The ethereal beauty is getting bolder by the day! Masala! presents the hot, new Chitrangda who is setting new standards for herself in Bollywood...
Last year she smouldered alongside Akshay Kumar, John Abraham and Deepika Padukone in Desi Boyz. However, that was only a glimpse of the glamorous side of Chitrandga Singh who, it seems, is surprising audiences at every turn with her choice of films and performances. Her latest movie Inkaar deals with the controversial theme of sexual harassment but Chitrangda says while the film pushes the envelope in terms of the subject, she knows her limits on screen!
Masala! chats with the 'thinking actress' for an update on her career and controversies!
Do you see yourself doing bolder roles after Inkaar?
I will experiment with something a little more edgy than Inkaar. I am open to doing bold roles. But I do have my limits and I know where to say no and who I want to work with. Yes, I am choosy about my scripts. I want to do good roles that suit me, not just the ones that portray me as strong or bold.
Who do you feel your competitors are?
I don't know about competition; I only choose to do work that I like. I want to choose the best because I have waited really long to be part of good films. I should be convinced about my role; that's all that matters to me.
Are you afraid of delivering flops?
No, it's part and parcel of an actor's life. I am not saying numbers don't matter but they don't hurt too much either! Everyone wants his or her film to earn a lot of money at the box office. However, I am also greedy to be part of quality films. Of course, I would be thrilled if my film collects 100 crores. Who wouldn't!
Your career in Bollywood kick-started late; but now that you've shot to fame, are you here for a long haul?
I never dreamt of being an actor. Perhaps that's the reason why I took a four-year break after my first film because I was really not serious enough about my career. I had not even been to Mumbai before I started acting. I guess I was destiny's child; films just happened to me because it was meant to.
Don't you think it's unreal? People are still struggling to get a break in the industry...
Yes, I don't deny that. I remember I walked in for an audition for Hazaaron Khwaishein Aise, where I thought I wouldn't stand a chance. But Swanand Kirkire, who was the assistant director of the film, suggested my name. I was sure I wouldn't get through because I had seen a lot of plays by Sudhir Mishra and his team when I was in college and the amount of hard work they put in. My first audition was horrible but they didn't give up on me!
What did you like most about Arjun Rampal as a co-star in Inkaar?
Arjun is a funny guy. He has a strange sense of humour (laughs) which I didn't understand initially. He's a bit wicked at times but he's a great person. I have seen him playing pranks on people and sometimes I was a victim of his practical jokes too but at the same time, he's very real. He is not very diplomatic; he is quite honest about his likes and dislikes.
Do Arjun and you get along well?
Thankfully, yes. In this film it was really important that we shared good chemistry since the entire film revolves around us. Before the shoot, we met and discussed the film in detail. I had met Arjun before on a flight and we had had a good conversation back then so it wasn't really difficult to connect with him again.
Did you share the story of Inkaar with your husband (golfer Jyoti Randhawa) before signing the film?
I don't think it makes sense to take an opinion from somebody who is not in this business. He sees my films after they are released and gives me his feedback (smiles). But I didn't really have to share the story or get his approval. It's so much better to not bring your work home.
What would you like to change about yourself as a person?
I'd like to be a less impulsive. I should be using my head a little more than my heart.
In future, would you like to do a multi-starrer or stick to single heroine projects?
Sometimes a multi-starrer is also a great project and a great idea. When a lot of stars come together, it makes for a bigger and better project. If everybody has enough to do in the film, why not? So, I won't say that I'll never do a multi-starrer but it depends on my role.
What is your dream role?
I don't know about my dream role but I have always been very fascinated by Umrao Jaan and the way Rekhaji was portrayed in the film. I am very fascinated by the period the film was set in; it was so real! If I had the chance, I'd like to portray the character of Umrao Jaan. I find the lives of women of that era very interesting.
Would you like to work with the three top Khans and who is your favourite?
Of course I want to! I'd like to work with all three of them at the same time (laughs)! Wish somebody offered me a film!
You play an ad agency executive in the film. What are your tips for girls interning with fashion and advertising agencies?
My character of Maya in Inkaar is someone who finds it very difficult to file a case. Even in reality, no one wants to stand by you when you talk about sexual harassment. It's embarrassing to the company and nobody wants to take a chance with their jobs. Sometimes, even your female colleagues say, 'What's the problem, he is smart and handsome; you can flirt and get your work done'. A lot of girls have to go through what Maya does. My advice to them is, stand your ground. It's not going to be easy, but don't be discouraged by people; have faith in yourself. You will start your battle alone but people will join you if you are determined.
If Bollywood had not worked out would you consider another profession?
I would have been doing something else. I am very interested in antiques and museums. I think I would have been working in some gallery or would have opened an antique store.
Are you still open to modelling?
I have left those days far behind. Now I am concentrating on acting. I endorse a few brands and walk for some designers. I have to make a mark in Bollywood. I want to be someone whom people will remember for ages.
Does your work ever become a topic of discussion at the dining table?
No, never. He has always been there as my support. He doesn't interfere in my work and I don't interfere in his. But we appreciate each other's work.