She was the talk of the town when she made her debut back in 2003 with Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi. But then, she disappeared from the scene entirely. After a four-year-long break and a baby (there were a few nondescript film roles and a TV show after), Chitrangada Singh is back in Bollywood, this time with an item number choreographed by Farah Khan for the upcoming film, Joker. We listened in as Farah and Chitrangada chatted about films, family and everything under the sun.
Farah Khan: They call you the thinking man’s sex symbol… as if men really think (smiles).
Chitrangada Singh: I think you read my mind…
Farah: How does it feel to be called a ‘hottie’ after your first item song?
Chitrangada: It has been crazy. The only word that I keep reading every time a message comes is ‘hot’. And I’m like, maybe now they will say something about my dancing.
Farah: What’s your hubby’s (golfer Jyoti Randhawa) reaction to the item song?
Chitrangada: He said, ‘This is the hottest you’ve looked.’
Farah: Once you get married and have kids, it’s curtains for a female actor’s career in Bollywood. But you’ve come back after a break and a baby. Do you think times are changing, or do you still hear, ‘Nahi, usko mat lo’ (don’t cast her)?
Chitrangada: I don’t know if people out there are really saying it, but no one has said it to my face.
Why did you take a break? Was there pressure from your husband?
No, there was nothing like that. I don’t know how to react to the stories that go around. I feel that I wasn’t ambitious enough at that time.
: So how did you get ambitious later?
After having stayed away for four-and-a-half years, there were times when I would think, ‘Now what?’ That’s when I felt I should get back.
Have you struck the balance now (between films and family)?
There are good days and bad days (smiles).Farah: If you were to choose between a performance-oriented role and a film where you do two-three songs and as a result make money by dancing at award functions, which one will you choose?
Farah: You can’t do both. They won’t call you to an award function and say, ‘Repeat your dialogues from your films.’
Chitrangada: (Laughs) To make money, I’ll definitely do a dance number.
Farah: So are you ready now to perform (at functions)?
Chitrangada: Yeah yeah…
Farah: Who do you consider hot in the industry?
Chitrangada: Malaika (Arora Khan).
Farah: I am talking about men, Chitrangada.
Chitrangada: Men? Hmm. All of them are so good. I remember John’s (Abraham) item number in Vicky Donor which was really hot. Salman Khan has always been good.
Farah: You’re being diplomatic.
Chitrangada: But they all are fantastic.
Farah: For your next item song, which Khan would you choose?
Chitrangada: Farah Khan (laughs).
Farah: Nice answer. Chalo, we’ll both do a sizzling item number next… Are you friends with any of your contemporaries?
Farah: None of them?
Farah: I love your honesty.
Chitrangada: I don’t know them well enough to be friends.
Farah: I am curious. Are you a trained Kathak dancer?
Chitrangada: I have trained for about three years.
Farah: I was just told, ‘Ye trained Kathak dancer hai. Isko aapne kaisa dance kara diya’ (She is a trained Kathak dancer but you choreographed her in such a manner).
Chitrangada: I was trained when I was in school but I haven’t really danced ever since.