'I knew Singham would click with the audience'
Kajal Agarwal might be riding the success wave after her Hindi film Singham became a blockbuster but right now, she's apparently fuming.
The actress appeared topless on the cover of popular magazine FHM but now, her sister Nisha claims that the picture is morphed.
Whatever the real story is, there's no disputing the fact that she's really doing well career-wise in southern cinema too. Her first Telugu movie this year, Mr Perfect, is a hit, while her second Telugu release, Veera, did average business at the box office. Naa Peru Siva (the Telugu dubbing of Tamil movie Naan Mahaan Alla) is running well.
Now, Kajal is busy with two prestigious projects -- The Businessman in Telugu directed by Puri Jagannadh, co-starring Mahesh Babu, and Maatraan in Tamil directed by K V Anand, where she's cast opposite Suriya.
In this interview, Kajal tells Radhika Rajamani why these films worked, and why Dhada did not.
Are you disappointed with Dhada's performance?
It is a fact that the movie didn't do well. Some movies do well, some don't. People like the way I look in the movie. I tried out something different.
What do you think went wrong?
I guess it wasn't the usual masala flick. It was difficult for people to accept the editing and screenplay.
Image: Kajal Agarwal on the cover of FHM India
'I don't regret doing Dhada'
Do you regret doing the film?
No. What I was asked to do, I did to the best of my capacity. I don't regret doing the film. I take it as a learning experience.
How was Chaitanya as a co-star?
He is a nice person and very professional. He has a long way to go.
Your earlier film, Mr Perfect, rocked at the box office. Why was it such a success?
Films high on emotions connect with the audience. So Mr Perfect connected. The story is extremely different. The script is the biggest thing. If you have a good story, then people will tune in. I liked my character. I had to work a lot on my emotions.
Was it a character you could relate tao?Yes. She is a village girl and I live in Mumbai, but her outlook and viewpoints are urban. So, in that sense, I could relate.
Image: Kajal Agarwal
'I did Veera to try different characters and variations'
How was it working with director Dasarath?
Dasarath is emotional and dramatic. There is a variety of emotions in the film and I got to play them.
Your pairing with Prabhas clicked the second time (Darling was the first film).
Prabhas is hard working and extremely talented. We share a comfort level. We are aware of each other's timing and reactions. He is very jovial and keeps the environment also like that.
Your film Veera, with Ravi Teja, did average business, but your role received some flak. How did you react to that?
I did the role to try different characters and variations. There are different views regarding the performance. From my end, it was the first time I played a married woman.
Image: Kajal Agarwal
'Suriya is a fabulous actor'
What made you sign K V Anand's Maatraan?
The story is extremely good. I have never played this kind of role and that attracted me to the film besides, of course, working with K V Anand.
You are acting with Suriya in Maatraan. How is he as a co-star?
We all know he's a fabulous actor. It's really nice acting with him. He's a thorough professional.
Will you be shooting both The Businessman and Maatraan together?
Yes, back to back.
Image: A still from Mr Perfect
'I was comfortable doing a Hindi film'
Your Hindi film Singham is a huge blockbuster. Did you see the Tamil version?
Yes, I had seen the original. I knew it would click with the audience since it was a fantastic story.
How was the experience of working in Singham?
It was a nice experience. I was comfortable doing a Hindi film since I speak the language. I wouldn't count my earlier Hindi film (Kyon... Ho Gaya Naa) as my debut as I was too young. So Singham is my debut rather than a re-appearance.
Are you flooded with Bollywood offers?
Yes, I am. I am reading scripts. Only when I get something good will I sign it.
Image: A still from Singham