Kajol once again

I have doubts working with first-time directors, says the
versatile actor in a chat with Dibyojyoti Baksi

ONE of Bollywoodís 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.

Kajol in a still from We Are Family, a Hindi adaptation of Hollywood comedy-drama Stepmom
Kajol in a still from We Are Family, a Hindi adaptation of Hollywood comedy-drama Stepmom

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

"I donít 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.

About We Are Family, she is quite positive about the film, a Hindi adaptation of Hollywood comedy-drama Stepmom, which also stars Arjun Rampal and Kareena Kapoor.

"Lots of films canít 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 couldnít 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 itís 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 itís a different film altogether."

Though it was her best pal, director-producer Karan Joharís production, Kajol really didnít 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 didnít want to sign anything. I was really tired doing My Name.... I didnít 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 didnít watch it before doing the film because I didnít 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 motherís 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 wonít say you take it from normal life, itís 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 ó 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 donít 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, itís nice working. Itís 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 itís 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. ó IANS