It was 30 years ago, when the then 17-year-old Kajol, who was still in school, was all set for her debut film Bekhudi. The actor completes three decades in the Hindi film industry this July and is inevitably overwhelmed. “That’s a shocker,” she admits when asked about her 30-year-long journey. She adds, “I didn’t even realize that I’m completing 30 years. Pata bhi chala aur 30 saal guzaar gaye. I’m overwhelmed with it. It feels like I started yesterday. Then I look at my kids and I’m like bacche bhi bade ho gaye toh time toh paas Hua Hoga zarur. I feel grateful that there have been so many people who have given me such wonderful scripts and characters – from Abbas -Mustan to Karan (Johar, director) Adi (Aditya Chopra, filmmaker) my husband (Ajay Devgn) who was not my husband at that time.”
In a decade, the actor is also going to dabble into a new space – streaming platforms. Kajol will be seen in a digital series and while she confirms it with an “I’m coming on OTT”, she can’t speak much about it. Talking about the digital space, she elaborates, “Ott gives you a platform to be a little freer. I think jab aap picture karte ho screen ke liye toh itni saari pabandiyan hoti hain, itni saari cheezein hoti hain jo aap nahi kar sakte screen pe. Writing mein change Karna padta hain. You cannot do this, say this, and such. That in itself has a lot of restrictions on it. And then you worry about morcha lagega, political pressure, Kuch Aur Hoga.” Having said that, Kajol nonchalantly confesses that she doesn’t fear much, however, “the writers and producers worry about it.” She adds, “More than me, unko darne ki zaroorat hai, unke paise lage huye hain.”
Interestingly not many are aware that her OTT debut could have happened years ago as filmmaker Ram Madhavan had Kajol in his mind when he was remaking the Dutch thriller Penoza. The series was later remade with Sen as the titular character Aarya. “I was (approached),” says Kajol when asked about it. Ask her if she has watched the show and she says, “I did and I liked the script very much. But it didn’t work out for me at that time.” Was it due to date issues? “There were other reasons for it,” she says.
Kajol also revealed she has accepted the Academy Awards’ invite to be a part of the Oscars committee. “Yes, of course. I’m very grateful for that. I’m very happy and excited to hear that,” she says. She also mentions she doesn’t take any pressure off the responsibility. “Dekha jayega jab hoga,” she quips.
Talking of awards, the actor who has won numerous accolades, shares, “Awards are great. I love the idea of getting an award. But as I said, it’s an idea. It’s that five minutes of fame that you have. It doesn’t feed me as much as it does when I hear that my film has done very well or I’m being critically acclaimed. My award is that my film does well.”