'I am not saying that all women were always right and all men have always been wrong.'
"The #MeToo movement is a good thing happening and we should not shoot it down," Chitrangada Singh tells Rediff.com Contributor S Ramesh.
In Baazaar, you play a strong woman married to Saif Ali Khan's character. What was the challenge playing such a role?
Like I said at the trailer launch, my character is the only pure character in the film. The other characters are a bit murkier, trying to play with ambition, power and greed.
My character is probably born with too much around her, so for her these things are not as important as they are for other people in the film.
It was giving a certain dignity and strength to the character without having flashy dialogues that Saif's character, who has been built up as the big antagonist in the film, has.
Nikkhil just wanted me to carry that quiet and strength in my presence, when she stands up to him (Saif's character).
If one goes by your filmography, it seems you have a preference for corporate/ urban kind of roles in your movies. What's your take on that?
I don't know why I get them so much. But yes, I do get offered a lot of urban-confident or probably over-confident type of woman characters who are extremely strong and powerful.
A lot of times, this means seductress which is perhaps the other interpretation of strong woman for some reason.
Do you feel it's because of your image after your first film, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi?
My character in that film was not a very strong person. She was very important to the screenplay, and so was an extremely significant part of it. That's why people consider my character a very strong person. But she was very weak and vulnerable.
Was it a conscious decision to choose corporate-urban-type roles in your movies?
There was no conscious decision at all. You end up choosing from the best of what you are being offered. For some reason, I am offered roles like that. I have done films which are quite ahead of its time.
I wish Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi came out much later because it could have probably got more attention.
Of all the roles that you have done so far, which one do you relate to as a person?
I think my character Geeta Rao from Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi because it defines a lot of me as person. That's why I managed to understand that character in my first film.
Speaking about the ongoing #MeToo movement, do you feel it's fair for a film to be punished because of the people who are accused and involved in it?
It is not fair because a lot of money and time gets lost. There is the hard work of everybody involved in a film.
I think the the shooting of Housefull 4 has been stopped. We need to take quick action on it, otherwise it's collateral damage for one and all.
Do you think that this #MeToo movement is also being misused by some people?
Yes, it will get misused.
A lot of disgruntled people who can end up getting work are now probably coming and saying this now. Maybe the ones who manage to get work are not.
I think some people should not be part of this #MeToo movement because they have enabled this kind of format.
A lot of people in the industry know who is actually right and who is wrong, so there are a lot of people who will stand up and vouch for the right person.
Presently, we are all struggling to find that right way to go, but we have to begin talking.
Do you think the casting couch will disappear because of the #MeToo movement?
I don't know how far this will go, but I hope it goes far enough to reach a point where we have that ideal situation of eradicating it.
Such things have been happening for ages, so this movement should not be callous and dehumanise.
We were so comfortable considering such things as normal, but I believe the #MeToo movement is actually normal and the absence of it is actually abnormal.
So, we need to switch this mindset, because this is not at all expected behaviour, either from a girl or guy.
I am not saying that all women were always right and all men have always been wrong. That's not the point and it shouldn't become like that.
Somewhere inside, such bad behaviour puts you down and give you that lack of inspiration to see something good is also happening.
The #MeToo movement is a good thing happening and we should not shoot it down.
And this is something I would like to say to all women for the sake of other women in our society who have actually gone through with such immoral experiences -- that we should keep it honest, truthful, and keep the integrity of this whole movement, otherwise we will just lose another big opportunity.
What does 'sexy' define for you?
It's definitely not short dresses (laughs
It's not about how you look, but it's about that quiet self-belief in you.
Along with confidence, a good sense of humour is also very sexy for me.
What makes you so confident?
My brother is the exactly opposite of me. He is a complete extrovert. I don't think I have ever been that confident in my life.
A lot of people are pretty sure before doing anything, but I will probably have a lot of questions and doubts in my mind.
I am a person who takes time to be sure.
I find too many faults in my performance and so never check the monitor after the shot.
How good are your stockmarket investments?
Right now, nobody can do anything, because it's just going down (laughs)! But yes, I do invest. Almost 90% of my income has been invested in the market.
My father invests a lot and so he helps me with that.
When did you discover your liking for writing stories?
I have to thank Sudhir (Mishra) for that. He allowed me to write a bit during Inkaar. He let me write the end of it, where my character goes into the washroom and confronts Arjun Rampal's character.
He allowed me to write the climax for the first time. After that I wrote some 10 pages with a couple of stories in mind.
You became a producer with Soorma. Why did you chose a sports biopic?
I don't know, but I have a thing about sports people. It's a very hard life where have to prove yourself every single day. My brother is a professional golfer. These people work very hard, not for the money, but for the glory.
So what's next? Are you donning the director's hat as well?
We are scripting the next sports biopic, but I am not directing it. Also, there's a Web series in which I am starring, but it's in a discussion phase presently.