Interview

Kangana Ranaut: Pressure of Queen is high, people still not out of it


In an interview with Cinestaan.com, the actress speaks about Rangoon and the tag of 'Queen' that refuses to leave her. 

Keyur Seta

Kangana Ranaut is teaming up with the highly-acclaimed Vishal Bhardwaj for the first time in Rangoon. Also starring Saif Ali Khan and Shahid Kapoor, the film is a period drama set during the time of World War II. In a friendly conversation with Cinestaan.com, the actress speaks about her experience, the tag of 'Queen' which refuses to leave her and other interesting bits. Excerpts: 

What excited you the most about Rangoon?
Vishal Bhardwaj’s direction is the most attractive aspect for an actor. He is always on the wish list of actors because of his work. Rangoon is a triangle love story. So, it is obvious that the girl has the central character in the film. Hence, Vishalji’s direction and the fact that it’s the love triangle prompted me to do this film. 

It seems that the look of your character is inspired from the yesteryear actress Fearless Nadia. Did you study her videos to get into your character or did you just follow the director’s instructions?
Apart from Fearless Nadia, there were a lot of other women who used to do action in that era. The character or the story isn’t based on any one particular person. It is not a biopic. Vishal sir was amazed to know how action heroines were celebrated in the 1940s. They were appreciated a lot. They used to do their own stunts. I saw few such films. In one of them, the girl used to lift 2-3 guys and jump from the train while riding a horse (laughs). Everything at one go! People used to appreciate them. The director was fascinated by this. 

My character has a public image. She is known as Jaanbaaz Julia. But she is not at all Jaanbaaz at the start of the film. She is too dependent on her lover. She does everything through his approval. But she becomes jaanbaaz (daredevil) later and this is what the film is about. 

How much could you relate with your character?
Somewhere we all would connect with her. Sometimes love becomes bondage. Her love with Rusi Billimoria, which is Saif’s character, is bondage for her. It always pulls her down. But Nawab Malik’s (Shahid Kapoor) love makes her fly. Their love is like Sufi. She becomes jaanbaaz because of this. She emerges from the depths. Both types of love breaks and makes her, respectively. 

How different are Saif and Shahid as individuals?
Saif has a different maturity. He behaves very chivalrously. Shahid is also mature. But he has a boyish charm. He has such nature because of his age. Both are different personalities. 

How challenging was it to shoot intimate scenes?
This is not how we see. When we are performing an intimate scene, it’s an imitation of an intimate scene. It’s not literally an intimate scene. We have shown World War II but it is not actual World War II. It is recreated. So, even the kissing is not actual kissing. It’s an imitation of a kiss. 

This is the first time that a producer like Sajid Nadiadwala has tied up with a film of this genre. 
Sajid Nadiadwala is the kind of producer we needed for this film. To carry the high scale of this film, we needed that sort of a vision. This producer provided it to us. 

There are a lot of expectations from you after Queen. Does that add extra pressure? 
Films also add pressure to me. I remember few years ago I wasn’t concerned when my films used to release. I was found sleeping. I had no idea about collections. People used to call me and inform that I am getting praised. But now with every film the pressure is building up on me. I am already stressed about this film thinking how people will react to it. I haven’t starred in a big budget film before where I am playing the main role. So, you wish that the film gets good returns. 

So, how do you deal with Friday jitters?
It’s the same feeling you get before your exam results. I remember 31 March was the day each year. Before that we had lots of holidays, a time when I never used to listen to my parents and back answer. But as soon as the results started nearing, I suddenly used to become sober and improve my behaviour. I used to oil my hair on 31 March (laughs). 

The title ‘Queen’ is attached to you after you did Queen (2014).
You keep getting such nicknames after you do certain films. I think now I will be named Jaanbaaz Julia after this film. Before doing Queen, whenever I used to meet people they would praise my work in Fashion (2008). I used to say, I have done 25 films after that, but it didn’t matter to anyone. So, as an actor, you want your roles to leave an impression. The pressure of Queen is such that people are just not able to come out of it. That’s why I feel I haven’t been able to leave an impact after Queen. So, I really hope I am called Jaanbaaz Julia after this. 

You have had a lot of ups and downs and controversies. How do you deal with them?
I do a lot of meditation and yoga. I take care of my health because we live such stressful lives, especially people from my stature. I can just say something right now and it can literally ruin everything. It’s like walking on a thin rope all the time. So, to have that sort of balance and energy is very important. Because I can be finished by just one line I say.