She has acted in over 30 films in the last 12 years but Kangana Ranaut says directing, not acting, is her true passion.
Making her directorial debut with Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, that she took over after its director Krish left the project midway, Kangana says she always wanted to direct films. “It may sound strange, but I have never really identified with being an actress. It’s not my calling, direction is. It’s actually surprising even to me how comfortable I feel being a director on set, even when I am sweating buckets and am surrounded by 500 people and everyone’s screaming at the same time,” she said.
“There’s something about directing a film that’s so gratifying, even though it’s a worker’s life. An actor is just one part of the whole orchestra of filmmaking and it kind of makes me feel inadequate, that I am not doing enough as a creative person,” she added.
However, Kangana may have taken up direction but she is in no mood to quit acting. Making her stance clear, she said, “It’s not that I don’t want to act in films with other directors — I am doing Ashwiny’s (Iyer Tiwari) Panga and Prakash’s film (Kovelamudi, called Mental Hai Kya) right now. I like acting, but I always felt a part of me was dying somewhere because I wasn’t being utilised totally. I felt like a part of me was rotting away because I wasn’t being able to express myself as a director.”
Talking about her experience of working on Manikarnika, she said, “When I was just an actor on this film, I didn’t know what was happening with the rest of the film and it was frustrating. A lot of mishaps happened on set… I injured myself several times, I broke my forehead and I was worried about how I would take this forward as an actor. But when I got down to directing, there was no pressure… there were only goals. For me, the director is the hero of a film and directing is my first love.”
Produced by Zee Studios and Kamal Jain, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi is slated to release on January 25.
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