Kajal Aggarwal (born 19 June 1985) is an Indian film actress, who predominantly appears in South Indian cinema. Kajal made her film debut in the 2004 Bollywood film Kyun...! Ho Gaya Na and entered the Telugu film industry through the film Lakshmi Kalyanam (2007). She had her first commercial success with Chandamama (2007) and rose to prominence after her performance in Magadheera (2009), which remains her biggest commercial success, and fetched her a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Telugu Actress. Following further consecutive successes with Darling (2010), Brindavanam (2010), Mr. Perfect (2011) and Business Man (2012), she established herself as one of the leading actresses in Tollywood. She has also acted in Tamil films, Naan Mahaan Alla (2010) being her first notable project, but with Maattrraan (2012) and Thuppakki (2012), she emerged as a leading actress in Kollywood as well.
Kajal was born in Mumbai to Vinay Agarwal, an entrepreneur, and Suman Agarwal, a confectioner. She is of Punjabi descent. She has a younger sister, Nisha Aggarwal, who is also an actress appearing in Telugu and Tamil films. She studied at St. Anne's High School, Colaba, Mumbai and Jai Hind College, Mumbai. She graduated from K.C. College, Mumbai with a degree in Mass Media.She started her modelling career while she was still in college. She was planning on pursuing MBA in Brand Management before deciding to pursue acting.
Early career (2004–08)
Kajal made her acting debut in the 2004 Bollywood film Kyun...! Ho Gaya Na, in which she enacted a minor supporting role as the friend of Diya, following which she signed veteran Tamil director Bharathiraja's Bommalattam, alongside Arjun Sarja. The film, however, got delayed and released in late 2008.
She made her debut in the Telugu film industry and played her first leading role in 2007 in Teja's Lakshmi Kalyanam alongside Kalyan Ram, which did not fare well at the box office. Later that year, she appeared in the Krishna Vamsi-directed film Chandamama, which opened to positive reviews and became her first major successful film. In 2008, she had her first Tamil film release, Perarasu's action entertainer Pazhani, co-starring Bharath. Following this film, she had two more Tamil releases that year with Venkat Prabhu’s comedy-thriller Saroja, in which she did a guest appearance, and Bharathiraja’s investigative thriller Bommalattam. Although the former went on to become a commercial as well as a critical success, both films failed to boost her career as her roles were too insignificant.Both her Telugu releases, Pourudu and Aatadista opposite Sumanth and Nitin, respectively, neither received positive reviews while the former was successful at the box office.
Success in Tollywood and Bollywood comeback (2009–11)
Kajal had four releases in 2009; she first starred in another Tamil film Modhi Vilayadu, opposite Vinay Rai which garnered mixed reviews and was a financial failure, following which she appeared in the high-budget Telugu historical drama Magadheera, alongside Ram Charan Teja, which saw her essaying double roles for the first time. The film, directed by S. S. Rajamouli, received universal critical acclaim, while Kajal, particularly, was praised for her portrayal of a princess in the film. Kajal was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress in Telugu and was also nominated for the award for Best Telugu Actress in the South Scope Awards for her performance in the film. The film was also highly commercially successful and broke several records, emerging as the highest-grossing Telugu film of all time. Magadheera's enormous success turned Kajal into one of the most sought-after actresses in Telugu cinemaand catapulted her into the main foray of leading Telugu actresses. The film was released again in Tamil as Maaveeran in 2011, which was also successful at the box office. Her subsequent releases Ganesh Just Ganesh, opposite Ram and Arya 2 opposite Allu Arjun received mixed reviews from critics, while her performance garnered positive feedback.
Kajal's first 2010 release was A. Karunakaran's romantic comedy Darling, which featured her alongside Prabhas and received favorable response, becoming a commercial success at the box office, with Kajal receiving her second Filmfare nomination for Best Actressfor her performance. Later that year, she appeared in the Tamil thriller film Naan Mahaan Alla opposite Karthi, which was based on a real life incident and opened to unanimously positive reviews. The film was a box office success. The chemistry between Karthi and Kajal in the film was widely praised. It was later dubbed in Telugu as Naa Peru Siva, in Andhra Pradesh and became a success there too. Kajal's final release in 2010 was another romantic comedy Brindavanam opposite Jr. NTR and Samantha, which received critical acclaim and went on to become an economical success as well, while fetching Kajal the CineMAA Award for Best Actress.
In 2011, she was paired with Prabhas for the second time in the romantic comedy Mr. Perfect, directed by Dasaradh. The film became a critical and commercial success. Kajal's performance in the film as a conservative doctor and her chemistry with Prabhas won appraisal by critics. Kajal received her third Filmfare nomination for Best Actress in Telugu for her performance. In May, she appeared in Veera opposite Ravi Teja that received negative reviews and failed at the box office.
