Two decades ago, Bollywood star Kajol made her debut in Tamil cinema with Minsara Kanavu and even though the film earned multiple National Awards and was a hit with the masses, the actor chose not to do any other film in the language. The reason was a sense of inadequacy regarding Tamil. Kajol was certain she wouldn’t venture into films of different language until Tamil star Dhanush offered her Velaiilla Pattadhari 2 (VIP 2).
In fact, Kajol reveals that it was a “lie” by Dhanush and director Soundarya Rajinikanth that she wouldn’t have to speak Tamil in the film that made her accept VIP 2. “I was very nervous before I accepted the film because it’s difficult to speak and act in another language. I remember thinking how Rajiv (director of Minsara Kanavu) gave me three pages of homework (learning Tamil). We spent two hours everyday doing that homework, it was like boarding school all over again.”
So, when Dhanush and Soundarya approached her, they had their strategy in place. “Dhanush and Soundarya came over and they lied to their teeth, saying, ‘You should do the film because you won’t have to speak Tamil at all.’ But they proved me wrong on the first day when I got a long script with two scenes and huge dialogues. I didn’t know what to do with it. They said, ‘At least try’,” Kajol told reporters at the film’s trailer launch.
In hindsight, the actor feels only gratitude to the duo as they helped her get rid of the mental block she had about speaking and acting in another language. “They broke a lot of barriers in my head and I can’t thank them enough for that. For breaking a lot of myths in my head that I could speak and act in another language. It was a phobia which I got over with all their help. VIP has been one of the most professional experiences.”
Check out some pictures from VIP 2 trailer launch which happened in Mumbai.
(Pics courtesy: Varinder Chawla)
Returning the compliment, Dhanush, who has also produced and written the film, said that Kajol acted her part with conviction, despite her scepticism. “We didn’t lie to her. We told her that we are going to shoot Tamil dialogues and dub the lines, which we changed slightly by making it vice versa. But she is being polite, she did it very easily and convincingly and I don’t think anybody else could’ve done it better,” he said.
The upcoming film is a sequel to the 2014 hit Tamil movie, VIP. The sequel has been dubbed in Telugu and Hindi. It will hit theatres on July 28.