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'I can't say I'm as big as the Khans'

By Rajul Hegde
Last updated on: February 23, 2017 16:42 IST
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'Apart from being total eye-candies, Saif and Shahid are very good actors.'

'Saif is that classy man, who would open the door for you and pull chairs for you.'

'Shahid would come to the sets with headphones on. He had a boyish charm.'

Kangana Ranaut gets in Rangoon mode.

IMAGE: Kangana Ranaut in Rangoon

Kangana Ranaut is all set to show off her magic in her new film Rangoon, directed by Vishal Bhardwaj.

A romantic drama set in the backdrop of World War II, the film also stars Shahid Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan.

Kangana gets candid with contributor Rajul Hegde, as she discusses the film and why she doesn't care for social media. 

How did you approach your Julia character, who is an action diva in the 1940s?

If you see, the cinema of those days was very primitive. Silent films had just gone out of fashion and sound had just come into motion pictures. So films were very primitive, in terms of content, execution and the overall feel.

The acting was also primitive, so my character Julia has a bit of a nasal tone in her dialogue delivery.

I also had to learn a lot as she was a stunt woman.

IMAGE: Kangana with Shahid Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan in Rangoon

What was the experience of working with Saif Ali Khan and Shahid Kapoor?

Apart from being total eye-candies (laughs), these two are very good actors. They're terrific. Their combination with Vishal Sir was also terrific. 

Saif is that classy man, who would open the door for you and pull chairs for you.

Shahid would come to the sets with headphones on. He had a boyish charm.

I loved spending time with both of them.

How is Vishal Bhardwaj different from the other filmmakers you have worked with?

Vishal sir is extremely passionate. There are not many directors you can brag about, when it comes to spectacle and visual appeal.

He would go into the details of everything. He's very courageous when it comes to vision. He would think of the unimaginable, like World War 2, its backdrop and these characters stranded in Burma, Rangoon and the story... It takes guts.

All directors do things in their comfort zone. The concept and the thinking is so amazing that you want to admire the person for conceiving the idea.

Rangoon is a period drama film and it’s riding high on expectations. 

There are so many films coming out every month but none of them can brag about the kind of scale and authenticity that Rangoon has. This isn’t a run-of-the-mill commercial film, which is why this film has the potential to have a long run, not just in cinema halls but digitally too.

Video: Watch the Rangoon trailer.

Do you think actors are hesitant to work with an actress like you who has given solo hits? 

When I did Queen, I used to get a lot of offers to do big hero films. But I stayed away from them. Not only are they hesitant but I am also hesitant to be in a space where, all of a sudden, I lose everything that I have earned. I think it works both ways.

I still get offers to work with big stars but they definitely have the central character. No superstar has offered to do a small role in my film.

You are being compared to Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir Khan.

They have a huge body of work, and an experience of many decades. I hope that when I'm their age, I have that connect with the audience.

It can only happen step by step. Connecting with billions of people will happen over a period of time. It's gradual work. I'm sure at some point, I will do it. But right now, I can't say I'm as big as them.

IMAGE: Kangana Ranaut as Datto in Tanu Weds Manu Returns

What kind of roles do you like?

I like unconventional characters, who have some flaws. Queen was not conventionally attractive, neither was Datto (Tanu Weds Manu Returns).

Which actors and director would you like to work with?

I don’t have any wish list for actors but there are incredible ones like Rajkummar Rao, R Madhavan and Jimmy Shergill. They have given me amazing love stories.

I would like to work with director Shoojit Sircar.

Why aren’t you on social media?

I feel that social media is bundle of contradictions. To interact with people, you don't have a personal equation. There are millions and millions of them!

I don't understand what the interaction is and on what basis, what level. It seems very business oriented, like deals. If you tweet, you get paid this much money, and all that.

I'm not comfortable to be on a platform, where I sell my personal opinions because they are not for sale.

I wouldn't know if people think that I'm genuine or not, what is expected of me.

IMAGE: Kangana Ranaut in and as Simran

You said Karan Johar was the flag-bearer of nepotism on Koffee with Karan. Do you really think so?

I think it made good conversation. I don’t have a speech to give on nepotism but I just stated the obvious (smiles).

What are you working on next?

I am doing Rani Lakshmi Bai and Simran.

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Rajul Hegde / in Mumbai