She debuted in the film
Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi
, made an impact – and vanished. Naturally, the media went to town about that, with all sorts of speculation.
But this unsavoury example of what can happen when you’re even briefly in the public eye didn’t stop Chitrangada Singh from rethinking her decision to quit Bollywood. Instead of being scared off the industry, the actress turned around and came back – this time, she says, for good.
“Initially, I felt a little wary but now I have realised that I have never wanted anything as badly as to be part of the film industry,” says Singh. “I have realised that I am greedy for good roles and am willing to do anything to get them.”
Singh may not have to work too hard to land the kind of roles she’s looking for. Though she has just three films to her name so far (apart from
), she’s already being compared with the late and legendary Smita Patil, who did both commercial and parallel cinema superbly.
“Many people commented about the similarity and I really feel honoured about it as I admired Smita Patil,” says Singh. “But I’d also like to say that I have always been a big fan of Rekha. I used to have her pictures in my room, wouldn’t miss even a single film she did and I simply idolise her. When
Khoon Bhari Maang
released, I fell in love with her glam look and
has been my all time favourite film.”
Singh’s acting ability doesn’t come from any formal training or even amateur theatre for that matter. “The only thing I did in school and college was dance,” confesses Singh. “But somehow acting comes very naturally to me and I feel like a different person in front of the camera.”
That she’s comfortable with cameras is evident. Singh began her career with modelling assignments and even did a music video before she was talent-spotted by director Sudhir Mishra’s production manager and cast in
Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi
Now, she’s acting in another Mishra flick,
, in which she plays a femme fatale of politics and the underworld with Farhan Akhtar as the politician and Kareena Kapoor as her rival in love.
“Even though my role has shades of grey in it, I am extremely excited,” says Singh. “Not only about the role but also about the fact that I will be working with Kareena, who is currently on top of the ladder, and Farhan who is a great actor.”
Show and tell
Dhruv, says Singh, is quite a challenge, but she appreciates that. “I am greedy for good work and in the last few years there has been a major change in the style as well as the methods of filmmaking,” she says. “And that’s going to benefit all of us in a big way. Even the audience now prefers a more mature and realistic kind of cinema, which is very good.”
So good that Singh, who was named after the Naga princess Chitrangada from the
, dreams of writing and directing a film herself someday. But that will be some time away, she adds. Right now, she wants to be as visible as possible everywhere.
Which is why you see her on TV these days, talking about fighting fine lines and wrinkles in the Garnier ad and promoting healthy snacking through
. But brand endorsements are not enough for the actress. She has also posed for a calendar by photographer Rohit Chawla, who was inspired by the Austrian symbolist artist Gustav Klimt.
“I am a very opinionated person and I only endorse something I believe in. Rohit is a great photographer and it’s nice to be part of his art,” explains Singh.
Aside from her talent, Singh is often complimented for her superb complexion and great body. These come from the other side of her life – sports. She is married to golfer Jyoti Randhawa who she’s known since she was in class VIII as he was a friend of her brother.“We both have Army backgrounds, so we’d bump into each other quite often,” she says.
“But I started seeing him when I was in college. He used to soothe me when I was ragged! Believe me, I’m glad he’s not from the film industry. This way, I’m assured of some sanity in my life.”
And she is actively into sports herself – squash, golf, scuba diving and sky-diving. “I firmly believe in playing sports not just for a fit body but a sound mind as well, and I do various kinds of workouts including yoga and swimming,” says Singh. “Besides keeping me fit, it also gives me the energy and the confidence I need to face the challenges of the film industry.”