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I am the struggler of the century: Kangana Ranaut

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I am the struggler of the century: Kangana Ranaut

Post by pollyanna on 2014-03-26, 13:08

I am the struggler of the century: Kangana Ranaut

Kangana Ranaut is enjoying a lie-in at her new Bandra pad when we knock on her door. She welcomes us into her elegant (though unfinished) space, dressed in pyjamas, then goes back to reading online reviews of her much-lauded Queen.

She responds to our "How does it feel?" question with, "I have been the struggler of the century. Fortunately, everyone loves the underdog. But it would be hard to start with a film like Queen. All my years as an actress led to this."

No trace of modesty here? "Modesty is good. But not when it comes at the cost of honesty," Kangana retorts. "Sucking up to a director means you are unsure of your talents. I'm not. I don't seek validation outside, not even with the audience. Today they like me but tomorrow they may hate me. I don't want to be anybody's role model."

The actress then goes on to decode her journey from a "struggler doing bit roles" to being the Queen.

GANGSTER (2006) I'm proud of my performance but disappointed with the reaction I got because I think it was a much better performance than Queen. The film clicked and suddenly I was on every brilliant director's "favourite actress" list. But not a single one signed me. It was a lonely battle, me against the world.

FASHION (2008) After Gangster, I was confused. My talent wasn't helping me get work. I did some bad films just to remain visible. Life In A... Metro wasn't 'my' film, nor was Fashion though I slogged really hard. After Fashion, people thought I was a dopehead and that was not a good feeling (Laughs). My biggest apprehension was whether I'd be able to convey the complexity of Shonali in the 15 minutes that I had. And boom there comes a National Award!

ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI (2010) I worked very hard although I had very little screen-time in a male-centric film. Milan (director Milan Luthria) really helped me with the character. In the second half, we had to establish the fact that Ajay Devgn's character gives up everything for this girl. Is she worth it? Through my look, expressions and limited lines, I had to convey the passion that she feels for this man.

TANU WEDS MANU (2011) The phone was ringing but not with great offers. Milan (Luthria) offered me The Dirty Picture but how many times could I play 'the girl on the verge of a nervous breakdown'. Anand Rai noticed me in OUATIM in a romantic role and offered me Tanu... . The film changed the game for me. Vikas Bahl was convinced I could play Rani after watching Tanu...

QUEEN (2014) I was confused about why (director) Vikas wanted me for Rani. I'd played a supermodel (Fashion) and a superwoman (Krissh 3), how could I be Rani? I don't think it's a great performance. It's the supporting cast that elevates it. Rajkummar Rao's arrogance makes Rani more vulnerable while Lisa Haydon's liberated ways made her appear caged. There are films you do justice to and then there are films that do justice to your talent. Queen proved that the century-long struggle paid off!

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