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Kangana Ranaut and explosive interviews go hand-in-hand. Off late, she unleashed her wrath on the Golaiths of Bollywood, right from calling Karan Johar a 'flagbearer of nepotism' to revealing scandalous details about her failed relationship with Hrithik Roshan.
Mind you, some of her volatile quotes have been breaking the internet and have even made their way into funny memes. We recently caught with the 'lady in question' for a quick conversation as her upcoming film Simran is just around the corner.
Over to the 'Queen' of Bollywood, who doesn't believe in sugar-coating her words.
Excerpts from the interview-
'Rangoon's Failure Was My Worst Fear Come True'
Q. You have achieved a lot and given many hit films. Do you still feel like an outsider in the industry?
A. It's not like that. I am a part of the film industry. I have brought in a lot of awards. I am called the leading face of Indian cinema and have done significant roles. I am a three-time National Award winner. Some of my films have shattered box office records and have garnered success and appreciation from different corners. So, how can I be an 'outsider'? I am somebody who is an integral part of the industry in this journey so far. Let's see what happens next.
Q. You had tasted success in the last few years. Were you disappointed when your last film Rangoon failed to do well?
A. I learnt a lot from Rangoon's failure. But, I was quite disturbed when it didn't do well as I had lot of expectations from that film. Later, I got a reality check that I have already achieved more than what I had aimed for when I had left my home. I had started expecting more from myself. But, then, I realized that I was wrong. I was expecting more than what I was doing.
Rangoon's failure taught me to relax a little to stop this viscous cycle. I think now, somewhere I feel free. I have built a beautiful house in Manali. Tomorrow, whether my films work or not, whatever I have now is an added bonus. I am always going to be remembered as one of the leading faces of Indian cinema. After this, nothing matters.
Rangoon's failure was my worst fear come true. But unexpectedly, I have become more fearless after that debacle. I have already faced my worst. (laughs).
'One Shouldn't Only Run After Name And Fame'
Q. How did the idea of directing a film struck your mind?
A. Doing films one after the other could have become a cycle for me. I think, people shouldn't forget what they want to achieve in life. After achieving your goal, you should focus on your social responsibility. You shouldn't run only name and fame. One should start thinking beyond these things. I want to make films where I could directly communicate with my audience. I want to have that kind of freedom where I could decide when I want to do a film.
'My Films Have Always Flopped Whenever I Have Worked With Established Actors'
Q. You are the only senior star in the industry who isn't working with the established actors. Is that a conscious decision on your part to work with not-so-established co-stars because usually, when you work with a big star, the female character doesn't have much meat?
A. Obviously, I would want to play the main lead if I am giving my time to a film and the audience too have huge expectations from me. Not doing so, have never worked in my favour, be it a film like Katti Batti or Rangoon. My films have always flopped whenever I have worked with established actors.
Q. In one of the recent interviews, you revealed that you had turned down Salman Khan's Sultan and it went on to become a huge blockbuster. Do you regret that decision?
A. I don't regret it. My films too have done good business at the box office. Whenever you get a film like Sultan, you already know that it will work. It doesn't turn out to be a sleeper hit like Queen.
'I Do Feel Like 'Being Alone In The Crowd' Sometimes'
Q. It is said that it's lonely when you are at the top of the game. Did you ever feel that way?
A. I have my family and few close friends in my life with whom I can spend my time and share my feelings. I don't feel lonely. However you know, as they say 'being alone in the crowd', I do feel like that sometimes.
Q. Anybody from the industry that you bank upon?
A. There are a lot of people. They might not openly say it, but they do give me a certain amount of respect. I could always seek their help if ever a need arises.
Q. Do you have any regrets in life?
A. This is such a beautiful phase of my life. There ain't regrets but, yes, it's normal for every person to wish for a smooth sailing. Life isn't easy for anyone but mine is filled with a little more difficulties. (laughs)
'If A Girl Is Single, Young & Rich, She Is Assumed To Have Slept Her Way Through To Her Success'
Q. Do you think that there is a preconceived notion about successful woman when it comes to marriage?
A. Yes, of course. Also, if a girl is young, single and rich, the first assumption is that she has slept her way through to her success. A boy may be young and handsome but, he is never spoken about in the same way. You get to hear such cheap things in our industry too. If an actress suddenly bags a big project, you get to hear that she must have slept with this one and that one. You get to hear such small-minded thoughts about women not just in the film industry but everywhere else too. Most of the times, it's only related to their sexual life.
Q. What makes you so strong and positive in life?
A. You get a different kind of freedom once you have faced your worst in life. When you have survived through your worst phase, you find that there is a different sort of life cycle in that. My life has been extraordinary with extreme experiences. The difficulties in your life make you more stronger.
'If Somebody Is Just Gossiping Or Troubling For No Reason, Then That's More Like Bullying'
Q. Would you call yourself an emotional person? You said that now nothing can beat you down. So, does criticism still bother you or you have left it way behind?
A. I am very sensitive person. It's not like I can make no mistakes. I am very open for criticism. But, if somebody is just gossiping or troubling me for no reason, then that's not called criticism. That would be more like bullying.
'A Woman's Dignity Is Not Above A Film'
Q. While there are people who have stood by you, there are a few in the industry who do not agree with you...
A. If I feel obliged, it's because of all the love that I get. If Karan (Johar), Hrithik (Roshan) or Apurva (Asrani) tell me something, it starts a stream of open letters. There are people who show their faith in me. Sometimes, I may not have a minute to reciprocate that love because I am in the middle of a shoot.
There are some people who are cynical that I am saying all these things to promote my film. However, a woman's dignity is not above a film. If someone is going to point a finger at me, I am going to talk about it regardless of the number of films. It's for me and my life.
If anybody is going to point a finger at my character or my conduct as a human being saying that I have character and mental flaws, I will address that and protect my dignity as a woman. I cannot be told that I can't protect my dignity now because my film is round the corner. It doesn't work like that. Whether I do films tomorrow or not, I am going to be in the society. Also, women who are attacking me for protecting my dignity are being a bit immature. I want to encourage it, I think everyone should.
Q. Is it difficult to find love in Bollywood?
A. It's not like that. It's not difficult to find love. I have dated people from the industry and outside too. However as artists, we are a bit sensitive by nature and that may lead to problems.