In July that year, Kajal made her Bollywood comeback after 7 years with a leading role in the police story Singham, a remake of thesame-titled 2010 Tamil film, opposite Ajay Devgn. The film received mixed reviews from critics, as did her portrayal of a Goan girl Kavya Bhosle, with critics stating that Kajal had not much to offer in the hero-centric film. Nevertheless, the film was successful at the box office, making Kajal a popular actress in Bollywood. She was nominated for 2 awards for her performance in the film- theFilmfare Award for Best Female Debut and the Zee Cine Award for Best Female Debut. Kajal finished 2011 with the Telugu film Dhadaopposite Naga Chaitanya, which failed at the box office.
Kollywood success (2012-present)
In early 2012, Kajal appeared in the Telugu gangster film Business Man alongside Mahesh Babu, directed by Puri Jagannadh. The film, a Sankranthi release, opened to positive reviews and turned out to be a blockbuster. Kajal's performance in her role in the film, though limited, was praised by critics.
Kajal made a comeback in Kollywood later that year with two big releases; the first was the action thriller film Maattrraan oppositeSurya and directed by K. V. Anand. The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Her performance was well received; a review carried by The Indian Express summarised "Kajal does with utmost sincerity as the foreign language translator Anjali. It’s this trait and her graceful demeanour which makes Kajal a pleasant watch. The second was A. R. Murugadoss's Thuppakki, another action thriller film opposite Vijay, where she played the role of a boxer. The film was released on Deepavali and received mostly positive reviews from the critics. While Maattrraan was declared as an average success, Thuppaki was declared as a blockbuster and has become the second Tamil film ever to enter the 100 crore club. Her final release in 2012 was the Telugu romantic film Sarocharu, opposite Ravi Teja for the second time in her career. Although her performance in the film was praised by critics, the film received poor reviews and did below-average business at the box office.
In early 2013, she starred in V. V. Vinayak's action film Naayak opposite Ram Charan Teja and Amala Paul. Upon release, the film received positive reviews and was a major commercial success.
She will be seen opposite Jr. NTR for the second time in her career in Srinu Vytla's Baadshah. Baadshah is tentatively scheduled to release in March 2013. She is also currently shooting for her third film in Bollywood, Special Chabbis alongside Akshay Kumar. It is said that she would be the only female character in the film. The film is to release on 8 February 2013. Another Tamil film, All in All Azhagu Raja has been announced, where she will again star opposite Karthi.
It is also announced that Kajal, along with Allu Arjun, would make a cameo appearance in the film Yevadu, starring Ram Charan Teja,Shruthi Hassan and Amy Jackson. This film would mark the third time she is acting alongside Ram Charan Teja and the second time alongside Allu Arjun. She has also been signed on to play one of the heroines in the film Suryudu Chanadrudu, which is a multi-starrer starring Daggubati Venkatesh, Prabhas and Trisha Krishnan. This would be the third film Kajal and Prabhas are acting together.
She has also signed producer R. B. Choudary's Tamil-Malayalam bilingual Jilla, which has Mohanlal and Vijay in lead roles.
In addition to films, Kajal also endorses a large number of popular brands. Before starting her film career, she had acted in various commercials as a model. She is the brand ambassador for Lux, joining the likes of Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif in endorsing the beauty soap. She is also the brand ambassador for jewellery stores like Sri Lakshmi Jewellery in Puducherry and AVRin Salem. She has featured in television advertisements along with Karthi endorsing Bru instant coffee. She has also endorsed mobile brands like Samsung Mobile and has featured in advertisements for the Secunderabad based The Chennai Shopping Mall, along with Samantha, Tamannaah and Nisha Aggarwal. In April 2012, Kajal was announced as the brand ambassador for Panasonic India. She is also the brand ambassador for the Telugu Warriors cricket team in the CCL.
Awards and nominations
- Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu - Magadheera (2009)
- Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Actress - Telugu - Darling (2010)
- Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu - Mr. Perfect (2011)
- Nominated, Zee Cine Award for Best Female Debut- Singham (2011)
- Other awards/nominations
- Nominated, South Scope Award for Best Telugu Actress- Magadheera (2009)
|2004||Kyun! Ho Gaya Na...||Diya's friend||Hindi|
|2009||Modhi Vilayadu||Easwari Lakshmiram||Tamil|
|2009||Magadheera||Yuvarani Mithravindha Devi|
|Telugu||Nominated- Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu|
|2009||Ganesh Just Ganesh||Divya||Telugu|
|2010||Darling||Nandini||Telugu||Nominated- Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu|
|2010||Naan Mahaan Alla||Priya Sudharsan||Tamil|
|2011||Mr. Perfect||Priya||Telugu||Nominated- Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu|
|2011||Singham||Kavya Bhosle||Hindi||Nominated- Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut|
|2013||Special Chabbis||Hindi||Releasing on February 8, 2013|
|2013||Baadshah||Telugu||Releasing on March 28, 2013|
|2013||All in All Azhagu Raja||Tamil||Filming|
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