Sultry beauty Chitrangda Singh has always been better known for her parallel cinema image. Although the actress did eventually venture into mainstream films, a lot of them were unsuccessful and the arty image stuck. However, the actress has of late featured in many conventional Bollywood
Having begun her career with modelling, Chitrangda Singh was comfortable with facing the camera. The actress's stunning looks and quiet poise won her several appearances in music videos like Altaf Raja's Tum To Thehre Pardesi and singer Abhijeet's Koi lauta de mere pyare-pyare din. In both these songs, she appeared alongside Bollywood stars (then newcomers) Sanjay Suri and Dino Morea respectively.
It was in Abhijeet's video that Chitrangda was spotted by filmmaker Sudhir Mishra’s production manager and eventually cast in the film Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2005). In the film, Chitrangda was to play the role of Geeta Rao, a London-returned South Indian girl who's in love with the firebrand character of Kay Kay Menon. As the plot unfolds, the layers of her character too are gradually unveiled. From playing a bratty girl interested in the comforts of life, to a passionate lover who cheats on her husband for her old flame to a teacher in the village, Chitrangda played her character with utmost ease.
Both the film and her role gained tremendous critical acclaim. Washington Post critic John Pancake even went on to write, "If the film works at all, it is thanks to Singh, who gives her character a deep sense of dignity and decency." Needless to say, Chitrangda's performance in the film has by far been one of her best till now. She even won the Bollywood Movie Award - Best Female Debut for her role.
After HKA, Chitrangda acted in a suspense thriller Kal: Yesterday and Tomorrow. This film was produced by Sudhir Mishra and comprised his usual suspects, Shiney Ahuja, Ram Kapoor and Smriti Mishra.
Chitrangda's next prominent film was Sorry Bhai! (2008) starring Sanjay Suri and Sharman Joshi. In this romantic comedy directed by Onir, Singh was seen playing Aaliyah a young girl who is engaged to one brother (Suri) and ends up falling in love with the other. Though the film failed at the box office, it showed Chitrangda in a new light, highlighting her ability to handle different kinds of roles.
In 2011, Chitrangda was once again cast in a Sudhir Mishra film, causing much speculation about their relationship. Link-ups were in the air and Singh had been branded as Mishra's muse, although the actress denied all such allegations. In Mishra's film Yeh Saali Zindagi, she played the role of an aspiring singer from Delhi who goes to Mumbai to acquire fame and money who gets kidnapped in a gangster situation. The film, that starred Irrfan Khan and Arunoday Singh in the lead roles, acquired critical acclaim as well as decent success at the box office. Most reviewers gave more around 3 out 5 stars for the great performance and screenplay.
Chitrangda was next seen in Desi Boyz, her first out and out commercial venture in which she starred opposite Akshay Kumar and alongside John Abraham and Deepika Padukone. The film was not only declared a 'disaster' by critic Raja Sen but was also a flop at the BO. Of the four, Chitrangda's role (of a hot Economics professor) is the least significant in the film.
In 2012, Chitrangda scorched in her first ever item number, Kafirana in Shirish Kunder's Joker, which bombed at the box office.
In 2013, Chitrangda Singh was seen in two mainstream films, Inkaar and I, Me Aur Main. Chitrangda was seen yet again in a Sudhir Mishra film, this time about sexual harassment at work. In the film, Singh plays an ambitious and independent-minded woman who files a sexual harassment complaint against her firm's CEO Rahul Verma (Arjun Rampal). The film's plot and it's grey characters were received well by some critics, though the overall response was mixed.
Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV Movies gave 3 out of 5 stars, writing "Inkaar does not dabble either in ‘yes’ and ‘no’, or in black and white. ‘May be’ and ‘perhaps’, in other words a whole lot of grays, underline the conclusions that it seeks to draw from what is obviously a complex thematic proposition."
Anupama Chopra of Hindustan Times wrote, "What, you wonder, was the whole war about? Arjun and Chitrangada work hard to give Inkaar heft. Both struggle to bring conviction to their characters. But ultimately the film remains a dish half-baked."
Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave 2 out of 5 stars as he wrote "This is a half watchable film despite all that melodrama flying around. Sadly, if it had kept its head, this thriller could have gone places."
The film was eventually declared a flop at the box office.
Chitrangda Singh was born in Uttar Pradesh to an Indian Army officer (Col Niranjan Singh), has a sister Tina and brother golfer Digvijay Singh. The actress has been married to golfer Jyoti Randhawa since 2001. Since her husband is based in Delhi, Chitrangda shuttles between Mumbai and Delhi.
Chitrangda with husband Jyoti Randhawa
In addition to her cinematic image, Chitrangda Singh has great sartorial sense as well. The actress is a fashionista and endorses several fashion and beauty brands.
Chitrangda has often been linked to director Sudhir Mishra, who's been known to have a roving eye. There were also rumours of her splitting with husband Jyoti Randhawa especially due to her constant shuttling between the cities and hectic glitzy life. However, Chitrangda has firmly denied both these rumours every time she's been questioned about it.
On her equation and kiss with John Abraham
“John’s a simple guy, very approachable, and easy to get along with,” she says fondly. I was comfortable kissing John. There was no awkwardness. The ease that you share with a person reflects in your on-screen chemistry.” The two actors got to know each other during Desi Boyz (2011).
On her sex appeal
“Sex appeal comes to me naturally. I don’t work hard towards it. I carry a bit of me in every role I do.”
On facing sexual harassment
To prepare for her role in director Sudhir Mishra’s titled Inkaar, Chitrangada Singh admits to recalling her personal memories of being sexually harassed in ‘aggressive’ north India. “Since I spent most of my growing years in Delhi and Meerut, I have had my share of such experiences; a couple were really bad ones too,” says Chitrangada.
On intimate scenes in films
"As long as I am comfortable with my director and the co-stars, I am open to doing the bold scenes. But I do have my own limits and I know where to say no," Chitrangada said, adding, "If you are not involved in a scene, your discomfort shows on screen and it makes you look stupid."
On filmmaker Sudhir Mishra
"Sudhir gave me a life as an actor. I owe him so much. Sudhir is a qualified man. He is a psychologist and he has a degree in that. So he understands different persons, and the way he directs his actors is outstanding."
On her stance on roles and competition
"Yes I am choosy about my scripts. I want to do good roles that suit me. I want to choose the best because I have waited really long to be part of good films. I should be convinced with my role," she said.
She isn't even worried about the competition among Bollywood actresses.
"I don't know about competition, I only choose to do good work that I like," Chitrangada said nonchalantly. She also says box office numbers don't matter as long as she gets a good film.
"Numbers don't hurt at all. Everybody wants their film to earn as much money, but at the same time, I am greedy to be part of good films. (Of course) I would be happy if my film collects Rs.100 crore," the 36-year-old-said.
(With inputs from Wikipedia)
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