Kangana Ranaut is on a roll. She is undeniable one of the top draws at the box-office today. In this interview, she talks about Simran, direction and Bollywood.
Your character in Gangster was called Simran and now you doing a movie titled Simran…
Yes I played Simran in Gangster and she is quite similar to this character. Gangster was a life changing experience for me and that Simran changed my life completely. However this movie’s character has never had that moment happen to her. To know the rest, you will have to watch the movie.
Many say it is lonely at the top. Have you ever felt that way?
I have my family and few close friends in my life with whom I spend my time and share my feelings. So I don’t feel lonely. But as they say being alone in the crowd, I do feel like that sometimes.
Apart from your family, anyone from the industry you rely upon?
There are a lot of people. They might not openly say it, but they do give me a certain amount of respect. I could always seek their help if ever a need arises.
You have achieved a lot in life and won three national awards. Do you still feel like an outsider in the industry?
It’s not like that. I am a part of the film industry. I have brought in a lot of awards. I am called the leading face of Indian cinema and have done significant roles. I am a three-time National Award winner. Some of my films have shattered box office records and have garnered success and appreciation from different corners. So, how can I be an ‘outsider’? I am somebody who is an integral part of the industry in this journey so far.
Were you disappointed after Rangoon’s failure?
I learnt a lot from Rangoon’s failure. I was quite disturbed when it didn’t do well as I had lot of expectations from that film. Later, I got a reality check that I have already achieved more than what I had aimed for when I had left my home. I had started expecting more from myself. But, then, I realized that I was wrong. I was expecting more than what I was doing. Rangoon’s failure taught me to relax a little to stop this viscous cycle. Now somewhere I feel free. I have built a beautiful house in Manali. Tomorrow, whether my films work or not, whatever I have now is an added bonus. I am always going to be remembered as one of the leading faces of Indian cinema. After this, nothing matters. Rangoon’s failure was my worst fear come true. But unexpectedly, I have become more fearless after that debacle. I have already faced my worst.
You still are to work with the superstar Khans and others of Bollywood. Is that a conscious decision?
Obviously, I would want to play the main lead if I am giving my time to a film and the audience too have huge expectations from me. Not doing so has never worked in my favour, be it a film like Katti Batti or Rangoon. My films have always flopped whenever I have worked with established actors.
So no regrets turning down Sultan?
I don’t regret it. My films too have done good business at the box office. Whenever you get a film like Sultan, you already know that it will work. It doesn’t turn out to be a sleeper hit like Queen.
What makes you strong and positive in life?
You get a different kind of freedom once you have faced your worst in life. When you have survived through your worst phase, you find that there is a different sort of life cycle in that. My life has been extraordinary with extreme experiences. The difficulties in your life make you more stronger.
How did you think of directing your next film?
Doing films one after the other could have become a cycle for me. People shouldn’t forget what they want to achieve in life. After achieving your goal, you should focus on your social responsibility. You shouldn’t run only after name and fame. One should start thinking beyond these things. I want to make films where I could directly communicate with my audience. I want to have that kind of freedom where I could decide when I want to do a film.