Kangana Ranaut
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I disguise myself as a boy: Kangana Ranaut

Kangana Ranaut

She may have none of the fancy English accent, but when it comes to plainspeak, there isn’t anyone quite like actor Kangana Ranaut. No surprise then, that during a recent visit to HT City, the 26-year-old spoke with complete elan about her visit to red light areas in Mumbai, where she was researching for her upcoming role as a nautch girl, disguising as a boy, and crazy rumours she has heard about herself.

You went to Mumbai’s red light areas to research for your film Rajjo, what was the experience like?
Contrary to what most people think, I found that the young girls are very happy there. They seem unaware that there is a world beyond their own. They aren’t worried about their future or what will happen after this beautiful phase of youth goes by. You see many colourful visuals of girls chit-chatting, chewing paan and gossiping. The rooms are dingy. In one room there’s a disco setup, in another one there is an elaborate Mughal-e-Azam thing going on...it’s a crazy world.

Were they excited when they saw you?
I went all covered. I am very good with disguising looks.

Do you often use a disguise?
I disguise myself in Mumbai all the time. I often dress up as a boy. I usually disguise myself when I’ve to go street-shopping with my mom. I can do crazy things.

What made you choose Rajjo?
I liked the courage of the director who wanted to cast me. I was like ‘are you sure you want to cast me as a dancer?’ and he was like, ‘yes’. So, for me, when someone shows so much faith in you, you can’t let them down.

What is the craziest rumour you’ve heard about yourself?
Oh! when I joined the industry, there were crazy rumours almost everyday. When I was 17, there was a rumour that I was 40, with 2 kids hidden in Borivali.