Kajol is back on screen with a poignant film, ‘Salaam Venky’. Directed by actor-filmmaker Revathy, the film also stars Vishal Jethwa, who plays a terminally-ill patient and Kajol’s son. It’s a poignant story about a mother-son duo, with the former helping her son live life to the fullest. Scheduled for a theatrical release on December 9, it also features Rahul Bose, Rajeev Khandelwal, Prakash Raj, Kamal Sadanah and Aahana Kumra in pivotal roles. In an exclusive interaction with The Free Press Journal, Kajol opens up about her experience of working with Revathy, the film, and more. Excerpts:
Bring a mother, did you resonate with your character, Sujata, in the film?
It was a big step for me to do this film as I don’t do films which have something to do with children or something bad that happens to someone. I become uncomfortable when something happens to my kids, it disturbs me. Even before I read the script, I said no to Revathy. But, she insisted that I hear the script once and I heard it since Revathy holds great respect. I had tears in my eyes while she was narrating it to me.
By the end of it, I loved the script but I didn’t know if I had the guts to do it. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to see their children in pain and fighting death. I feel no one will get it until they become a parent. I didn’t know how much my mother loved me till the time I had my kids. It took me a while to say yes. I had full faith in Revathy since I saw her first directorial Phir Milenge (2004). More than a disease, it was about people.
How was it working with Revathy?
I was a huge fan of hers. When she came to even narrate the script, I was excited to meet her. I recently saw the film and she has beautifully balanced it out. She will make you cry without making you feel heavy. After working with her, I have put her on a pedestal.
Did motherhood explode on the sets since you and Revathy, two supermoms, worked together?
Yes, we two are powerful women but not even for once she made her personal life intrude on the sets. I know for a fact that she has a nine-year-old at home. I had worked with good and bad directors. Everyone on the sets loses out but I have never seen her even angry.
You are known for pulling off emotionally-challenging roles. How do you cope with these roles?
The camera is a fabulous thing that man has invented, probably one of the most magical things. It can say a lot of things. I don’t think that I am a great actor, I am a good actor and trained well. My USP is honesty, to bare myself and make a fool out of myself in front of the camera. In my head, I always had a graph about my character. I don’t tell anybody except my director.
How are your kids, Nysa and Yug, taking OTT and you being on digital platforms?
They are happy that their mom is working and is out of the house more than before and not sitting on their heads (laughs). It is easier for them to accept the OTT version than the screen version that they have been seeing forever.
(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )