Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Kajal Agarwal

Kajal Aggarwal (born 19 June 1985) is an Indian actress, whopredominantly appears in Telugu and also in Tamil films.Through her successful film career, Kajal has become one of the mostpopular celebrities in South India. Inaddition to her acting career, Kajal participates in stage shows andis a prominent celebrity endorser for brands and products.

Kajal made her film debut in the 2004 Bollywood film Kyun...!Ho Gaya Na and entered the Telugu film industry through the filmLakshmi Kalyanam (2007). She had her first commercial success withChandamama (2007) and rose to prominence after her performance inMagadheera (2009), which remains her biggest commercial success inTelugu cinema and fetched her a nomination for theFilmfare Award for Best Telugu Actress. Following furtherconsecutive successes with Darling (2010), Brindavanam (2010),Mr. Perfect (2011), Businessman (2012), Naayak (2013) andBaadshah (2013) she established herself as one of the leadingactresses in Telugu cinema.

She has also acted in Tamil films, Naan Mahaan Alla (2010) beingher first notable project, but with Maattrraan (2012) andThuppakki (2012), her biggest success in south Indian Cinema, sheemerged as a leading actress in Tamil cinema as well. She madea comeback to Bollywood with Singham (2011) which was ablockbuster while her next film Special 26 (2013) wasalso declared a box-office success.

Early life

Kajal was born in Mumbai to Vinay Aggarwal, an entrepreneur,and Suman Aggarwal, a confectioner. She has a younger sister,Nisha Agarwal, who is also an actress appearing in Telugu andTamil films. She studied at St. Anne's High School,Colaba, Mumbai and Jai Hind College, Mumbai. Shegraduated from K.C. College, Mumbai with a degree in MassMedia. She started her modelling career while she was still incollege. She was planning on pursuing MBA in BrandManagement before deciding to pursue acting.


Debut and struggles (2004-08)

Kajal made her acting debut in the 2004 Bollywood film Kyun...! HoGaya Na, in which she enacted a minor supporting role as the friend ofDiya, following which she signed veteran Tamildirector Bharathiraja's Bommalattam, alongside ArjunSarja. The film, however, got delayed and released in mid 2008.

She made her debut in the Telugu film industry and played herfirst leading role in 2007 in Teja's Lakshmi Kalyanamalongside Kalyan Ram, which did not fare well at the box office.Later that year, she appeared in the Krishna Vamsi-directed filmChandamama, which opened to positive reviews and became her firstmajor successful film. In 2008, she had her first Tamilfilm release, Perarasu's action entertainer Pazhani,co-starring Bharath. Following this film, she had two more Tamilreleases that year with Venkat Prabhu's comedy-thrillerSaroja, in which she did a guest appearance, and Bharathiraja'sinvestigative thriller Bommalattam. Although the former went on tobecome a commercial as well as a critical success, both filmsfailed to boost her career as her roles were tooinsignificant. Both her Telugu releases, Pourudu andAatadista opposite Sumanth and Nitin, respectively,neither received positive reviews while the former was successful atthe box office.

Public recognition and success (2009-11)

Kajal had four releases in 2009. she first starred in another Tamilfilm Modhi Vilayadu, opposite Vinay Rai which garnered mixedreviews and was a financial failure, following which she appeared inthe high budget Telugu historical drama Magadheera, alongsideRam Charan Teja, which saw her essaying double roles for thefirst time. The film, directed by S. S. Rajamouli, receiveduniversal critical acclaim, while Kajal, particularly, was praised forher portrayal of a princess in the film. Kajal was nominated for theFilmfare Award for Best Actress in Telugu and was also nominated forthe award for Best Telugu Actress in the South Scope Awards for herperformance in the film. The film was also highlycommercially successful and broke several records, emergingas the highest-grossing Telugu film of alltime. Magadheera's enormous successturned Kajal into one of the most sought-after actresses inTelugu cinema and catapulted her into the main foray of leadingTelugu actresses. The film was released again in Tamil asMaaveeran in 2011, which was also successful at the boxoffice. Her subsequent releases Ganesh Just Ganesh,opposite Ram and Arya 2 opposite Allu Arjun receivedmixed reviews from critics, while her performance garnered positivefeedback.

Kajal's first 2010 release was A. Karunakaran's romantic comedyDarling, which featured her alongside Prabhas and receivedfavorable response, becoming a commercial success at the boxoffice, with Kajal receiving her second Filmfarenomination for Best Actress for her performance. Later that year, sheappeared in the Tamil thriller film Naan Mahaan Allaopposite Karthi, which was based on a real life incident andopened to unanimously positive reviews. The film was a boxoffice success. The chemistry between Karthi and Kajal in the film waswidely praised. It was later dubbed in Telugu as Naa PeruSiva, in Andhra Pradesh and became a success there too.Kajal's final release in 2010 was another romantic comedyBrindavanam opposite Jr. NTR and Samantha, whichreceived critical acclaim and went on to become an economical successas well, while fetching Kajal the CineMAA Award forBest Actress.

