girl has mastered Telugu and can even crack a joke or two in the language. Tamil, however, is slightly harder. Looks like nothing is hard for her, including handling her detractors. “Bouquets and brickbats are a part of showbiz. I ignore all those who want to pull me down. I keep my chin up and get working,” she shares.

A still from Nene Raju Nene Mantri

Meet the nerd
Did you know Kajal is a voracious reader? “I have always loved fiction, but now I’m trying to broaden my horizon and read new things,” shares the actress adding that she is presently reading Breakout Nations by Ruchir Sharma that deals with macroeconomics. “It’s interesting and difficult too because it feels like I’m taking an examination,” says the actress, laughing. However, Kajal shares how she loves reading Ayn Rand books. “I am a huge fan! I love The Fountainhead. I want to marry someone like Howard Roark,” says the excited bookworm. We wonder how that would work out, we tell her.  She laughs and asks, “Have you ever been to Chicago? If you do, you will feel like you’re in the novel,” says the paperback lover who loves all things vintage.

Homework in place
She is quite the diligent student when it comes to her movies and the homework she does for her roles. The Gemini star is honest about the fact that as she moves forward, she wants to devote more time and research. “Research can totally break or make a performance,” she informs. For instance, for the role of Radha in NRNM,  she made a list with director Teja about the background of the character, about her origins including her food habits. “That’s not a part of the filmmaking process, it just helped me do a better job,” says the thorough professional who will soon be seen in the Tamil remake of the landmark 2014 film, Queen, starring Kangana Ranaut. She wants to lend her personal touch to the character, keeping in mind the current scenario instead of re-enacting exactly what Kangana did.

Aunt on duty
Both personally and professionally, this doe-eyed beauty had a great year. She is content with the work that comes her as she gets to “pick and choose.” The actress has stuck to most of her New Year resolutions like giving more time to her family and choosing roles that are out of her comfort zone.  Next year seems promising too. “I’m looking forward to my younger sister, Nisha, having a baby this December. I would like to spend as much time as possible with the little one,” says the maasi to-be. The other thing on the list is travel. “Nothing makes me happier than packing my bags and going on a vacation. I want to visit the Maldives, Mexico, Caribbean islands, South America,” signs off the actress. Any interesting plans for 2018? “An Executive MBA Program abroad. One that won’t interfere with my career. I want to have the best of both worlds,” says the unstoppable star.

Our favourite roles of Kajal
 

Radha from Nene Raju Nene Mantri
Mitravinda from Magadheera
Nandini from Darling


Fun facts about Queen K
She was quite a brat in school with the Parent-Teacher Meetings replete with complaints against her.
Kajal is a hardcore fiction lover and Russian-American novelist Ayn Rand is one of her favourites.
Instagram is her favourite social media platform and she has a full-fledged team to handle her 6.1 million followers.
Her fans can have information or stay connected with her on the official app which is all things Kajal.

A few of Kajal’s favourite things
Kajal is quite the fashionista in her own right. 
Some of her favourite designers include Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Anamika Khanna and Gaurav Gupta.
This foodie, who is religious about her work-out loves bingeing on Steam Dosa from Chutneys, Hyderabad.

- paulami@newindianexpress.com
@Paulami309
hariniprasad.a@newindianexpress.com
@ HariniPrasad13

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