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'I do fewer films than Aamir Khan'

Last updated on: December 14, 2010 12:48 IST

'I do fewer films than Aamir Khan'

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Sonil Dedhia in Mumbai

She left a lasting impression in her two films -- Hazaron Khwaishein Aisi and Kal: Yesterday and Tomorrow -- and then she disappeared.

Years later, she returned with Onir's Sorry Bhai in 2008 and had us hoping that she'd be here to stay.

If her frequent appearances on the small screen endorsing anti-age creams, diet snacks, chai and mobile phone services are anything to go by, Chitrangada Singh is here to stay.

The dusky actress is readying for her next release -- Yeh Saali Zindagi -- where she plays a young ambitious singer.

Rediff.com's Sonil Dedhia grilled Chitrangada about just why she disappeared on us and just what she intends to do from here on.

 


Image: Chitrangada Singh

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' It took me four years to realise that I'm happiest when I'm acting'

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In the seven years that you've been around, you've done just 4 films. Would you say you're very, very choosy?

Definitely I am a little choosy. I took a break of almost three-and-a-half years -- that is a long time in this industry.

When I first started off, it took a little time for me to realise and absorb the whole environment.

I had signed a couple of projects, which didn't take off for some reason or the other. Meanwhile I was missing acting a lot. It took me four years to realise that I'm happiest when I'm acting and it is when I'm truly in my element.

Meanwhile I also got caught up with my newborn son. Now that he has grown up, I thought it is a good time to get back to work!

In fact I realise that I do fewer films than Aamir Khan! (Laughs)


Image: Chitrangada Singh in Yeh Saali Zindagi

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'Even if the character has grey shades in it I have to love it'

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Why did you decide to quit films when everything was going fine?

I was happy doing my ad films and print work when Haazaron and Kal were offered to me.

At the time I wasn't really ready to do films. I knew as far as my acting performances were going there was no reason to stop acting but I was slightly confused.

I wasn't even sure whether I wanted to continue acting in films.

Also I didn't know a lot of people in the industry I could turn to for advice because I don't belong to a 'film family'. So it took some time to decide.

What do you look for when you're picking roles?

First I try to figure out if I am able to relate to my character on some level so that I can get more out of it and eventually become the character. Even if the character has grey shades in it I have to love it.

Secondly I need to understand the director's vision -- whether he is clear of what he wants to do or not.


Image: Chitrangada Singh

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'I do serious films because people compare me with Smita Patil who did a lot of serious cinema'

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There has been a notion that you are a serious actor? How far is it true?

I don't know where that comes from! I have hardly done any work in the industry and to stereotype me already would not be fair.

Maybe it's because people compare me with Smita Patil who did a lot of serious cinema. I do look like Smita Patil and that's a very big compliment for me but I still have a long way to go.

I don't have any regrets. I can think of any other actresses who would have started a career with a film like Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi.

Normally actors move from mainstream cinema to parallel cinema but the story is different for me.

Tell us about your movie Yeh Saali Zindagi?

It is a romantic thriller -- a little edgy, gritty and slightly complicated. The film is all about the irony of life.

There is a line in the movie that I keep repeating to myself -- 'Some bullets kill you and some bullets save your life'.

The film is about how life can take a turn unexpectedly and how our choices leave us helpless.


Image: Chitrangada Singh

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'Sudhir got me into the industry and gave me this career that I had never thought of'

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Tell us about your character in the movie?

I play an aspiring singer who wants to perform at a famous nightspot in the city.

She is ambitious, glamorous and goes through a rollercoaster ride in life.

In fact throughout the movie I have worn the same clothes as I felt that the outfit reflected that I go through the film. 

This is your second film with Sudhir Mishra. Are we looking at another camp in the industry?

I am beginning to understand this. I think all these so called 'camps' are made because you are friends from a long time and know each other and are comfortable working together.

When you are making a film you invest a lot of money so there has to be certain amount of trust that has to be there.

Sudhir got me into the industry and gave me this career I had never thought of. So obviously I cannot say no to him.


Image: Chitrangada Singh and Irrfan Khan in Yeh Saali Zindagi

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'When I was younger I was not really a fan of Smita Patil'

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You have always been compared with Smita Patil. Were you a fan of Smita Patil. How much of inspiration did you take from her?

When I was younger I was not really a fan of Smita Patil (obviously because) I was at an age when I couldn't appreciate her work.

She was different from all the other actresses present at that time. But as I grew up I started understanding her work and now I see what she's done. She was pretty ahead of her time.

Which of her films would you like to do?

I would love to do Arth.

Vishal Bhardwaj said that he would love to make a film just for you. How does it feel?

It feels great. It's a great compliment coming from a fabulous director. I have been waiting for him to make a film with me (laughs). It just helps me to believe more in myself and also deliver something better than what I would have done in my previous films.


Image: Chitrangada Singh

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'Shah Rukh Khan is my childhood crush'

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You have worked in a lot of advertisements. Which one is more difficult -- advertisements or movies?

60 seconds is very difficult. You have to be very quick and have to explain everything in such a small span of time. The sad part is that a lot of things that you do are chopped off because of the time constraint. If you ask me which one do I love more? I'd say films.

Shah Rukh Khan or Saif Ali Khan? (She endorses Airtel with SRK and Taj Mahal Tea with Saif)

Shah Rukh Khan is a childhood crush so it has to be him.


Image: Chitrangada Singh

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'It's good that I have homes in both the cities'

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Which filmmakers do you see yourself working with?

Sriram Raghavan, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Ashutosh Gowariker. Having said that I would want to do films where I am an integral part of the film.

You have shifted to Mumbai. It must be difficult to manage your personal life

Like any other career woman, you have to prioritise everything and plan things.

It's good that I have homes in both the cities so. My husband (golfer) Jyoti (Randhawa) is always on the move so we plan our schedules accordingly.


Image: Chitrangada Singh

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'I enjoy golf, I play golf myself'

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Do you enjoy golf?

I do. I've been travelling for almost eight years with him. I'm very involved in the sport myself. I play golf myself and my brother (Digvijay Singh) is a professional golfer.

Tell us about your upcoming projects?

I have Yeh Saali Zindagi, which will be releasing soon. I am shooting for Rohit Dhawan's Desi Boyz, I am doing an untitled project with Prakash Jha where Arjun Rampal is my co-star and yet another project that I can't talk about that.


Image: Chitrangada Singh

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'I want to do a film with Aamir Khan'

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Okay. Let's see a quick rapid-fire:

The craziest thing that you have ever done

I jumped off a plane (pauses). I had a parachute (laughs); otherwise I wouldn't be sitting here and giving an interview.

The one celeb you'd like to spend a weekend with and why?

George Clooney. He is a very interesting character and I would like to understand him.

Sometimes he does these low budget films and then he would produce a film. He also does so much charity and of course he is one of the sexiest men alive.

If you had to invite people from the past over a dinner who would they be?

Madhubala, Smita Patil, Marilyn Monroe and Patrick Swayze.

One Bollywood actor who you would love to work with and why?

Aamir Khan because he does only one film a year and I would love to do that one film with him.


Image: Chitrangada Singh

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