Kangna Ranaut is on a high. She’s single and successful, having starred in one of the biggest hits of the year, Tanu Weds Manu.
She’s looking forward to more releases in the year. In a candid chat, she talks about everything from films to her friend Salman… and also clears the air on her relationship with co-actor Ajay Devgn.
The promos of Double Dhamaal are on air. Mallika Sherawat’s song is making a buzz, why aren’t you part of it?
Mallika is performing the item number as she’s a bar girl in the film. So her item song made sense not mine. In fact, Indraji (Kumar) was insisting that in my dream sequence, I join Mallika in her item number. I refused because I wanted Mallika to play a character without me interfering in her dance sequence. I play a secretary in the film.
Which roles are more difficult to do — light-hearted romantic comic or dark, edgy and intense ones?
Intense characters are much more difficult to do because I am fun-loving and full of life so that comes very naturally to me. To look funny is also not difficult for me (laughs). As an audience, I enjoy love stories more. I enjoy the whole process of falling in love, the tension and then the happy ending. Fortunately, I have got the opportunity to do love stories. Gangster was a touching love story and is one of my favourites. Even though Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai wasn’t a love story, the love part of it was handled beautifully. My next with Sunny Deol, I Love New Year, is a fresh take on love.
Recently there were reports that Ajay Devgn and you cold-shouldered each other on the sets of Tezz in London.
Rubbish! We did speak to each other, but this time it was the shortest trip I ever made — just three hours. I had to finish this particular sequence and rush back. Ajay was the way he always has been. We are very comfortable with each other though we have never been buddies. I am comfortable with all my co-actors but they are not my friends. My friends are not from the film industry. That’s a conscious decision I made — to keep it strictly professional. Why should I behave over-friendly with Ajay or anybody just because people expect me to be?
But you call Salman Khan a friend.
We have been friends for a while now. He is a very sensitive man and values friendships. Salman and I would have been friends irrespective of his or me being stars but I’m not dating anyone.
After your sister Rangoli’s marriage is there parental pressure for you to get married now?
Not at all. They were nagging Rangoli as they wanted to have some celebration and bring a little excitement to their lives.
Will you have a love or arranged marriage?
It depends on whom I like. If my parents don’t like my guy I will have a Tanu Weds Manu marriage and run away! My dream man should be intelligent, smart and have a great personality. Good looking men with perfect bodies and perfect features turn me off.
Are you more confident of yourself as an actress after TWM?
Yes. It’s possible to make a movie work. Earlier I always felt that if I work with selected people it would be good for me as only they were responsible for making a film a success, but I know today that’s not true. What is important is to have a nice story, a good director and the story treated in the right way. Then you can make your own success story — you don’t need other people to do that for you.
Have you ever thought of directing a film?
Yes, I would love to direct. I write many scripts but I’m just never happy with what I write. Currently, I am working on one. The day I am fully satisfied with what I have written I will start the film. That’s the best part of being who I am today — I won’t take up direction because I need to but because I want to.
Tanu Weds Manu was a surprise hit of the year. To what do you attribute the film’s success?
I think it was a change for the audience to see me in something completely different from the dark, edgy characters I have played earlier. In films like Fashion and Gangster there was a lot of sympathy element for me from the audience and that helped me to connect and bond with them. In TWM, the audience has enjoyed watching this girl taking everybody’s case. I have seen the reactions in the theatres. People were dancing, whistling and jumping on every song. I think the connection is very important.
How do you react to the controversial stuff written about you?
It saddens and upsets me for sometime, but eventually it doesn’t matter what other people think of you.
Has success changed you?
Yes of course! I am an angry young woman now (laughs)! I used to be a poor little thing, vulnerable, naive and somebody who wouldn’t stand up for herself. Today, I am smarter and can stand up for myself. I’m knowledgeable about cinema and am well-read. I’m a different person for sure. I have my own and arrogance and attitude, which is just fine. I don’t make life miserable for others but I like my attitude — it makes me who I am!
You will be performing at an awards event for the first time. Any jitters?
Yes, I suffer from major stage fright. The last time I tried dancing on stage two years ago everything went blank and I couldn’t hear the music. I was thirsty and wanted someone to say ‘Cut and retake’, but I had to go with the flow. I wanted to slap myself when I came back to my room. So this time people should know I might make a fool of myself. TOI