Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut has proven her versatility as an actress with the variety of roles that she has portrayed in movies like GANGSTER, LIFE IN A METRO, RAAZ, FASHION, TANU WEDS MANU, QUEEN and other. And with time, she has also got the much deserved appreciation after winning the National Award of QUEEN. Just before the release of her upcoming film TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS, we had a conversation with the extremely talented actress about her struggles in the industry, Nation Award, her upcoming film TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS and much more. Read on…
When you had won a National Award for FASHION you weren't expecting it. Were you expecting an award for QUEEN this time?
No I wasn't expecting a National Award for QUEEN as well. In Bollywood we know which films have released and which performances are most sought after or which are the ones that are award worthy but on National level you do not track everything. You don't know which film has come where and hence you cannot have preconceived notions. For instance, I had no idea about Vijay's performance, he is a terrific performer but I haven't seen his movie for which he won the National Award. Sometimes, they even nominate films which haven't released like Vijay's film. So on that sort of platform, I cannot expect an award.
Are you satisfied after winning two National Awards now?
Oh yes and QUEEN got its due, more than anything else. I feel that the film deserved what it got. It is quite fulfilling to have this experience.
What has been you greatest achievement so far?
My greatest achievement is definitely my experiences because everything you have has a certain life; be it property or social status but experience and IQ you develop over the years is priceless.
Now that you are in the top league, how does that feel?
I really don't know on what top most level I am at but as an individual or artist I definitely feel that my new journey has started. There was a time when I struggled to make a mark and to prove myself to deserve what you rightfully deserved and then there comes a point where that struggle is over and your own struggle starts of how you want to transcend your own limits, levels and explore yourself. I think now I am moving on to stag two.
What challenges did you face while playing the character of Datto?
I approach my characters in three stages – first is physical appearance. We worked on her physical appearance a lot, be it dentures, short hair, athletic look and body language. The second is the emotional aspect of a character which is internal and third is the body language.
People's perception towards you has changed over the years. How do you look at it now and how does it affect you?
This is not the pinnacle of my career. The opinion of others does not matter to me because if it did, I wouldn't have lasted till now. I don't get affected by what people say. If I would have got affected then I would be full of self-doubt and irrational doubts. I have a strong sense of what is right and wrong, what is achievable and what is not and I don't let others opinion change that. Yes, people's perception towards me has changed and that was a revelation for me. I didn't know they doubted my talent.
In one of your interviews, you said that you consider yourself as the struggler of the century. Now that you have achieved success, has the definition of struggle changed for you?
Today, for me getting good work is not a struggle. I have always been an outsider and that is not going to change and I don't want to. There was a time when getting work was a struggle, but not anymore. There are different levels of struggle, but not as intense as it was earlier for me.
Is getting good work for an actress still a struggle in our industry?
Not for me.
Has the success of QUEEN given you more confidence to try out different things and venture into newer subjects?
I have always had the confidence to experiment. When I did TANU WEDS MANU, I was offered THE DIRTY PICTURE but I chose QUEEN over it because I was sure that I didn't want to play those neurotic characters.
Do you think Vidya Balan, Deepika Padukone, you have brought a change for writers who want to depict women oriented films?
Yes absolutely and I think these women are doing incredibly well. Vidya Balan was the one who started. Then Priyanka Chopra proved herself with MARY KOM and Anushka Sharma proved herself with NH 10 respectively.
Kangana, do you believe in the institution of marriage or you would choose a live-in relationship?
It is too hard to say anything. To each his own depending on the partner and whether you feel comfortable, safe, and secure. Living in can also be tricky at times. So is marriage, especially when people around you are having ugly legal battles.
Generally, actresses avoid getting married before 30. Do you think marriage affects their career or sex appeal?
Marriage doesn't hamper sex appeal at all. What is really sad is the fact that marriage needs a lot of hard work and if people don't get it, they better get it before getting into it because it's going to sways them. It is going to literally take everything away under their feet. I cannot speak for others but for me, I have worked hard for 10 years and I had no time to get involved or get carried away with equations, relationships or emotions. And now eventually when I am at a place where I can actually make a safe & secure place for myself and have a secure future, I don't want to give it away. Also, when love happens, you don't think so much and if it doesn't then don't force yourself. If it happens it can happen at 21 also and if it doesn't happen, it doesn't have to happen because you're 28, that's no reason to get married.
Now that you are in the top league, will we see you doing films where you have a small role or special songs?
As long as my kitchen is running I won't. If not then I don't mind. What is wrong in work? You cannot look down upon any kind of work.
Though QUEEN happened you have always said that TANU WEDS MANU has been the turning point of your career. Now that you doing TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS, does it add pressure on you to deliver a better performance than the prequel?
There is no pressure as such because firstly I am very confident about my film and secondly I have evolved as a person and as an actor. I hate my performance in part one by the way. I cannot stand it. But part two is good and I like my performance in it.
Lastly, as an actor does box office make you insecure?
For what? I don't have that much pressure. I have come here with 1500 rupees. I have a lavish apartment, I drive in beautiful cars. After I made my 1500 rupees, everything is bonus.
(By Jahnavi Patel)