Her performance in her latest movies like "Queen" and "Revolver Rani" has earned Kangana Ranaut the epithet of being Bollywood's 'rani'. She says she has been receiving respect and acknowledgment for her work like never before.
"I feel like this is a beautiful time of my life. I've never been respected or treated the way I am right now...the way people have really acknowledged what I do. It is nice," Kangana told IANS here.
Coming from Himachal Pradesh and with no film background, Kangana has made a niche for herself in Bollywood where star kids almost rule the roost.
Her choice of movies and roles has always been distinct - sample her act in "Tanu Weds Manu" vis-a-vis her role in "Revolver Rani", or "Gangster - A Love Story" or "Fashion".
As a viewer too, she prefers to watch the kind of cinema she is part of.
"I like what I do, and that's why I do them. I'd like to see something like a 'Queen', or dark drama with some humour. I like twisted cinema, and universal cinema like 'Queen' appeals to me as well," she said.
She admits the perception about her and her ability to perform has changed over the years.
"The perception has changed. But also...initially, there weren't so many great roles, and actresses were all about glamorous people, with roles where they were tortured by the world...it was all about making a stereotypical film. But there is a variety of films now, and it's great," she added.
Kangana spoke to IANS on the sidelines of the NDTV Indian of the Year Awards, where she was honoured as the Actor of the Year.
In the recent past, Kangana had stated that she has decided to say no to award ceremonies.
But she found this particular award, distributed in the capital Tuesday night, "credible".
"It is credible. First, I said no for the award, then I got a personal letter from Prannoy Roy (the channel's head honcho) and it convinced me to come here. It is not a filmy award - they award people from all fields, and that's why I came," she said.
Her happiness knew no bounds when she learned that actor-filmmaker Aamir Khan, a fan of her performance in "Queen", was going to present her the award.
"He has been a huge inspiration to me," Kangana said of Aamir, who later gave her a hug for "following her heart" in the industry.