Kajol will be seen in Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior. She will portray a very strong and significant character, Savitri Malusare, the wife of Tanhaji who is played by her real life husband, Ajay Devgn. The actor is happy to be working in her home production and is looking forward to the success of the film. This movie will hit the theatres on 10th January 2020.
Q. What reference points did you have for the movie Tanhaji?
Kajol: There were a lot of reference points. There hasn’t been written much about them in the history textbooks. There is probably one paragraph on Tanhaji in an entire chapter of Shivaji. Whatever we know is verbal. That is why Unsung Warriors have been started by us which highlights so many such warriors who are famous only in their own state or area. They have sacrificed a lot and done a lot for this country but only few people around them know about it. So if Tanhaji does well, we will start an entire series on such unsung warriors.
Q. Have you decided on whom the next movie would be made?
Kajol: We have not decided that as of yet.
Q. Is your role in this movie a brief one as compared to major roles in other movies?
Kajol: I think Savitri’s character is a very strong one. Ajay came to me and said that whatever Savitri needs to say is said is in the way that needs to be heard and it is very important for the film and I think only you can do this role so I want you to hear the script. So I heard the script and we then decided to build on the character and make it better.
Q. How did you prepare for the character?
Kajol: Most of the research was done before hand only. Our team was doing it for 5 years. A story is not written about this somewhere, there is just a beginning, middle and an end but not so much details for a 2 hour movie. We had to make it believable, watchable and also bring in a bit dramatization.
Q. How difficult is it to work with Ajay than other actors?
Kajol: We have worked a lot together. We have done 10 films and have been married for 20 years. So we have done a lot on screen as well as off screen so it’s very comfortable, feels like home. To top it all off, this is our home production also. It felt like an extension of home. We enjoyed a lot. While working, Ajay is 50% actor and 50% director. So the director side of his asked me to do better at times so I feel very lucky that I am working with him.
Q. Did your real life chemistry helped you with the on-screen chemistry?
Kajol: I think we are good actors.
Q. What feeling did you get when you look at yourself dressed as Savitri?
Kajol: I get a very different feeling. When I look at the mirror all dressed up as her, I feel like I am looking at Savitri only. There is a different fun in that. Even how people react to your look is fun. It is a different feeling altogether. We had great sets also, it was a beautiful feeling. It felt like you were walking into a painting.
Q. Do you think Ajay portrayed Tanhaji well?
Kajol: I have not met Tanhaji so I cannot define that. But we have portrayed it well and kept it as historically accurate as possible. Ajay fits the character perfectly.
Q. Ajay has done various stunts in the film apart from the VFX used. Did that scare you a little?
Kajol: Yes, a little cautious, not scared. But he has an experience in all this so we need to trust that. He has done a lot of actions films with safety. Touchwood, he keeps on doing them in the future also.
Q. Many objections come towards biopics which are made now a days, what is your take on that?
Kajol: Everybody has an opinion, it is a free country, you have the right to speak out that opinion as well. We have tried our best to not hurt anybody in anyway. It is an episodic film about a part of history. There must creative freedom to at least make a film, there are a lot of people in this country.
Q. Did you talk to any historians regarding the film?
Kajol: I don’t know but Om might have. He visited a lot of libraries, spoke to a lot of people and met their family. We have tried to keep this very accurate.
Q. Were any auditions taken for the role of Savitri?
Kajol: I was the ultimate and the only choice for it. Now that I think of it, I would not have let anyone else play the part because of the way the film is and the role is.
Q. You are playing a serious role so did it take a lot of efforts?
Kajol: Not a lot because I was tied up in the navari. But the character is very strong so some amount of grace and dignity comes along with it. So I hadn’t had to put in a lot of efforts to become Savitri.
Q. Has Marathi language being used a lot in the movie?
Kajol: We haven’t used a lot of Marathi language in the film. We are dubbing this film in Marathi so everyone who wants to watch it in Marathi can watch it. We are also making this film for the entire country and internationally. We have just used a little Marathi to give it the flavour and the feel but not so much that it overwhelms.
Q. Would you do a Marathi film?
Kajol: I would love to do a Marathi and a Bengali film. Anyone of it if it comes up with a good script.
Q. This is a big budget movie and also from your home productions. What are your expectations from the box office?
Kajol: I think we always think about the box office, it is a business at the end of the day. All of this is going from someone’s pocket. So as responsible actors, we are here promoting the film so that everybody benefits from it. It is a big film and we have done our best. We wish everyone watches it and then we will decide if Unsung Warriors would go forward or not.
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Q. What is your take on acting in a web series?
Kajol: I have always said that I have done a film for the script and not for any particular platform. I have done everything. So when you get a good script, you will definitely go for it on whichever platform it is on.
BY RUJUTA THETE