I am always open to working in the south: Kangana Ranaut
The actor who is awaiting the release of Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, which stars her in the titular role talks about her film, her peers in the industry and much more
Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut, whose historical biopic, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, is scheduled for release on January 25, talks about how she feels the need to do a lot more than her peers because of her "excess energy".
Excerpts from a conversation with the actor:
Besides just starring in your upcoming film, Manikarnika, you've shouldered multiple responsibilities and overseen the post-production. There are very few instances of a Hindi film female actor doing so much heavy lifting for a big-budget film. Do you think you have set a precedence for all leading ladies in the film industry?
Thanks to my energy, I manage to do all of it. And I am happy that, as an artist, I have set a precedent - be it doing women-centric films or speaking up when the occasion calls for it. I believe that this helps in getting rid of prejudices against female artistes.
You are the media's darling for always speaking your mind. We have often seen your aggressive and expressive facet. But what is your go-to tool to get back yourself to a composed state?
Whenever I feel agitated, meditation and looking inwards comes to my rescue. I also suffer from excess energy. I need to channelise it into something productive and creative. The last time I felt energy getting accumulated, waiting to explode, I signed up for a writing course in New York. This energy is the reason you see me writing, directing, singing, and what not? Many of those my age take it easy, but that doesn't come easily to me. I need to do a lot more than others to stay in form.
You seem to have your own philosophy. What lessons has life taught you?
Life is not what happens around, but inside you. Whenever you want to understand if you are happy, stop and ask if your inner world is calm and satiated. Don't look at your bank balance or assets balance sheet. Those will only lie. What lies inside you defines you, your happiness.
Your last film in the south was the Telugu film, Ek Niranjan (opposite Prabhas, directed by Puri Jagannadh), which came out in 2009. You haven't worked in the south since then...
Tell me about it! I worked in Ek Niranjan and nobody ever offered me a role again in Telugu or the south. I am stumped. Perhaps they think I am too busy with Hindi movies. I am always open to working in the south. I still remember how Puri offered me Pokiri, but I could not do as it clashed with the dates of my debut film, Gangster. Apparently, Puri even commented, "What's with that skinny, curly-haired girl? She is yet to debut and is already so busy that she can't give us dates?!" But I am glad we worked together eventually. So here's a shout out to Puri saying I am always ready for a good movie.
It's raining weddings in the movie industry. Down south Samantha, up north Anushka Sharma, Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra. How do you cope with pressure on this front, with gossip websites repeatedly asking you about your wedding plans? Do you believe in marriage and the wedding brouhaha?
I am a big fan of fairytale weddings. I love the way the current crop of actors - all self-made and confident - are doing it in style. I felt the need to get married when I was 25. Now at 31, I don't feel like that. Although Sonam, Deepika and I almost got launched at the same right and they got hitched, it seems right to stay single now. I am going with the flow and feeling no pressure on any aspect of my life from any quarter.
What's your wish list for 2019?
Three of my films will release in 2019. They better be blockbusters. The next would be a talk show with relevant conversations and a healthy dose of entertainment. And an exotic vacation with my family.