In 2011, she was paired with Prabhas for the second time in theromantic comedy Mr. Perfect, directed by Dasaradh. The filmbecame a critical and commercial success. Kajal's performance in thefilm as a conservative doctor and her chemistry with Prabhas wonappraisal by critics. Kajal received her thirdFilmfare nomination for Best Actress in Telugu for herperformance. In May, she appeared in Veera oppositeRavi Teja that received negative reviews and failed atthe box office.

In July that year, Kajal made her Bollywood comeback after 7 yearswith a leading role in the police story Singham, a remake of thesame-titled 2010 Tamil film, opposite Ajay Devgn. The filmreceived mixed reviews from critics, as did her portrayal ofa Goan girl Kavya Bhosle, with critics stating that Kajal had not muchto offer in the hero-centric film. Komal Nahta noted that KaajalAggarwal acts with effortless ease. Her performance is good,while Filmfare wrote that Kajal who looks pretty and has donewhat she has been told to, but probably deserved a meatierdebut. Nevertheless, the film was Blockbuster at the boxoffice, 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 Awardfor Best Female Debut. Kajal finished 2011 with the Telugu filmDhada opposite Naga Chaitanya, which failed at the boxoffice.

Recent work (2012-present)

In early 2012, Kajal appeared in the Telugu gangster filmBusinessman alongside Mahesh Babu, directed by PuriJagannadh. The film, a Sankranthi release, opened to positivereviews and turned out to be a blockbuster.Kajal's performance in her role in the film, though limited, waspraised by critics.

Kajal made a comeback in Kollywood later that year with two bigreleases; the first was the action thriller film Maattrraanopposite Surya and directed by K. V. Anand. The filmreceived mixed to positive reviews from critics. Her performance waswell received; a review carried by The Indian Express summarised"Kajal does with utmost sincerity as the foreign language translatorAnjali. It's this trait and her graceful demeanour which makes Kajal apleasant watch. The second was A. R. Murugadoss'sThuppakki, another action thriller film opposite Vijay,where she played the role of a boxer. The film was released onDeepavali 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 Tamilfilm ever to enter the Rs.100 crore club. Her final releasein 2012 was the Telugu romantic film Sarocharu, oppositeRavi Teja for the second time in her career. Although her performancein the film was praised by critics, the film received poor reviews anddid below-average business at the box office.

In early 2013, she starred in V. V. Vinayak's action filmNaayak opposite Ram Charan Teja and AmalaPaul. Upon release, the film received positive reviews andwas a major commercial success. She later starred in theHindi film Special 26, a 1987 Heist Drama directed by NeerajPandey opposite Akshay Kumar. The Movie went on to be a majorcritical and commercial success. She later appeared inSrinu Vaitla's Baadshah opposite Jr. NTR for the second timein her career. Upon release critics appreciated her performance. TheTimes of India commented "Kajal is as usual an eye-candy. She's got agood role and has done justice to her performance. Also she looksstunning in the songs." The Movie was also a Blockbuster atthe Box office, cementing her position in Telugu cinema.Kajal has completed filming for the comedy film All in All AzhaguRaja, where she will again star opposite Karthi. She plays a charactercalled Chitra Devi Priya, who she described as "little arrogant, but asweetheart nonetheless". She will also feature make a cameoappearance in the film Yevadu starring Ram Charan Teja,Shruthi Hassan and Amy Jackson, along with AlluArjun. Her recently released Tamil film is Jilla whichwas produced by R. B. Choudary. This film also has Mohanlaland Vijay in lead roles.

Kajal Agarwal has also entered into top-10 most searched celebritiesof Bollywood on the web as per the ratings released in 2012 which isan indication of her growing fame in Bollywood after the positivereviews of Singham and Special 26 . She was ranked theSeventh most searched people on Google in 2013, standing next to herex co-stars Mahesh Babu and Samantha in the case of AndhraPradesh.

Brand endorsements

In addition to films, Kajal also endorses a large number of popularbrands. Before starting her film career, she had acted in variouscommercials as a model. Kajal represents CelebrityCricket League as one of the brand ambassadors. She is thebrand ambassador for Lux in endorsing the beauty soap.She endorses several Retail and Jewellery stores in southIndia namely, RS Brothers in Hyderabad, Sri Lakshmi Jewellery inPuducherry and AVR in Salem. She hasfeatured in television advertisements along with Karthi endorsingBru instant coffee. She has also endorsed mobile brandslike Samsung Mobile and has featured in advertisementsfor the Secunderabad based The Chennai Shopping Mall. InApril 2012, Kajal was announced as the brand ambassador forPanasonic India. In 2013, Kajal has been signed byDabur India as the brand ambassador of its flagship hair oilbrand DaburAmlaNelli. She also endorses Green Trends, aleading salon brands in India.

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