"Actually I'm not a movie buff basically. I'm not the kind of person who watches a lot of films so you're talking to the wrong person. I read a lot of books, so I'm more into reading than I'm into watching movies."
(Rediff, Oct. 1998)

They said her marriage to Ajay Devgan would put her out of the running. But Kajol may do that all on her own.

Kajol Mukherjee Devgan   Her mother, Tanuja, is a former screen siren. Her aunt, Nutan, is one of the most famous actresses of all time. Shobana Samarth, her grandmother, helped establish Hindi cinema as a force to be reckoned with. But Kajol, widely acknowledged as one of the most talented actresses ever to cross the Indian screen, more than lives up to their example.

   Alas, she herself doesn't particularly agree. When asked how she rates herself as an actress, she replies: " 1, maybe 2, on a scale of 10." (Rediff, April 1997) "I canít accept situations I am uncomfortable in. Like I canít get myself to do scenes or say lines I'm not convinced about. Iím troubled by anything that goes against the grain of my personality, and itís very difficult for me to portray an emotion that I donít understand." When asked, "But isnít good acting about convincingly portraying qualities you donít possess or agree with?", she replies: "Exactly. Thatís precisely why I keep saying that Iím not a great actress. No matter how hard I try, I never manage to get into the skin of a character completely. There are always elements of my personality that leak into my characters." (Tatanova, Feb. 3, 2002) Adoring fans are baffled by this, along with repeated assertions that she doesn't really like movies, doesn't take acting very seriously, and will quit the moment the gig begins to bore her.

   Sadly, that moment may have come. After her smashing success in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, a performance for which she took the Filmfare Award for Best Actress, Kajol has no new projects planned. One tentative possibility is Aditya Chopra's next film, opposite Shahrukh Khan -- a pairing that, boasting smash hits like Baazigar, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Karan Arjun, and now K3G -- will go down in history as one of the most loved in Hindi cinema's history.

   But rumors of the Chopra film, while tantalizing, may be mere wishful thinking. Her recent miscarriage, chronicled with heartbreaking attention by the press, suggests she wishes to start a family -- and in Bollywood, real-life mothers rarely (if ever) play heroines. Gossip also suggests that her husband, actor Ajay Devgan, is threatened by her on-screen chemistry with Shahrukh -- a frustrating obstacle for fans hungry for more. Kajol herself explains her decision thus: "I am a little sick of Bollywood, and want to exit gracefully. There are only that many different roles that you can do in Bollywood. How many times can you keep doing the same thing? Anyway, the industry is too chaotic for me to continue. There is an exciting world out there waiting to be explored, a world away from the movies. Even if I am doing one film at a time, it takes up at least half the month." (Tatanova, Feb. 3, 2002)

   Kajol is a self-confessed book addict. "Reading is my sole obsession in life. Actually, it is beyond an obsession. It has become a need. Sometimes, it gets so bad that if I am in the bathroom with nothing to read, I start reading the back of shampoo bottles!" (Cineblitz, Apr. 2001) She prefers futuristic fiction and romance novels, and may use the freed-up time to fulfill her longstanding dream to write a novel -- preferably a Mills & Boon, the British version of Harlequin romance. "With a Mills & Boon, I'll know it's gonna have a happy ending. I hate morbid books." (Cineblitz, April 2001)

   Aside from fabulous acting, Kajol is most noted for her grumpy relationship with the press. She explains her "firebrand" reputation thusly: "See, I've always been a confident person. Out here the term firebrand is often wrongly used. An intelligent person is often labelled a firebrand. I'm well-read, intelligent. So why should I try to hide it. If that makes some people uncomfortable, it's their problem. At the same time, if someone gives me wrong vibes, I won't ignore them. If I dislike a person, I don't hide it. I rather be open about it than bitch behind their back." (Filmfare, Dec 2000)

   Such honesty hardly endears her to all: "The industry wallas have long thought it and now Shahrukh has said it. The general seething feelings about Kajol ever since she joined the industry ten years ago, was put into words by Shahrukh when at a recent award ceremony Kajol passed trademark rude remarks about Lagaan and Dil Chahta Hai bagging most of the trophies whereas K3G winning only one and that to to Kajol. Shahrukh quickly covered up his co-star's misbeaviour by remarking that "Yeah, Kajol is badly behaved but she is a fabulous actress and a pleasure to work with." The statement obviously contains more negative info about Kads than a positive one... There is no one left in the industry who hasn't been a victim of Kajol's misdemeanour, from Juhi to Rakesh Roshan." (www.jang.com, February 2002)

   In defense of BollyWHAT?'s favorite actress, we must add that in comparison with certain newcomers who amuse us to no end, she is Miss Manners incarnate.

 

Kajol Mukherjee Devgan
born: August 5, 1975
height: 5' 5"

FILMS
1992 Bekhudi
1993 Baazigar*
1994 Udhaar Ki Zindagi
1994
Yeh Dillagi*
1995 Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge*
1995 Gundaraj
1995 Hulchul
1995 Karan Arjun
1995 Taaqat
1996 Bambai Ka Babu
1997 Gupt*
1997 Hameshaa
1997 Ishq*
1997 Sapna
1998 Dushman*
1998 Junglee
1998 Kuch Kuch Hota Hai*
1998 Nihata
1998 Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya*
1998 Pyar To Hona Hi Tha*
1999 Dil Kya Kare
1999 Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain
2000 Raju Chacha
2001 Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham*
2001 Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi
* acclaimed performance


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