Kajal Aggarwal (Hindi: काजल अगरवाल; born on 19 June 1985) is an Indian film actress, who predominantly appears in Telugu films. She has also appeared in Tamil and Hindi films.
Kajal made her film debut in the 2004 Hindi 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), Brindaavanam (2010) and Mr. Perfect (2011), she established herself as one of the leading actresses in Telugu cinema.
She was born in Mumbai, India to Suman Agarwal and Vinay Agarwal. She has a sister named Nisha Aggarwal, who is appearing in Telugu films as well. She finished her studies in Mumbai and started her modeling career while she was in college.
Career beginnings (2004–08)
Kajal made her acting debut in the 2004 Hindi film Kyun...! Ho Gaya Na, in which she enacted minor supporting role as the friend of Diya, the film’s lead, played by Aishwarya Rai, following which she signed veteran Tamil director Bharathiraja's Bommalattam. 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 nor were successul at the box office.
She had four releases in 2009; she first starred in another Tamil film Modhi Vilayadu, which garnered mixed reviews and was a financial failure, following which she appeared in the high-budget Telugu historical drama Magadheera, 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. Rediff wrote that she "was quite a surprise package, sweet and charming and looked like an 'ethereal' princess. She carries off both the roles fairly well", while NDTV cited that "Kajal Agarwal is also an asset to the film. She is very apt for the character of the princess. Besides filling the glamour slot, she has proven that given a chance, she too can give an excellent performance". 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 the Telugu film industry and catapulted her into the main foray of lead Telugu actresses. Her subsequent releases Ganesh Just Ganesh and Arya 2 received mixed reviews from critics, while her performance garnered positive feedback.
Kajal's first 2010 release was A. Karunakaran's 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 Actress for her performance. In August, 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 performed well at the box office and was declared a blockbuster. Kajal's final release in 2010 was Brindavanam opposite NTR Jr. 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 Mr. Perfect, directed by Dasaradh. The film opened to positive reviews, while Kajal won appraisal by critics with Times Of India writing, "What is applause-worthy in the movie is Kajal Agarwal's performance. She looks great, expresses well and fits into the role perfectly". In May, she appeared in Veera opposite Ravi Teja that received negative reviews. She subsequently made her Bollywood debut in a leading role with Singham, a remake of the same-titled 2010 Tamil film, opposite Ajay Devgn. The film received mixed reviews from critics, as did her portrayal of a Goan girl Kavya Bhosle, but became a success at the box office, collecting INR85 crore (US$17.24 million) within three weeks.
She is also making her debut in Kannada in Raju Hasan's Thathasthu opposite Chirag, and would play the female lead role opposite Surya in Maatraan. She is also scheduled to appear in V. V. Vinayak's untitled project opposite Ram Charan Tej.