I'M SUPER- CRITICAL ABOUT MYSELF' KAJOL ON WHY SHE TOOK UP MY NAME IS KHAN AND REFUSED 3 IDIOTS
SHRADHA SUKUMARAN [email protected]
mid- day. com
SHE has enough personality to fill up a room. Kajol walks in for a row of interviews at Mehboob Studios in Bandra, she gives sharply punctuated answers and journos are summarily told that she will leave at one pm sharp to pick up daughter Nysa from school.
Karan Johar couldn't have picked a better person to play a working mom Mandira in his film My Name Is Khan ( MNIK), who falls in love with Rizwan Khan, a man with Asperger's syndrome.
Reams have been written about how MNIK reunites Kajol with Shah Rukh Khan after eight years. Yet she also has a Stepmom remake up ahead, as well as Toonpur Ka Superhero, a live- actionanimation, Who Framed Roger Rabbit - kind of comedy with husband Ajay Devgn.
Sipping coffee in her make- up van, Kajol is her chatty animated self on juggling motherhood and a hot career.Shah Rukh Khan and you almost began your careers together with Baazigar, Karan Arjun, DDLJ. You were just 19 — was Shah Rukh protective of you?
Yes, he's always taken care of me. There were times when we had huge fights because of what we believed in. I used to go ( mock- shouting), " No, I don't like this and don't think we should be doing it!" and he would say, " No, this is your job." We'd be arguing for 10 minutes before we gave in.
He's taught me so much. A lot of my work attitude has come from him. And that time, many things didn't sink in… well, it's
been an ongoing process.Is it difficult to say no to Karan Johar's films?
That's the great thing about being friends with him. We swore to ourselves that we wouldn't let our friendship interfere with work. He's always told me, ' You can refuse my film. I'm not going to stop loving you or calling you.' Friendship isn't about putting that yolk on someone so that they say yes for the wrong reasons.So what happened with 3 Idiots ? Rumour was that they begged you to do the role.
I thought it was a great script. I haven't had the chance to see it and I'm sure it's a great film. But there wasn't that much for me to do in it. Now that the film has done fantastic business and that Kareena ( Kapoor) has reportedly done a superb job in it, I don't feel as if the film was ever mine.Everyone talks about the friendship that Shah Rukh and you share. Are your kids friends?
You know, that's something I feel bad about. It's not happened. Nysa's met Suhana just twice. It just happens that we have our own work and while we may meet up, it gets a bit much for the kids.
They have their own timings. It's difficult to arrange play dates.
This time, for most of the schedules, Suhana and Aryan didn't come. They came for three days in the middle. The timing was off.In MNIK , your character Mandira marries a person who is autistic. What do you feel about their love story?
The great thing about Rizwan is that he's just so clear. We lose that when we grow up to be adults. We put these different coloured glasses, sometimes rose, black or blue and you see life through it. So your vision is always coloured. Rizwan has maintained his clarity. Mandira falls in love with the way he looks at the world.
Rizwan isn't an innocent man. Some things are beyond his comprehension, but he knows everything. He just sees things differently.Which actor, apart from Shah Rukh, is a good friend?
You know, all the guys I've worked with, touch wood, have taken such good care of me. They've treated me so well that I wouldn't hesitate to call them friends. But good friends… no, none of them really. I haven't ever spent social time with them.Ajay has acted in and produced comedies like the Golmaal movies and All The Best. Is that your kind of humour?
I enjoyed the films. I thought they were hysterically funny. They were mindless fun. I don't know whether I would do that because there isn't much for me to do frankly.But you're doing Toonpur Ka Superhero, which Ajay says was shot so much against a green screen.
Yes, it was interesting because you're shooting live action against a green screen.
It was a very technical shoot. To maintain the emotion there was difficult. It wasn't frustrating, but you are unsure. Something out there is going to be created in response to your action.Can you be objective about Ajay's films?
It's my job to be critical about everybody on screen ( claps and laughs). I'm supercritical about myself, then my husband, and then the whole world.
I don't notice most people; I'm supremely selfish that way. I care about us the most. Ajay hasn't done films where I've said, " Oh my god, what did you do there?" He's had some superlative performances.
Zakhm and Company are my favourites. He was outstanding in both, not one step out of place. I loved him in Bhagat Singh and U Me Aur Hum too. He manages to be normal effortlessly.You love reading. Which is the one book you wish would be adapted to the big screen?
I don't think I could answer that. I believe that great books don't make good movies.
The only book that was a fantastic movie was Thorn Birds , while the Lord Of The Rings movies actually surpassed the books.
Yet these are sagas. When you make a book and as a reader, I'd miss it.You're shooting the Stepmom remake. Kareena last played your sister in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham , now she's your rival. How's it been?
Seriously, great fun. I expected to like her and expect to miss her! When she's not on set, all of us are like, ' Oh God, she's not shooting today.' Karan says that you are four seasons behind in gossip. Don't you read the papers? ( Laughs) I go days without reading the papers. Yeah, when you have the time, the luxury of sitting down at the table and aaram se going through the papers, it's okay. But frankly, I'd rather read my books. So I have to say I depend on Karan for gossip.
I really haven't cut the umbilical cord yet.
Nysa has, but I haven't. I need her more than she needs me.
— Kajol on daughter Nysa
KAJOL ON THE ROLE SHE LOVES MOST… BEING A MOTHER
Photographer Gautam Rajadhyaksha once told us that you always wanted to be a mother. Tell us your first reaction while reading MNIK 's script.
Well, I loved it frankly. I loved the fact that Mandira loved her kid so much; that she's this working woman bringing up her son.
What I loved was that she's wasn't this perfect anal mom. Well, she's anal, but it's okay because it's not about her, it's all about her baby. That made it fantastic.
Apparently, you pretended to be a mom to your doll when you were eight years old.
( Laughs) Yeah, I told my mom that I wanted to adopt a baby when I was eight but said I would wait till I was 18 because I would be of legal age. But by the time I was 18, I was already working, so I thought I'd wait for two more years. Then when I was 21, I said, " Damn, why don't I just have one of my own?" Now that you have a daughter, what is motherhood like? It's something I give thanks to God for every
thank God from the bottom of my heart. I think she's my gift for being good. For all the good things I've done in my life, I deserve my daughter.
You reportedly threw several tantrums when you were young, but your mother ( Tanuja) would never relent.
( Giggles) Yes, yes, that's right.
Are you able to be that strict with Nysa? I'm probably more strict actually. I'm a complete Hitler. If I say no, I'm completely adamant about it. Kids need rules and guidelines to live by. They need that one person in their life to set it. That's me, for her.
Not Ajay? Definitely not! You were a boarding school product and loved it. Would you send Nysa to one? I would like to because there is a certain independence that comes from being thrust into a situation with hundred different people
and having to adapt to them, where before you lived in a room and had every whim catered to. That independence gives you the conviction that wherever you are, you will be fine.
I don't know whether I'm capable of sending her ( laughs). I really haven't cut the umbilical cord yet. Nysa has, but I haven't. I need her more than she needs me.
You were very jealous of your mom playing someone else's mother onscreen when you were small. Does Nysa react the same way? Nysa isn't able to watch any of my films because the moment I start crying, she does too. Unfortunately, I don't do films that cater to her taste. She tells me, " You don't do any happy films like papa does. Papa did Golmaal for me!" I'm like, yeah baby, sorry I didn't manage a Golmaal for you.
Thank God it hasn't sunk in that I'm playing a mom to someone else. Otherwise, I'd have another fight on my hands.
Edited by Zareena - 31 January 2010 at 11:31am