Her journey from a small town to reigning over the world of showbiz was no ‘fairytale’. Kangana Ranaut, who has earned the epithet of Bollywood’s “Queen”, feels that instead of hoping to be taken seriously Indian actresses need to get up and demand it.
The actress, who is known for speaking her mind with brazen honesty, is pessimistic about India becoming a safer place for women any time soon as she terms it a “little impractical” thought.
Kangana delved on the truths behind the glamorous life of Bollywood and the life of being a woman in India while talking to BBC News reporter Shabnam Mahmood at the Women in the World Summit in London on Friday, reports nytlive.nytimes.com.
When asked by Mahmood on how Indian actresses can assure that they are taken seriously, Kangana said: “As women we shouldn’t hope to get our due – we need to get up and get it ourselves.”
Kangana, who is touted as the highest paid actress in Bollywood, said that attaining safety for women in India is “not achievable”.
“I think that’s a little impractical to hope (for),” she said.
Kangana has utmost confidence in womankind but she notes that “the darkest and deepest corners of the human soul have always been feminine. They offer the only way to penetrate the darkness-not anger or aggressive masculine emotions”.
Coming from Himachal Pradesh and with no film background, Kangana has made a niche for herself in Bollywood and delivered pathbreaking films like “Fashion”, “Tanu Weds Manu” and “Tanu Weds Manu Returns”.
She also had to face some setbacks with flops like “Rajjo”, “Rascals”, “Game” and her latest “Katti Batti”.
Asked if it was easy to find success, she quipped: “I have struggled for the last 10 years.”
Talking of her initial days of struggle, the actress said: “It was no fairytale. I was nothing like I am today – I couldn’t speak a word of English. In England, people might be understanding of that, but in Mumbai if you don’t speak English, people would ask ‘How does she expect to work in Hindi films?’
“Today I am who I am because my understanding of myself never changed.”
Having grown up in a small town, Kangana stressed that as a girl she was at odds with Indian culture.
“Perhaps the only expectation is that you grow up as a presentable young woman and get a decent spouse. I was a pain, not the kind of child an Indian parent would like to have,” Kangana said.
She decided to run away on a “quest to understand her own self, to be allowed to be more than people thought she was.”