Language of love has changed and cinema is reflecting that: Kajol
The 48-year-old said that while working on a subject like Lust Stories, it is important for an actor to be comfortable and trust the team
Writing endless letters, dropping frequent texts or just showing up at someone's door -- these gestures, Bollywood star Kajol says, are not romantic and contemporary cinema reflects that evolution of emotions.
Kajol's Simran from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge along with Shah Rukh Khan's Raj have been personifying the ideal romance for movie buffs since 1995. Almost three decades later, the actor will be seen in Lust Stories 2, a modern-day take on relationships and its complexities.
"Language of love has changed and cinema is reflecting that. What one believed was passion in the 1990s is considered stalking and foolish... If someone is writing 15 letters and knocks ten times (on your door), or will send 30 texts, it's like 'stalker, stay away'. That is today's definition," the actor told PTI in an interview.
The upcoming Netflix anthology is produced by Ronnie Screwvala (RSVP) and Ashi Dua (Flying Unicorn Entertainment), who also backed the first Lust Stories, which was released on the streaming platform in 2018.
Kajol features in the segment directed by Amit Sharma of Badhaai Ho alongside actor Kumud Mishra.
The 48-year-old said that while working on a subject like Lust Stories, it is important for an actor to be comfortable and trust the team.
“As actor, if you are not comfortable, don’t take it up, rather choose what you feel you can manage to do. I do that. Like, is it manageable? Can I speak to the director and make myself comfortable enough to do it? Then, it is a yes. It has to do with trust.
"Do you trust your co-actor and everybody to take care of you at that point of a time when you are going to be in a confused space, I wouldn’t say vulnerable... As for an actor, confusion is a vulnerable space to be in,” she added.
Mishra, best known for his performance in Sultan, Thappad, Article 15, and Ram Singh Charlie, is a fabulous actor, said Kajol.
The actor said having a "fabulous" co-star like Mishra helped her perform better.
“Kumud sir can make anything look good and natural. My respect went up for him 20 times after working with him as an actor. There are (some) people who are good actors, then certain people, you meet and you know that they are not good actors but they just went with good directors and editors.
"Then you have actors like Kumud sir, who are absolutely wonderful and a joy to work with. It’s a high to work with an actor, who is so fine in his craft,” she added.
Kajol, known for films like Baazigar, Karan Arjun, Gupt, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Fanaa and Salaam Venky, has been an active member of the Hindi film industry for the past three decades.
The actor said it was in 2010 when she realised that she can no longer stick to formula films as the audiences have expanded their horizons.
"I realized that formula does not work anymore because everybody is watching a better cinema than you are making and better actors that you actually are."
Kajol said in order to stay relevant she had to change her approach towards acting and unlearn certain things.
"World cinema is coming to the fore... Earlier, people only saw Hindi films so actors were always compared to their contemporaries here. But I realised that it was just not working anymore. One has to change, recreate, unlearn everything, otherwise, you will be irrelevant in today's day and age," she added.
Lust Stories 2 also features actors Amruta Subhash, Angad Bedi, Mrunal Thakur, Neena Gupta, Tamannaah Bhatia, Tillotama Shome and Vijay Varma. The other three shorts in the anthology are directed by R Balki, Konkona Sen Sharma and Sujoy Ghosh.
It will premiere on Netflix on June 29.