For someone who has always followed her heart and achieved success, and for someone who has come from a place (Manali) which lacks even the basic source of entertainment such as a movie theatre, actor Kangana Ranaut’s travel to glory is a classic example of an indomitable spirit and is an inspiration for small town aspirants.
With six films — Queen, Rajjo, Krrish 3, Ungli, I Love New Year and Revolver Rani — ready to hit the marquee, the actor is back in limelight.
Where did you get the courage to step out of home at the age of 16?
My moving out of the house wasn’t planned. But there’s a saying, if you know where you’re going, the world will step aside and make way for you. I knew I wanted to be someone big. That aside, I’ve always been a bit stubborn and rebellious since my childhood.
How did you mend the troubled relationship with your parents?
My parents didn’t approve of my acting career for a very long time. In fact, when I got the offer, I excitedly called them up. When they learnt that I’m doing a film with the same director (Anuraag Basu) who made Murder (2004), they were horrified. I was very young then and my poor mother feared that someone would exploit me and make a blue film with me.
What was the real reason behind your running away?
I didn’t run away. I simply packed my bags and went out with everyone’s knowledge. My parents wanted me to be a doctor. So I took up science, but then realised that my heart was not in it at all. I would have constant arguments with my parents. The conflict with my father and my stubbornness collided and I left home. But before leaving, I told him that I need a year to decide whether I want to continue studying medicine or some other vocation.
I started staying with a friend in Chandigarh. Later, we both shifted to Delhi where I got a few small modelling assignments. I also did theatre. I still remember those bankrupt days when I used to live on bread and aachar (pickle) as I didn’t have enough money. That was the time my modelling agency sent me to Mumbai to audition for Gangster.
After your parents saw your debut film, what did they think?
My father went into depression. I felt betrayed by my parents. I thought they will understand that they had given birth to an artiste! The conflict sustained until our relatives intervened.
It is said that Aditya Pancholi brought you to Mumbai. Is it true?
I thought I just told you my story! No, he didn’t get me to Mumbai. Looking back, I feel I was so young and reckless and made so many mistakes which have damaged me physically and mentally.
What do you have to say about the Botox culture among actors?
Personally, I hate it. I don’t want to inject Botox and look young forever. It’s living in denial and anything that has an undercurrent of this philosophy is bad for your growth.
Will you ever go back to Manali?
I would never be able to spend all my life in a busy city like Mumbai. I haven’t lived a single quality moment in the last eight years here. I would at some point, like to retire there. Nature keeps everything in balance. Here, if you see a beggar, you treat him like a building and you treat a building like a human being. I want to buy property in Manali. I want to do organic farming.