Her latest release, Raanjhanaa, has put her in the league of actors who can solely carry a film on their shoulders. The film has not only fetched her appreciation for her acting but also brought her commercial success. In this candid interview, she talks about how things are looking up and her upcoming film, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (BMB).
Raanjhanaa has been received very well. How do you feel?
It’s funny that it’s being called my breakthrough performance. I got critical appreciation for Delhi 6 (2009) and Mausam (2011) also, but this is the first time that the film has succeeded as well.
Now that you’ve got commercial success, do box-office figures matter a lot more to you?
I didn’t do this film for the numbers; I needed to do something that challenged me creatively. Raanjhanaa made me feel safe, and not like I’d taken a risk. I’m not a good actor yet to do very commercial films.
How was the experience of working on Bhaag Milkha Bhaag?
I had no reference point for my character in BMB. It’s a very small role, but it has an impact. My character is Milkha Singh’s inspiration. There had to be purity and naivety in this girl. This film, I know, will go down in history as a special film, and that’s why I wanted to be a part of that more than anything else. I didn’t even take any money for it. I accepted Rs. 11 for this film, that too as shagun (token).
What do you think has worked for you so far?
My biggest achievement is that I’ve never been typecast; I made sure that it never happened to me. Now whether it has worked or not, I don’t know, but when I look back, I feel that my gamble has paid off. I think getting typecast is the scariest thing for an actor, because after a point, the audience gets fed up. I also do less work because I don’t want to get overexposed. That’s the reason why Raanjhanaa is my eighth film despite me being in the industry for six years.