Blending your reel and real personas makes good box office sense
For a long time, people thought I was a troubled soul because of the intense characters I essayed in most of my films. But only those close to me know the real me. I am a very light-hearted and loving person. And I don’t carry my characters with me all the time.
Still, at times, I feel it is important for an actor to have an image that is largely dependent on the box-office success of a film. It is important because people associate your screen persona with your real-life personality. They relate to you keeping that image in mind.
If assuming an image allows you to explore your creativity and avoid being pigeonholed into a genre or character, then there’s nothing like it. It’s icing on the cake. It works for an actor, even if the image is negative.
The characters I have played in my earlier films were very serious and it required immense maturity to essay those roles at such a young age. It required intense inspiration. I am not sure where I got that from because I was too young for those experiences myself, and I personally did not know anyone like that. So inspiration came from directors’ notes, my own research on the characters and my imagination. What would they be like? How would they feel under sapping circumstances?
The character I enjoyed playing most was Tanu from Tanu Weds Manu. Everyone knows someone like Tanu or feels they are her! She also resonates with who I am in real life. My dream is to do an everlasting, romantic classic like Mughal-E-Azam. This is the genre I really want to explore. Though I did Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai (a film based in the ‘70s), a historical film is something I would love to be a part of.
I was offered similar roles and I had no choice then as I was a newcomer. Still, I don’t regret doing any of the films I have done. I loved Gangster, Woh Lamhe... I loved Fashion. But as an actor, I feel I have a lot to offer. So I am happy when the palette becomes wider. The success of Tanu Weds Manu and Double Dhamaal should be an eye-opener to those who tried to categorise me. I have managed to break the myth that Kangana Ranaut only fits a certain image. Not any more!
In fact, someone recently said that I have a great ratio of successful films at the box office. It is encouraging and I think it makes filmmakers confident as well. So today, I am offered roles in different genres.
Just as every actress craves to play a variety of roles, I too have always wanted to do that. I have always wanted to be a part of happier films that allow me to reach beyond a niche, adult audience. That happened with films like Tanu Weds Manu and Double Dhamaal, which are watched by kids and adults alike. I love that connect. So, today, I am glad I broke my mould and have been liked in serious and comedy films too.