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There are many female-centric films made these days and you are an integral part of this phase in Bollywood cinema. What do you have to say about this?
In the ’80 and ’90s, male-oriented subjects dominated. Then came romantic films followed by South Indian remakes. So, the phases keep changing, nothing is permanent. Films like The Dirty Picture and Kahaani are liked by the audience and I hope Queen gets a similar response so that making such films never stops.
Queen centres on a young girl. What has the role brought out in you?
Queen is the story of a girl and her inspirational journey. This can be the story of any simple common girl. We live in a society where everything is planned – marriage at 21, children at 25, in fact, even our life insurance is planned. So this can happen with anybody. This character changed me a lot.
Queen is about a girl who has absolutely no confidence in herself and doesn’t trust herself at all. I, too, belong to a society where girls are expected to behave in a particular way and are taught to think 10 times before making a decision. We therefore are very suppressed from childhood.
Earlier, if I were to have met somebody like that, I would have been astonished and wondered why she is like that. However, now I have a better understanding of people who are like that.
You have said actresses are paid less than actors and are even given less importance in the industry. Yet you have always received accolades for your performances. Why do you then still feel this is a male-dominated society?
I am not speaking only for myself. I am talking about women as a whole. This problem exists in every area of our lives. If I do a film today, and get only 10 percent of its profit, that’s not fair.
Your career has had its ups and downs. What are your plans for the future?
I never earned my stardom overnight. I was offered mostly negative roles after doing Gangster. I refused to do a film such as The Dirty Picture and instead chose to work with a debutant director (Aanand Rai ) in Tanu Weds Mannu. That was when I realised I didn’t want to be mere eye-candy in films. Then I signed films like Queen and Revolver Rani.
Apart from acting, I am interested in scriptwriting as well. I also want to direct films at some point in my life. If I get to do a biography, I would like to act as well as direct the film.
Were your family embarrassed when you joined the film industry?
My father was very concerned when I decided to move to Mumbai. My grandfather had lived in Mumbai before and had an idea about the life here. When he learnt I was doing a film (Gangster), he sent a message through somebody asking me to not use my surname Ranaut since that would bring shame on the family.
The Queen trailer reminds one of Tanu Weds Mannu. How similar are the films?
The character I portrayed in Tanu Weds Mannu was very selfish and cunning. She uses people to get her work done.
However, the character in Queen never speaks for herself and is quite a coward who has zero confidence in herself. In fact, she never speaks at all.
It would be right to say she is the feminine side of the male lead (played by Madhavan) in Tannu Weds Mannu.
Considering that you are more inclined towards working in female-oriented films, are you making a departure from commercial cinema?
When you do useless characters in films, and you know people are not even watching you, then why do such films in the first place?
What is your perspective on beauty?
I feel that if you have a chance to enhance your beauty, then you should go ahead. There is nothing wrong in that. You must look like how you want to look and not because somebody asked you to change.
If I feel my language should improve, then I would work on it and improve it. However, I wouldn’t like to go against the will of nature and change my eyebrows, nose, etc. – oneindia.in