‘Having taken much time off, and come back and worked again, and then gone back… I’m really blessed to have the kind of work that I’m still doing.’
Everyone goes through ups and downs in their lives, and Chitrangda Singh is no different.
The actor, who will be seen in the thriller Gaslight next, talks about it in some detail.
But she has no regrets and she tells Patcy N/Rediff.com, “For the amount of time that I spent and the little work that I have done, the kind of love that I have got from the industry as well as the audience has been immense.”
What changes have you seen in the industry in the last 18 years?
Immense changes! Even just in the last six-seven years, there’s been a huge change. Pre-COVID, post-COVID, there has been change.
Studios have come about and everything is more structured, organised and corporatised.
There is definitely a lot more work.
There are a lot many platforms.
The storytelling has changed.
Everything takes less time now — making a film takes less time, releases take lesser time, people remember your films for a lesser time!
Everything is so fast! And there’s so much happening!
Of course, there is a big change for women actors.
Gaslight is an example of that, with two strong (female) characters in the film.
There are some units that have only women, from the director to your assistants.
It’s amazing how women are making a mark for themselves.
What has been your learnings from the industry?
To do good work.
People tell you that you have to remain relevant and visible.
But you have to also remember that an actor must be relevant and visible with the right kind of work.
Take anybody’s career, you will remember only those four good films.
It’s always about doing good work, which will last longer than the number of films you have done.
When you first started, you were compared to Smita Patil. Did that make you proud or did it add pressure?
It was the most unexpected thing and I remember Shekhar Kapur had said this to me. It came from Ketan Mehta, who worked with Smitaji in films like Mirch Masala.
So for me, it was unreal. It was happening to me so suddenly.
I still when I met all these people at the first screening of Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi.
Over time, when you start reading articles, saying, ‘Oh, but she’s not that good,’ I’m like, I never wanted to be compared to her.
So it was good and bad.
The fact that you were compared to Smita Patil, did that go against your career plan, as it may have stopped you from taking up hard-core masala movies?
I don’t think so.
I did Desi Boys, I did the song Aao Raja (Gabbar Is Back), I did Inkaar…
Even Smitaji has done commercial films.
How do you spend your time when you are not working on a film?
Mostly, I am chilling and watching TV.
I also like sports.
Sometimes I play a little bit of golf.
I love traveling, I go trekking sometimes.
I’ve done some fishing, which I really enjoyed.
I like to go to places like Pahalgam. That’s my favourite place.
Are you in a happy space, professionally?
I don’t think any actor is in a happy space professionally ever.
You always want you to do more.
But it’s good to want to do more, it’s good to stay competitive and ambitious.
I think that’s the space I am in.
There’s something very interesting that I will start shooting for in April; a kind of role I’ve never done before. It’s a period film.
Do you have any regrets?
Honestly, for the amount of time that I spent and the little work that I have done, the kind of love that I have got from the industry as well as the audience has been immense.
People still remember my first film. I mean, who remembers… it’s what, 18 years!
I’ve been through some personal crisis in my life like many other people, and I did stay away from work in between.
So having taken that much time off, and come back and worked again, and then gone back… I’m really blessed to have the kind of work that I’m still doing.
I learned a lot.
What was the last thing you watched and absolutely loved?
I have started watching Farzi. I love it. I think Shahid (Kapoor) is amazing. And such good direction!
I love Fauda and have started watching the second season.
I finished watching Last Of Us, which I thought was okay as compared to Walking Dead.
Night Out is a really good murder mystery.
I saw Denzel Washington’s Fences again. I love that film.
You produced Soorma, but nothing after that. Are you working on a new production?
We are working on something. It’s a biography of the youngest Param Vir Chakra awardee, (then) 19-year-old Subedar Major Yogendra Yadav.
We are scripting the film. It ran into a little bit of problem because of COVID.
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