Hansal Mehta on Kangana Ranaut, Simran: ‘She took charge of the set, began directing other actors’
Hansal Mehta has finally opened up and talked in detail about working on Simran and his equation with Kangana Ranaut.Updated: Oct 24, 2020, 16:54 IST
Filmmaker Hansal Mehta has opened up on the making of his 2017 film Simran that starred Kangana Ranaut and was mired in several controversies ahead of its release. Calling the experience of working on it painful, Hansal said he holds no bitterness for Kangana and even enjoyed her company off the sets. Apurva Asrani, the film’s writer-editor and an old associate of Hansal, had claimed that Kangana grabbed all the credit for his work and changed his version of the film. She had hit back saying that his original script was not commercially viable and she reworked it to a large extent.
It was earlier reported that Kangana had called Hansal spineless and a coward. Kangana claimed to have had significant inputs in the final draft of the film’s story. Apurva, however, had claimed that ideas of the protagonist being a Gujarati and divorcee came from him.
Calling working on the film a “painful memory”, Hansal told Huffington Post, “I sometimes wish I never made it. There was no need. It was an unnecessary aberration in my career. It makes me sad, it could’ve been a much better film. It had the potential to be a great film. It used to sadden me but now it’s…It was a painful time. Every day. Beyond that, it’s difficult to speak about it. I don’t even revisit it. There was a time after the film released, I went through a very low phase mentally. Took therapy. The film affected my mental health. I went into a shell, I did not want to meet people. I was in a period of very low self-esteem.” He further said that even the release of Rajkummar Rao’s Omerta did not help him and things began improving only when he began writing Scam 1992 (back in 2017).
Hansal added, “I’ll be honest with you, I enjoyed Kangana’s company outside the set and I had a great time with her. We used to go out and she would always ask me to choose restaurants. We’d have a great meal together, party together, I would choose good wine, all that was fun. (But on the sets) It went out of my control completely. That’s not a happy situation to be in. Other than dealing with the fact that she (Kangana) completely took charge of the set and began directing other actors, I lost a lot of money too. Which had nothing to do with her. Financially it hit me badly. I was stupid enough to sign some papers when the film was stuck for some reason, which got me into a financial and legal tangle. So almost a year-and-a-half, there was arbitration going on in court. I’ve sort of emerged back. You have to go through what you have to go through. It was tough.”
Hansal, however, holds no bitterness for Kangana. “We haven’t spoken for a long time. On Twitter, we’ve had some pleasant exchanges. She invited me for tea one day just to talk so it’s fine that way. There’s no reason to have any interaction. If I see her, it’ll be very cordial. I have no ill feelings for anyone. I consciously did it, she didn’t pull me in. The reason I haven’t been bitter is that you have to always keep the room open for mending. You never know who you’ll meet and when. I am very philosophical about it. Kangana, everything aside, is a good actor. She’s a fantastic actor. So who knows? Tomorrow there might be something and we might want to make a film together. Bitterness is pointless,” he said.
Hansal had briefly talked about the film and Kangana last year. He tweeted, “I chose to remain silent before the film released because there was no way I could sabotage a film that had the efforts of so many people at stake. I chose to remain silent after the release because I was relieved that the film was finally out and I did not want to re-live what I had endured. I had to move on for my own sanity.” Simran opened to mixed reviews and had an average show at the box office.
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