Kajal Aggarwal believes all her Telugu films have fabulous remake value and Salman Khan is the best choice for Magadheera’s Hindi remake.
Kajal Aggarwal is an addition to the growing list of actresses, who are born and brought up in Mumbai, but have made a successful career in South Indian cinema. She will be seen opposite Ajay Devgn in the upcoming action flick Singham . In an exclusive conversation with Gaurav Malani , she speaks about both, Bollywood and South cinema and how she wants all of her Telugu films to be remade in Hindi.
Wasn’t (Ash-Vivek starrer) Kyun Ho Gaya Na your debut film!
I did Kyun Ho Gaya Na when I was in the ninth grade! I was still a kid then. So I would consider Singham as my Hindi debut. At that time acting was never on my mind and education was a priority. I wanted to pursue MBA but I strongly believe in destiny, which I guess, had different plans for me.
After Telugu films, was Bollywood the next obvious step?
I never strategized my career as such. I never planned that I wanted to start in Hindi films after working in a certain number of Telugu films. I am lucky that things have been naturally falling into place so far.
Were Singham makers particularly looking for a South actress for this Tamil remake?
Not really! Rohit Shetty wanted a fresh face for the film but also with an acting background to her. They did not have time to teach anybody. When they saw my film Magadheera , which is a huge hit in South, they felt that I was perfect for the part in Singham .
Considering it’s a male-dominated action flick, how much scope do you have?
There is also a sweet romantic story attached to Singham . Though I have a short role in Singham , it is an important part. I do not believe that the screen-space allotted to a character would define their acting ability. And I personally believe that even if the role is short, the impact that the character makes in that time is more important.
Ajay Devgn is known to be a prank-master. Did you fall prey of his jokes?
Ajay is a wonderful actor and pulled a prank on me on the first day itself. I was asked to scream for a scene and later I realized the camera wasn’t rolling at all. But I think it was a nice way to break the ice.
What is that one thing you learnt from Ajay Devgn?
The ability to get into the character once the scene rolls and cut-off from it when the director says cut. The ease with which he does that is remarkable.
Which is a better film – the Hindi or the Tamil Singham ?
It is unfair to say that any version is better than the other. But I do think there have been changes made in the Hindi version which would suit the Hindi audience sensibilities. While the female lead (Anushka Shetty) in the original was a Tamil character, we have changed her into a Goan Maharashtrian in Hindi.
How comfortable were you with the Hindi language?
I am born and brought up in Mumbai, so Hindi and Marathi come very easily to me.
In that case how comfortable were you with Telugu language when you started in South?
Initially I had to work very hard over the language but now, after 4 years of experience, I am quite fluent with it. I am still learning Tamil though.
Would you want any of your South films to be remade in Bollywood?
All my films have fabulous remake value but I don’t have a say in this. It’s more of a director’s call. But if you ask me, I would want all my South films to be remade in Hindi.
If Magadheera was to be remade in Hindi, which Bollywood hero can pull off the character?
The male lead in Magadheera has a lot of heroism in terms of his attitude and body language. Many Bollywood actors have the potential to play the lead in Magadheera . Choosing one is difficult but I guess Salman would suit the role best.
Post Singham what would be your focus – Hindi or Telugu cinema?
I would want to strike a balance. While my loyalties remain in South cinema, since I started out there, I would want to work in Hindi films as well. TOI