Kangana Ranaut was missing in action from the big screen for the most part of last year. However, this year seems to be hers. The feisty actress has as many as six films releasing in 2013. Apart from the number of films, what is impressive is that she will be seen in a variety of roles. In a tete-a-tete, the actress bares her heart about why she needs help, her relationship with her exes, and the biggest mistake of her life.
The year ahead seems to be interesting with the variety of roles you have...
There’s Rajjo, where I play a prostitute, then in Queen, I am a girl who is alone on her honeymoon! There’s Revolver Rani, Krishh 3, Shootout At Wadala and I Love NY.
How does it feel to be finally accepted and taken seriously by the industry?
To be honest, whatever I have been through here has left scars on my psyche. I feel I need to take help in order to accept appreciation. The way I was treated initially makes it difficult for me to handle appreciation today. Even now I find it easier to handle rejection and criticism rather than compliments.
Why is that?
When I started out, I was treated like a dog. People in the industry treated me like I didn’t deserve to be spoken to and I was some unwanted object. I couldn’t speak English fluently and people made fun of me for that. So dealing with rejection became a part of life. I may have had hits, but till date I’ve never worked with a Shah Rukh Khan or an Akshay Kumar, or Aamir or Salman. I have made my career out of leftovers and rejects of other actresses. All that has taken a toll, I guess. I find it hard to deal with praise. Today, when people say that I have made it and made it on my own, I feel like locking up myself somewhere... It scares me.
You’ve been doing a workshop for Revolver Rani…
Yes, it’s not an easy role to play. It’s physically challenging as it requires a lot of stamina and agility in handling the guns. My character has a completely different body language and attitude, so I have to work on that. It’s a hard-core action film and I play a woman in her early thirties who is harsh, unkempt, rough around the edges, cruel, courageous and also evil! (Laughs) You can say I am a villain of the film. Almost like the female Gabbar, but doing deeds of Sanjeev Kumar.
You will be shown as fat and unappealling in the film?
You won’t see me at my glamorous best. But I can’t put on weight for the role. On the contrary, it needs me to be at my agile best, what with the chase scenes and all... Revolver Rani is not an easy part and not many actresses would have agreed to play it (cheekily). Definitely not the actresses who’ve made a career out of standing behind the heroes and then taking credit for hit films. As for me, I have never been afraid to look ugly.
Why have you taken up so many hatke roles?
You know, Dirty Picture was offered to me. And not doing the film has been the biggest mistake of my life. I don’t want to repeat that mistake ever again. I know I can do roles like these.
Right from Gangster to Fashion to now, most of the characters you play are a little wild and unstable. How is the real Kangana?
I lead a disciplined life. One of my rules is that no one tells me what to do. I have this in-built rebellious streak. But I want to change that. I want to stop rebelling when it’s uncalled for.
Most actresses take up filmmaking when acting offers stop trickling in. You are directing a film, at the peak of your career...
There was a phase when I was bored of the kind of films and roles I was being offered. There was nothing exciting, and I was looking at doing films for a different need, apart from running my kitchen. Direction was on my mind for quite some time, I had the dates of the actors too and I decided to take the plunge. It was an international project meant for markets there. Though now there’s a market for films like that here too.
What’s the progress on that film?
All of a sudden I had this barrage of interesting films come my way like an avalanche. I didn’t want to turn them away. So, direction has been pushed to 2014 for now. Initially, I was to start my film by March, but then I would not have been able to act for a year. Next year too, I will have to take a call depending on the films in hand.
What’s happening on the personal front? Are you in touch with Nicholas?
Nicholas (Nicholas Lafferty) and I are in constant touch over phone, emails. He is still my good friend, even though he is now dating a doctor from UK. I have never been friends with any of my exes... That’s what I told Nicholas too, but that’s what is different with him. It was a mature and amicable break-up on the condition that we will always be friends (laughs).