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Kangana denies Rangoon character Miss Julia is based on Fearless Nadia

Wadia Movietone had filed a commercial suit against director Vishal Bhardwaj and the makers of Rangoon for basing Ranaut's character on the legendary 1940s actress, Fearless Nadia. 

Our Correspondent

Actress Kangana Ranaut, whose character in the forthcoming film Rangoon is said to be loosely based on actress-stunt woman Fearless Nadia, says her role is not based on any real-life person.

A lawsuit was reportedly filed against Rangoon maker Vishal Bhardwaj on grounds of copyright infringement, by Wadia Movietone Pvt Ltd, which has claimed that Ranaut's character Miss Julia is based on real-life Australian stunt actor Mary Evans, popularly known as Fearless Nadia.

Asked about it, Ranaut told news agency IANS here: "I think there is some legal hassle around that. First of all, we cannot comment on a matter when it's already in court, but we can assure you that it's not based on any living or dead person." 

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

According to a report by tabloid Mid-Day, Wadia Movietone had filed a commercial suit against director Vishal Bhardwaj and the makers of Rangoon in Bombay high curt for copyright infringement. Wadia Movietone claimed to possess the sole rights to the scripts, posters and publicity material of Fearless Nadia. Roy Wadia, on behalf of the film, also accused the makers of Rangoon for breach of trust. 

Reports suggest that Ronnie Screwvala of UTV Productions had approached the Wadias to make a film on Fearless Nadia in 2006. The film did not materialise, but when reports emerged of Bhardwaj and UTV Disney collaborating for a similar project, the Wadias had expressed objections. They were later assured by the makers that the film has no connection with the character and personality of Nadia. In view of this, the Wadias sold the copyright to Nadia's story and publicity to a German firm in 2008. It was only when the film's promotions began that reports emerged that Bhardwaj's Julia was wholly inspired from the story and life of Fearless Nadia. 

The 29-year-old actress added that Rangoon is "completely a fictional story" and the "characters are fictional as well".

Born Mary Evans, Fearless Nadia acquired fame for her willingness to play the stunt queen in several films. The whip wielding, horse riding, masked introduction of Ranaut as Julia is a direct homage to Fearless Nadia's iconic pose. Nadia was also introduced to Indian cinema through JBH Wadia, the founder of Wadia Movietone. Wadia would later go on to marry her. Moreover, Saif Ali Khan's suave Parsi filmmaker, Rusi Bilmoria, looks to be the on-screen representation of Wadia's personality. 

Also read: Why Kangana Ranaut is Vishal Bhardwaj's Fearless Nadia in Rangoon

Where Rangoon departs from reality is in introducing Julia to the war in Rangoon, as well as the character of Nawab Malik played by Shahid Kapoor. In addition, the idea of romance and intrigue of smuggling that forms the base of the plot is completely fictional. It is set during the World War II. 

Rangoon is set to release on 24 February.

— With inputs from IANS