Married people need to go to a psychiatrist: Kangana
Kangana Ranaut, 25, is stubborn, has high self-esteem, is sensitive and bold, and has carried herself entirely on her own shoulders. Despite many obstacles in her career, she has made it. Weeks ahead of her upcoming film ‘I Love New York’, she talks to TOI about the one thing she wished she could undo in her life, her attachment to her sister and why she will never get married. Excerpts:
Let’s talk about your childhood?
I come from Surajpur, a valley in Himachal Pradesh near Manali that is named after my great grandfather Sarju Singh Ranaut. He was a minister for 15 years and I always had a desire to go out and explore like him. I come from a big family not in terms of money, but reputation and grew up in a protective mountain environment. My grandfather was an IAS officer, my father ran a construction business and my mother a teacher. I moved to a hostel in Chandigarh to pursue Science, but got exposed to art and culture that attracted me. I had a close encounter with dissection that depressed me. I knew that Science was not for me. Ever since I was a child, I would start crying seeing anyone in pain. I wanted to quit studies and move to Delhi to pursue sculpting. My father slapped me for the first time at 15 and I told him, ‘If you slap me I will slap you back’. I felt raising your hand on anybody is inappropriate and always had a high regard for my self. My dad asked me to leave the house and I did so without a single penny in my pocket.
I lived with my best friend Jaspreet, who was ten years older to me. I started modelling and joined the Asmita theatre group at the India Habitat Centre. I did everything a girl that age can do to damage herself for food and shelter. After a month, my father came to give me 50,000 to look after myself as that is all he could afford. But I did not accept the money, and till date it is the most damaging thing I did in my life, as it scarred my relationship with him. Today, when I am successful, my father, who is also a self-made man, is trying to find a part of my success, which is his also and he is not able to. My theatre guru Arvind Gaur said, ‘If you do theatre all your life, you will be wearing a khadi ka kurta, bitch about film stars and will not have money to treat yourself if you fall sick’. I just needed one person in my life to tell me that I could do it and he became God to me.
You are now doing I Love New York, Bullet Raja, Krrish 3, Queen, Shootout At Wadala, Revolver Rani. Have you finally found your place in the film industry?
There was a constant struggle to be accepted by the film industry. Even after Gangster being a success, I was considered a B-grade actress and was a sidekick even though I was good at what I did and was jobless for two years. People who come from filmi families feel people like me don’t deserve to be here. Star kids are considered blue blood babas and babies even though they are older to me, whereas a Jenny from the hill, as I am referred to, is always someone to be made fun of. They can’t understand that everybody who comes from a humble background need not be a gold-digger who is hungry for money. People have humiliated me and scared me. I was humiliated at a music launch of a film where the two big stars had me removed from the posters. Just that the film had already been shot otherwise they would have wanted me to be dropped out of the film too. They wasted time and money to destroy my career. I am a soft target and don’t have a big daddy. I am deeply sensitive and that is what makes me a good artiste. I have never sucked up to anybody. Tanu Weds Manu changed my life after which I have never looked back.
Was there a period when you lost hope?
I don’t put up a fake front. The most difficult part of my life was when I came to this city, I was badly treated, fell into a trap and was misunderstood. I was stalked everywhere. I had no work after Gangster for two years and my sister Rangoli met with an accident that destroyed her looks. My struggle with my parents combined with the industry not accepting me made me feel alienated. I had decided to pack my bags and run from this place to live a life of anonymity. But it was too late as people recognised me.
How is your relationship with your father?
After my father saw Gangster, he did not talk to me as there was a kissing scene in the film. I would get messages from my grandfather asking me to drop my surname. But I love my father and if there was one thing that I could change going back in time, I would have accepted the money he wanted to give me so that he could feel a part of my success today.
Who is your emotional anchor?
Rangoli’s tragedy affected me badly. I am super sensitive, did not have work at that time and went in to the zone of ‘why do women live?’ My parents could not handle it and my mother kept fainting every half hour, so I sent my them back and looked after Rangoli and got her treated at the best places. One of the perks of my profession is that even when I did not have work, I could go and cut a ribbon somewhere and earn money to look after my sister. We formed a bond during that time.
You are known to flirt with your co-stars. Is that true?
I am a free-spirited young girl and flirt with my co-actors not to get work out of them, but to have fun as a young girl as they are good looking men. I have everything in terms of assets, in fact even things I don’t need. So what else can I want from a man.
Do you see yourself getting married?
No, I don’t want to ever get married. I cannot even handle a full-time boyfriend. I have so much to do everyday and cannot address the person’s needs of just wanting to be around them. People who get married need to go to a pychiatrist. Even if people are happily married, a legal contract for possessing someone’s body and soul is so needy. If someone does that to me I will lose interest in that person.
Why did you choose to date an Englishman as against known Indian actors?
I like intelligent people and most actors don’t have knowledge of the world around them. I was dating a scientist, but it could have been a teacher or a doctor but it needs to be a person who is self-made and with whom I can have a conversation. My priority is not to date a known man.
What phase of your life are you currently in?
I want to do more things with my life and want to be a director and a chef. I see a number of people around me whose lives are only about money and grabbing things, but are still empty and shallow. I feel sorry for them as they are chasing something every day of their lives and are still not happy. I have always done things I wanted to do and have never pleased anybody who I did not like.
The fact that I have gifted my parents, my sister and my brother each a house and have nothing today gives me satisfaction. I have made mistakes and put myself below my intelligence in the past, but today I feel happy, complete and appreciated.
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