From making a brief appearance in the Vivek Oberoi and Aishwarya Rai-starrer Kyun! Ho Gaya Na (2004), and making her solo lead debut with Lakshmi Kalyanam (2007) to starring in some of the biggest blockbusters in Tamil and Telugu cinema, Kajal Aggarwal’s career has been on a consistent upward swing. 15 years and 50 films later, Kajal embarked on the next phase of her career with last week’s release, Ghosty.
While Kajal has starred opposite top-tier actors in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi, Ghosty marks the first time she is headlining a film all on her own. “At this point in my career, I want each of my films to be different. I want to try different genres. Even though it took 15 years for filmmakers to write a film solely for me, I think this is indeed the right time. Everything happens for a reason. I am happy with the films that I have done so far and I will continue doing them. I enjoy mass masala films, but now, I am eager to experiment, and Ghosty is one such,” Kajal says.
In the Kalyaan directorial, Kajal plays a cop named Arthi, who is in pursuit of a dreaded criminal and finds herself in a comedy of errors involving ghosts. Kajal, who has constantly showcased her penchant for comedy in various films, takes a different route this time around as she is the straight-faced foil for the comic antics around her. “The efforts and motive of my character are serious. But whatever happens around her is a comedy riot. For every film, I consciously reinvent my style to break out of the monotony.
For instance, if I laughed or used my eyes in a particular way in All in All Azhagu Raja(2013), I did not repeat it here. I make an effort to understand the director’s style and bring out the required expressions with a touch of difference. Overall, my choices and decisions are very instinctive,” she adds.
Apart from Kajal, Ghosty, also has veterans like Mayilsamy, KS Ravikumar, Urvashi, Madhan Bob, Sathyan, and Devadharshini. Kajal recalls that it was an enriching experience to share screen space with them. Kajal asserts that comedy films are important in today’s society where everyone is stressed and yearns for some form of relaxation and fun. “I feel making the audience cry is easier than making them laugh. I’m confident that audiences can sit back, relax, and laugh their hearts out without worry while watching Ghosty. Kalyaan sir’s USP is his comedy, and Ghosty is funnier than the other films he has done so far,” says Kajal.
Notably, Ghosty marks Kajal’s first release after becoming a mother. Recalling how she got back to work after the pregnancy, she reveals that it was tougher than she imagined. “After pregnancy, I put on 14 kg. It was not an easy journey to get back into shape. But I think the discipline and willpower to get back to work helped me. I resumed work when my baby was three months old. I was back in Chennai training in martial arts and horse riding for Indian 2, and spent almost 15 hours a day shooting for other films,” shares a confident Kajal.
The actor also acknowledges the importance of her support system, which ensured she returned to cinema with the same zeal. “As I speak with you now, my mom is here taking care of my child. My husband, extended family and my manager have been taking care of everything for me to work peacefully. I have so much gratitude for all of them,” says Kajal with a wide smile.
With her urge to experiment with every film, Kajal agrees that the projects, including the ones from OTT, are offering her the opportunity to spruce her craft. “I have never had formal education. So even today, after so many years of thriving in this industry, I learn something new. By doing films like Ghosty and exploring different genres, I can cater to different sets of audiences and prove my versatility. When I did Kyun! Ho Gaya Na, I never thought I’d make it till here. Now, when I look back, I feel so grateful and blessed. Going forward, my pursuit is all about bringing out the best version of myself,” an optimistic Kajal signs off.