Voicing her opinions strongly has mired her in controversies. “I’ve said what I wanted to. It’s my prerogative whom I’ll answer,” she says. “People are saying I’m talking about all this because of my film promotions. I’ve always protected my dignity. Whether I do films or not, I’ll still protect my dignity. It’s not about just one film. It’s about my life. It’s immature not to ask a woman to protect her dignity.”
Does she still consider herself an outsider in Bollywood? “I’m a part of the film industry and I’ve done a lot of significant work. I’m the leading face of Indian cinema and I’ve got three Naional Awards. My films have broken box office records and I’ve won a lot of appreciation for my other films,” she replies.
Kangana has come a long way as Simran from her debut film Gangster by Anurag Basu in 2006. “Gangster was an important film in my life. Everything changed from there. From a simple girl then, I’m what I am today. In Simran’s life, that magic moment never comes. She works hard and she has her dreams and ambitions. She’s in her 30s, she wants to drive a car, go out for dinner and lead life like every other woman,” says Kangana.
Simran is a not a film of crime but about a criminal. “It’s about black and white, good and bad. If she’s made mistakes, she won’t change herself because of that. It’s about how she redeems herself. She drifts and comes back to normal. It’s a beautiful portrayal of life. It’s the idea of how a spirit gets corrupt by the toxins of desire.”
Kangana is busy shooting for the biopic on Rani Laxmibai, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, which has been caught up in controversies even before its release with director Ketan Mehta claiming it was his script. “How can anyone lay claim to that film. It’s a story on Rani Laxmibai. This is one of the rare films that brings world talent together. Whether it’s me from here, Krish from Telugu cinema or Nick Powell from Hollywood,” says Kangana, who is contemplating directing her first film.
“I have plans but they’ll materialise once I complete Manikarnika. I’ve been doing a lot of films and I’ve worked enough. I came here to achieve something else, something beyond all this. I have many ideas, and one that materialised is a family children’s drama. It’ll be a light hearted film with lot of prosthetics, technical stuffs, body doubles and VFX. There’ll be kids in the film, but they’re tough to handle and it’ll be a difficult project to pull off. I like children but handling their tantrums is tough,” she says.
About not working with established male leads, she says she “wants to make films where I can connect with the audiences. I want that freedom in life. I want to do something where I am putting my best”.
She learnt a lot from the failure of Rangoon. “I had great expectations from the film, but it was a reality check on what I had set out to achieve. It’s a vicious cycle. I was upset, but I realised that failures can be dealt with.
Sometimes when you are feeling low you realise that nothing worse can affect you. Nothing can bring you down. I’ve achieved enough, and nothing matters now. When your worst fears come true, you can survive anything. After that you find a different kind of freedom. My life has been extraordinary and experiences have been extreme.”
She has no regrets in life. “Everyone expects a smooth life, but life keeps giving you jolts. I’ve said no to many films that became box office hits. You don’t regret letting them go because you’re already prepared in your mind. Not every film like Queen becomes a hit suddenly,” she says. “With failure come many other things, but I’m not insecure. Right now I’m excited to become an aunt. My sister Rangoli had a terrible time earlier but now she’s happy.”