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Kangana Ranaut to turn director, will only act in her films

The actress sprung a surprise at the poster launch of her Rani Laxmibai biopic, Manikarnika The Queen Of Jhansi, saying she will focus on her 'career as a filmmaker'.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Shriram Iyengar

While the buzz after a poster launch usually revolves around the poster and the film, Kangana Ranaut's launch of the first poster of the biopic on Rani Laxmibai, Manikarnika The Queen Of Jhansi, has something else to it. The actress sprung a surprise on the gathered audience by declaring that she plans to venture into direction, particularly in the genre of comedy.

Kangana Ranaut arrives by boat, launches Manikarnika poster in Varanasi

"I want to move on to the next phase which means that I will focus on my career as a filmmaker and if I act, I will act in my film so...after Manikarnika I’m directing my film," said the actress.

While Ranaut's ambition to become a filmmaker was already known, the decision to take it up in the immediate future did come as a surprise. If that was not enough, the actress mentioned that she would like to try 'comedy' as the genre for her filmmaking stint.

Known for her serious roles, the actress has already begun the process of understanding the craft. She will be making her debut as writer with Hansal Mehta's Simran. Speaking about the story of Simran, Ranaut said, "Simran is such a cosy and intimate story of a character ...it’s a lot about her psyche just like Queen...it’s a lot about the linear graph of an individual...you can involve yourself in that.

However, Ranaut has yet to grasp the skill for screenwriting, as she admitted, "But for something like this (Manikarnika) you need to have the screenwriter of Baahubali, so KV Vijendra Prasad sir and Prasoon (Joshi) sir are the right people for this film...As much as I would love to be in a league like this but I think I need 10-20 years."

Her role as the legendary Queen of Jhansi does hold some parallels to her real life. Ranaut has acquired a name for her outspoken, and convention defying nature. Her audacity to take on industry big wigs like Karan Johar left quite a few people shocked. Describing the parallels, Ranaut said, "I agree that I am rebellious but she (Rani Laxmibai) was a rebel with a cause that makes her a hero...I rebel because my instincts want me to. So that makes me a badass. She’s a hero."

However, even Krish, the director of Manikarnika, was quite surprised at Ranaut's decision to turn director. The actress revealed, "You know this morning I was telling Krish (the director of Manikarnika) that you are the last director I am working with and he was like, 'So that means you are doing your next 10 films with me?' And I am like 'No' (laughs). So there are all kinds of jokes floating around and I really don’t think anyone is taking me seriously but I mean it!” (laughs again)."

As for her acting career, fans need not worry. She said, "There are projects and then there are films that sort of fulfil something within you. When I was 15 and left home, I didn’t know when I will feel that I have arrived or achieved something and that feeling didn’t come until I started working on Jhansi Ki Rani...just felt like everything made sense, you know."

It seems like the 'Queen' is ready to take charge.

Manikarnika The Queen O Jhansi will release in theatres on 27 April 2018.