Chitrangada Singh: 選t's fantastic to be someone's muse'

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Old 06-Feb-2011
Chitrangada Singh: 選t's fantastic to be someone's muse'

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True to her name which means "one with unique features" this femme fatale is a worthy competitor to many of our leading actors of today. She can scorch the screen equally in a sari and leather pants.

Her dusky looks and smouldering eyes have enticed the hearts of many men and become the envy of women. Her arthouse movies have gained her critical acclaim but Chitrangada Singh promises to delight us with a commercial film this year. Mind you, this one likes to play a woman who can pack a punch. You won't see her "dancing around trees".

Singh talks to tabloid! about her latest film Yeh Saali Zindagi and being married to ace golfer Jyoti Singh Randhawa, among many other things.

From Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi to Sorry Bhai and now Yeh Saali Zindagi, has it always been a deliberate choice to pick more arthouse-type films?

Hazaaronactually happened by accident. I wasn't planning on becoming an actress because I knew it was a demanding profession, not something you can treat as a hobby. I was ill-prepared and impulsive at the time. I wouldn't say I have deliberately kept away from commercial films. It was just that in my case the projects that I was offered weren't really up to the mark. They were the same sari-clad, strong-willed, no make-up woman just like my character in Hazaaron. It was getting too repetitive for me and I wanted to do something different.

When will we see you do an out and out Bollywood film?

Soon, as I have a couple of commercial movies coming out this year.

You took a break for four years after a much talked about debut. Most would consider that career suicide. Why did you do it?

I'm glad I took that time off as I got to spend a lot of time with my husband and his upcoming career. I did a lot of travelling; I thought I'll become a curator or an artist. It was just a phase for me to find out where my heart was. I have a son now, the biggest boon of them all. I'm glad I did not put my life on hold to pursue my career. It's a good time to be in cinema as a lot of good projects are coming up.

Any regrets?


How was it working with Irrfan Khan in Yeh Saali Zindagi?

It was fantastic. He was not overbearing, was simple and easy to work with. In fact, he was extra careful to not make any suggestions directly to me; he would take them to Sudhir instead because he respected me as an actor. It was very encouraging.

Are you comfortable being referred to as Sudhir Mishra's "muse"?

It's fantastic to be someone's muse although I don't think I'm his muse at all! The kind of roles he writes for his women are not very innocent and are usually a little twisted. Not all actresses want to do that. To carry forward the kind of weaknesses he shows in them, he thinks I have the vulnerability and dignity to do so convincingly. Yes I'm available but that doesn't mean that I'll be the female lead in all his movies, as much as I might wish for it.

You have always been likened to the legendary actress Smita Patil. How do you react to that?

I react to that with a smile and I remember my jaw dropped when I first heard that. My first film had a private screening and that was when I saw myself on the big screen for the first time. I thought, "there is something that reminds me of her". Ketan Mehta [director] had also said, "you are rare". That is one of the best compliments I have ever received. The comparison is heavy on me because I'm still young in the industry. I know people compare but I'm trying my best to live up to their expectations.

What do you think of your contemporaries in mainstream Bollywood today?

I think they are doing good work and I quite enjoy watching them. Rani [Mukherjee] in No One Killed Jessica, Vidya [Balan] in Ishqiya, Kareena [Kapoor] in Omkara and Priyanka [Chopra]. I can't wait for Saat Khoon Maaf. I think it's a very interesting time where women are becoming strong enough to carry a film on their shoulders.

If you were to star with Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif or Deepika Padukone, whom would you choose and why?

Kareena because she is a brilliant actress. She has done a wide range of roles and can back that glamour and beauty with good performances.

If you were to star with Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan or Abhishek Bachchan, whom would you choose and why?

All of them! If one is the brain, other has a charm and someone else has the looks. I can't choose; I want them all.

If you were to pick a role from 2010's crop of films, which would it be?

I would have liked to do Ishqiya.

What is your opinion of the modelling industry in India today?

There is a lot of money in it now. People can afford fashion even in the smaller cities, so it is definitely exploding. International labels have brought in a lot of exposure as well.

If you were attending the Oscars red carpet, which designer would you pick?

Salvatore Ferragamo.

How does you keep your looks fresh?

My beauty regime is tough but the thing that works best for me is a headstand. The rest is the usual. I don't use soap on my face but I use a lot of other products, almond scrub being one of them.

How is it like being married to a famous golfer?

It's been awesome so far. Just the other day we were talking about all those years of missing flights, catching flights, packing, making the cut, missing them and they've been some of the best years of my life. Those experiences were a lot of fun, yet very educative.

When you started modelling, did Bollywood ever figure in your scheme of things?

Never. I was too far from the world of cinema and even modelling happened to me by accident.

Have you ever been to Dubai?

The first time that I visited was in 2000-2001 and now it is completely different. Most of it was barren at that time but now you see petunias all over the place. It just keeps getting more beautiful every year. It has morphed into a very multi-national kind of a place. There are a lot of foreign nationals coming in with new ideas and thoughts yet they have managed being modern and not compromised on their culture.

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