One has doubts working with first-time directors: Kajol

By Dibyojyoti Baksi

Mumbai, Aug 25 (IANS) One of Bollywood's finest actresses, Kajol says she was not keen to do "We Are Family" because she was tired after "My Name Is Khan". Admitting that she also had doubts about first-time director Siddharth Malhotra, she believes the film had turned out "altogether" different from the original "Stepmom".

"Definitely. I think you always have doubts while working with first-time directors and it's very sensible to do that," Kajol, 35, told IANS in an interview about her latest film helmed by Malhotra.

"I don't think you should have complete confidence in first-time directors, you have to depend on yourself as well," said Kajol who had many years ago teamed up with Aditya Chopra in his directorial debut "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" that went on to be a huge hit.

Now that "We Are Family" is ready for release, she is quite positive about the film, a Hindi adaptation of Hollywood comedy-drama "Stepmom". Releasing Sep 3, the film also stars Arjun Rampal and Kareena Kapoor.

"Lots of films can't be remade. If there is a magic in a film, that cannot be rejuvenated. But there are some films that can. I think 'Stepmom' is one of those. We couldn't have done this in English. If we have tried to do it in English, it would have flopped miserably," Kajol said.

"Since we are doing it in a different language, we had to change the script and make it more Indian. I personally think it's a different film from what 'Stepmom' originally is. When you watch the film, the premise of the film remains the same, but there is so much else there that I hope you come up with the feeling that it's a different film altogether."

Though it was her best pal, director-producer Karan Johar's production, Kajol really didn't want to do a film soon after "My Name Is Khan".

"I was not interested in doing a film at that point of time. I didn't want to sign anything. I was really tired doing 'My Name...'. I didn't want to hear the script. I wanted to chill and take a break for at least three months. When they insisted, I heard the script and I really liked it," said Kajol.

"We Are Family" is different from what Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon played in "Stepmom", she says.

"I had seen 'Stepmom' very, very long back. I didn't watch it before doing the film because I didn't want it to influence me and I really think Maya is a very, very different character from what Susan Sarandon played," said Kajol.

Kajol has a daughter in real life and is expecting her second child. She feels being a mother in real life makes a huge difference as far as the body language is concerned.

"When you become a mother and you are raising your daughter, there is something about a mother's voice that you get. God gives it to you. Most children respond to it and I think it comes instinctively.

"I think even in the film where your body language is concerned, I feel it makes a difference. I won't say you take it from normal life, it's just an instinctive part of taking care of a child or being very hands on over there," she said.

She played mother to a boy in the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer "My Name is Khan".

"Handling three children was more difficult - no two ways about it. That kid in 'My Name...' was very good and he was much older actually. Here, Diya (Sonecha) was five, Nomi (Nominath Ginsberg) was seven and Aachal (Munjal) was 12; so this was a complete range of children. But they were very sweet and enthusiastic," said Kajol.

Asked if her work distracted her from enjoying her pregnancy, she said: "I don't think that anything can distract you from being pregnant. You know that you are pregnant and 24x7 nothing can take that fact away from you and nothing can distract you from it.

"But, yes, it's nice working. It's good to know that I can still work. I was very, very nervous the first time around, but this time I am very comfortable and I know what to expect. So it's much easier to handle it," said Kajol.

She rules out any possibility of being a director ever.

"Not really, I am a reader. I like to read more than anything. My definition of a producer and director is they are the ones who get paid to have an ulcer in the stomach," said Kajol.

(Dibyojyoti Baksi can be contacted at dibyojyoti.b@ians.in)

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