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This article was first published 11 years ago

Chitrangada: I wasn't taken seriously as an actor

Last updated on: February 26, 2013 16:05 IST

Image: Chitrangada Singh
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar Sonil Dedhia in Mumbai

Looking pretty in a black dress, Chitrangada Singh browses her cell phone, sips some coffee and nibbles on wafers as she waits to begin her last interview of the day. With her upcoming film I Me Aur Main, there are a lot of those.

The dusky 36-year-old actress started her career in art-house films, then went on to do the more commercial Desi Boyz and followed it up with a raunchy item number in Joker

I Me Aur Main is director Kapil Sharma's first film. It also stars John Abraham and Prachi Desai.   

In this interview with Sonil Dedhia, Chitrangada talks about her choice of films and why she likes to experiment with different roles.  

Your last release Inkaar dealt with sexual harassment at the work place. Your next release I Me Aur Main is a romantic comedy. How do you switch between the two genres?

It wasn't easy to switch as I was shooting simultaneously for the two films.

It is a good change. One is heavy on content and the other is an easy, breezy film. It is nice, the change is refreshing. The level of effort you put into any film doesn't change.


'I am not looking to change my image'

Image: John Abraham and Chitrangada Singh in I Me Aur Main

You did an item number (in Joker) and this is the first time you are doing a romantic comedy. Do you want to be seen as a serious actor?

The effort is not to change my image but to do different kinds of cinema. It is not refreshing for an actor to do the same thing again and again.

I think there has to be something different in the script. The director I am working with makes a lot of difference to me. The audience too doesn't like to see the same kind of film again and again.

With Desi Boyz, you tried getting into the commercial space. Do you think the film attained that for you?

I am not looking to change my image. I have never done that. At that time, director Rohit Dhawan offered me a role in the film that was a little sexy. I had not done something like that before and felt like giving it a try.

The same thing happened with my item song Kafirana from Joker. It was the first time I was doing an item number and I totally enjoyed it.

Every film, whether successful or not, gives you another facet and moulds you into a different actor.

Tomorrow, if I have to do an item number, I know how to do it in a better way. So it is good to do different things as it makes you a better actor.


'John has has a twisted sense of humour!'

Image: John Abraham and Chitrangada Singh in I Me Aur Main

What was it like working with John Abraham?

John is a great guy and a very easy actor to work with.

He is very energetic and is always open to suggestion. He makes people feel comfortable around him.

He also has a twisted sense of humour.

The last time I interviewed you, you mentioned that you do fewer films than Aamir Khan. Has the agenda changed since you are doing so many films now?

(Laughs) Did I say that? I am a lot more serious about my career now than I probably was then.

I am a lot more focused and committed. Earlier, I didn't take things seriously, but today I feel more committed to my work.

The kinds of offers that are coming my way are good. Cinema has changed and it is great time to be here now. I am taking on a little more work.

What has brought about this change?

Movies are so satisfying for me. I am not someone who strategises and plans out things. I just follow my heart.

I took a long break in between because I didn't want to move to Mumbai, hire a manager and do back-to-back films.


'I wasn't taken too seriously as an actor'

Image: John Abraham and Chitrangada Singh in I Me Aur Main

Has the perception of the industry changed towards you?

Yes, I think so. In the beginning people from the industry used to feel that I am doing films as a hobby. I wasn't taken too seriously as an actor.

People still don't know that I have shifted to Mumbai and have been staying here since the past two-and-a-half years.

It has taken a long time for the industry to believe that somebody like me could be professional.

You keep surprising audiences. You started off as a serious actress, moved to the commercial space and also did an item number. Can we see you doing a male oriented masala film where actresses don't have much to do?

If it makes me do something different, then I would definitely do it.

Actresses like Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit did great commercial cinema but there was something for them to do in a film.

So there are films that will have something for the actress to do in that typical commercial space. I would love to do that kind of film.


'I wouldn't mind doing an item number again'

Image: Chitrangada Singh in Joker

What kind of a response have you got for your item song Kafirana?

It has been a mixed reaction. Most people love it. But it was a shocker for a lot of people. It has been a good shock. Unfortunately, the film did not do well

Were you offered any item songs after that?

Yes, I was offered two item numbers but the lyrics did not work for me (laughs). I wouldn't mind doing an item number again.