Kajal has been ruling over the film industry – right from down south to up north. She was on the cover of our magazine too. If you have missed her interview, read it here.
FB – Take us through your journey.
KA – I did my bachelor’s in mass media and specialised in advertising and marketing. I was interning with a multinational company in my final year when I got the offer of my first movie ‘Lakshmi Kalyanam’. This is how my journey began and I have done over 60 movies in 13 years.
FB – You had a background of mass media but what made you get into the industry?
KA – I wanted to do my masters and when the first movie came my way, I thought of doing it to make my resume look interesting for getting into a business school. After my first movie, there was no looking back and one movie came behind the other.
FB – How was your first camera experience?
KA – I was extremely comfortable although I had no idea about the technicalities and the craft of movie-making. I had done theatre in my childhood but I was never in front of a camera before. I don’t remember being nervous at all but was excited. I just remember being curious to learn at that point in time.
FB – How do you handle hectic schedules when you have back-to-back projects?
KA – When I have back-to-back schedules and back-to-back projects, I try to multitask as much as possible. Reading and watching movies in between shoot is what I love doing. I love travelling, cooking, adventure sports and I really enjoy discovering different aspects of life and different cultures. This keeps me going.
FB – What differences have you noticed with your real-life and your reel life characters?
KA – My real life and reel life are two extremely different aspects and I like keeping it that way. In reality, I am not really like the characters that I play. The characters that I play has a little bit of me and it leaves a little bit of itself as an influence in my life. After 6 pm, I shut off and do not think about work but when I am at work, I forget everything else and I just focus on the character I play.
FB – Was there any differences you have noticed with your friends/relatives after gaining stardom?
KA – Distance makes the heart grow stronger and the only difference that I noticed was that I got closer to my friends and relatives. I am very blessed and have a strong support system around me. My family and friends have always had my back and I have had theirs, and luckily, my relationship has just grown from strength to strength.
FB – You sang for a song in the movie ‘Chakravyuha’. Do you have plans of getting into singing again in future??
KA – Yes, and I did that just for fun as I know Thaman – the music director. I do not have any professional plans of singing but if something interesting comes my way, I am open to experimenting.
FB – You have won awards many a time. What are the closest ones to your heart?
KA – Yes, I have won a lot of awards in acting and I feel extremely grateful to the audience for their love and support. Everybody find recognition very encouraging and the awards that are close to my heart were for my role in Mr Perfet and my role in Brindavanam as these characters are unlike my personality.
FB – How do you handle stardom after gaining popularity in the industry?
KA – I do not take success to my head and failure to my heart and try to keep a very neutral approach to it. I am lucky to have had a support factor of family and friends. Amidst all, I honestly consider my job as a 9-5 one in spite of having privacy issues at times. But again, it is a part and parcel of being an actor and I try to deal with it and tackle it from a very detached point of view.
FB – Is dance your inborn talent?
KA – No, dance is something that I have cultivated and worked upon over the years.
FB – How well are you with cooking and what’s your favourite dish?
KA – I am not a great cook but I think cooking is therapeutic in nature. I like cooking something healthy and tasty. My dishes are mostly Indian, Thai, Japanese, and Italian.
FB – How close is your sister Nisha with you?
KA – Nisha and I are really close. She is my best friend, critic, confidant and my lawyer. She is extremely protective of me and vice versa. We talk to each other almost every day and we are very close. We’ve carried this from childhood and I am blessed to have a sister who is so close to me in age and in every aspect of life.
FB – Does your taste match with your sister?
KA – We have very varied tastes and are different personalities. This reflects in all the choices that we make in life.
FB – What do you do during your free time?
KA – I am very interested in architecture and interior designing. I recently did up my house and now I am doing another place. Apart from this, I like to watch plays and travel. I like to try out new and different things and I now am learning to play chess professionally.
FB – How about marriage?
KA – I see marriage as an institution. I respect it and will definitely get married when I find the right person.
FB – What is your view on Women’s Day. How do you encourage women empowerment?
KA – Women are always special and I don’t think we need only one day to be special. We need to ensure that ideas of women need to be backed both financially and emotionally. Women need to be given more of leadership and decision making roles and women are equally pain like their men counterpart. Lastly, I would like to see women across the globe well-educated.
FB – If you had an opportunity to change something in the society, what would it be?
KA – It would be society’s obsession with selfies and random status updates. I believe in living in the moment and not on social media.
FB – What is your motivational message for the women of our society?
KA – Dream big, have faith and allow your heart to be yourself.