Kangana Ranaut may have been around in the industry for almost a decade, but the versatile actress took a while to climb up the ladder and get into the top league. Though she has films like ‘Gangster’, ‘Life In A Metro’, ‘Raaz’, ‘Fashion’ among others to her credit, it was only after the success of Anand L Rai’s ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ in 2011, that things changed for her. And while many were raving about her performance in ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ she surprised all with her role in the 2014’s much acclaimed movie ‘Queen’, which also led to her second National Award.
As Kangana is gearing up for her film’s release this week, we settle down for a heart to heart conversation where the young lady talks about her National Award win, working on ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’, her struggle to make it big and more. Read on…
Kangana, when you won a National Award for ‘Fashion’ you weren’t expecting it. This time were you expecting an award for ‘Queen’?
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 but on National level you do not track everything. You don’t which film has come where and hence you cannot have preconceived notions. For instance, I know Vijay is a terrific performer but I haven’t seen his movie for which he won the National Award. They even nominate films which haven’t released. 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?
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. I really don’t know on what top most level I am but as an individual or artist 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 2.
What challenges did you face while playing 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 and athletic look. The second is the emotional aspect of a character and third is the body language.
People’s perception towards you has changed over the years. How do you look at it now?
First of all 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 achievable and what is not. 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. 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 surely.
Has the success of ‘Queen’ given you more confidence to 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 and Anushka Sharma proved themselves with ‘Mary Kom’ and ‘NH 10’ respectively.
Kangana, do you believe in the institution of marriage or you would prefer a living-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 going through ugly legal battles.
Madhavan said in an interview that you may win another National Award for ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’. You are that good in the movie. What do you have to say about it?
No one can guarantee National Award. But it is a performance I am proud of and I am really eager to show the film to all you guys.
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 that marriage requires lot of hard work. Marriage just sways all of them. I cannot speak for others but for me, I have worked hard for 10 years and there has been no time to get involved in relationships. And now that I have reached the point where I am, 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 will not happen at 28.
Now that you are in the top league, will we see you doing films like ‘Rascals’ 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 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 2 is good and I like my performance in it. I do not regret those movies I just feel that I could have dealt with those experiences with more maturity back then.
Lastly, as an actor does box office make you insecure?
I don’t have the fear of Friday. I have come here for 1500 rupees. I have a lavish apartment, I drive in beautiful cars. After I made my 1500 rupees, everything is bonus.