Nayandeep Rakshit (DNA; April 21, 2017)

It’s exactly 20 years since Gupt released — reminding us that Kajol won accolades for playing the villain in the film — and the actress became the first woman to win an award in that category.

20 saal baad
And now, she’s all set to play one in her next, VIP 2 starring Dhanush, which she’s tight-lipped about. Director’s instructions, she says. But she betrays the been there, done that air. “I always feel it’s more interesting to watch women who are a little more okay with being grey than watching pure virgin white,” she tells us.

Once upon a vamp
She demarcates the shades of grey. “Female negative characters were never called villains, but vamps. It’s become a cool thing now, because you realise that heroines need not necessarily be good, sweet and sugary all the time. They can be of different flavours — lemony lime and even chilli.”

Then and now
Kajol feels the perception towards women has also changed in the last few years. “Honestly, there’s not much difference left between a vamp of that time and a heroine of today, frankly. In a way it is progressive, it’s like we are coming into our own. We are certainly breaking away from the stereotypes,” she reasons.

My favourites
She counts some of her favourite negative characters from Hollywood. “Kathy Bates was brilliant in Misery, which was an amazing film. I also loved Angelina Jolie in Maleficent. There are many others, but these two just hit it straight out of the park.”