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Exclusive: Kajol tells Digital Spy: 'Bollywood is thriving'

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Bollywood's biggest stars have paid their personal tributes on the 100th anniversary of Hindi cinema.

Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy, Kajol, daughter of '70s actress Tanuja and the star of one of India's seminal films Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, said that the industry is "thriving".

Bollywood Actress Kajol showcases a creation by Manish Malhotra during the first day of Lakme fashion week, Mumbai, India, Friday, March. 22, 2013

© PA Images

Kajol

Ranbir Kapoor

© Rex Features / Excel Media

Ranbir Kapoor



"The fact that our industry has not only survived, but has, in fact, thrived over the last century speaks volumes. I am grateful for the fact that I am here, at this time, and able to be even a small part of its fantastic accomplishments," she said.

"From the first black and white film to modern-day 3D cinema, we have certainly come a long way. Whether Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgan or even myself, we are known the world over due to the profession we are in - there is no corner of the world that Bollywood has not touched! And we have a 100 glorious years behind us to prove it."

Ranbir Kapoor, grandson of the legendary Raj Kapoor and the scion of India's most prolific acting dynasty, told DS that the accomplishments of the last 100 years have been vast, but there is much more to come.

"It would be silly for me to sit here and talk about the achievements of Indian cinema because it's so large and so much greater than me," he said. "But I think it's the fact that it's only growing and we're evolving and going into the right direction as a filmmaking industry. Actors, directors, producers, singers and musicians, everyone is pushing the boundaries in creating something new all the time.

"So I think it has been a great hundred years but there are miles to travel yet. We are only tapping into a 8 or 9% of our audience, there is so many more people to reach. Hopefully we will tap into the 100% too."

Bollywood actress Kajol

Kajol



A former Miss Sri Lanka and a relative newcomer to the industry, Race 2 star Jacqueline Fernandez explained that despite the fact that she was not previously familiar with Bollywood, she is now "a massive fan of Hindi cinema".

"Thee funny thing is, I never considered Bollywood or being a part of it," she said. "I didn't grow up on the movies due to the fact that I'm not from India and didn't speak the language, even though my dad used to watch Bollywood movies. I didn't understand it.

"It was when I came to the industry and moved to India. I love old movies Hollywood or Bollywood. Just stuff from the '60s, '70s and I watch old Bollywood more than new Bollywood.

"I've really gone from someone who knew nothing about Bollywood to being this massive fan of the industry, but especially of Amitabh Bachchan."

Housefull 2 director Sajid Khan said: "Indian filmmakers are extremely talented. They are extremely brave and they don't get the due that someone in Hollywood would get for giving that kind of success after success. But things are slowly changing now."

Shahrukh Khan with Karan Johar on the set of 'My Name is Khan'

© Rex Features / FoxSearch/Everett

Karan Johar, right, with Shahrukh Khan on the set of 'My Name is Khan'




Karan Johar, the son of Yash Johar - one of Indian cinema's most esteemed producers and the founder of Dharma Productions - has directed one of the shorts in the film Bombay Talkies, which commemorates 100 years of Hindi cinema.

Commenting on the impact of the film industry on his own life, Johar wrote on Twitter: "Dear Indian Cinema..thank you for allowing me access to your world..thank you for making me weave my dreams..thank you giving me my identity."

The industry is celebrating 100 years since the release of India's first motion picture Raja Harishchandra in 1913.

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