I would have been a charcoal artist'

Charming demeanour

I would have been a charcoal artist'

Chitrangada Singh’s striking persona and wide smile will impress anyone she meets. Known for her roles in movies like ‘Yeh Saali Zindagi’, ‘Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi’, ‘Desi boyz’, ‘Inkaar’ and ‘I, Me Aur Main’, this actress has charmed many with her acting prowess too.

In a chat with Tini Sara Anien, the actress who was in the City recently for the unveiling of ‘Scotch Whisky Collection: An Exceptional Gift’ by United Spirits, Chitrangada talks about movies and more.

Having started off as a model, how important do you think is modelling as a stepping stone to films?

I started off as a model but I don’t think it is essential. Since both are visual media, one does have a chance to get noticed and since movies take a longer time to come out, modelling might help get one exposure. It’s a good stepping stone, but not every actress has to be a great model.

Known popularly as a fitness freak, what does your fitness schedule include?

My schedule is a total mix — I regularly alternate between things. Once a week, I do kickboxing and I mix it with pillates. I don’t do a lot of cardio exercises but more of strength and core exercises. I’m not a fan of dieting but I’m not a foodie either, so it works out well.

Is it a conscious decision to take films slow?

There has been a conscious decision to take up certain kinds of films and at the same time when such roles don’t come one’s way, one ends up taking work that comes the artiste’s way. I am not averse to acting. I love cinema and I am waiting for the kind of roles that I would also like to do. Sometimes the kind of work one wants to do, doesn’t get offered to one.

What is it about your two new movies that struck a chord with you?

In ‘Band of Maharajas’, I play a Pakistani singer and it is an extremely interesting script where my character indulges in a certain kind of singing that is not allowed. The plight that her family goes through and how she runs away, makes this a passionate story. It is an intense movie. In ‘Babumoshai Bandookbaaz’, I am acting opposite Nawazuddin Siddiqui and it was fantastic to work with him. The amount of improvisation which goes in is fabulous. Nawazuddin always surprises the director. The director has to keep up with the actor in this situation.

Of the movies you’ve acted in, which is your personal favourite?

I think in ‘Kal: Yesterday and Tomorrow’, I worked very hard. There was a lot of grey areas in the project. My first film, ‘Hazaaron...’ , will always be another favourite.

Given a chance, which remade movie in Bollywood would you want to be a part of?

(Smiles) The movie has already been remade but if I had a choice it would definitely be ‘Umrao Jaan’. I can’t think of any other good movie — all the other good movies have been taken. ‘Umrao Jaan’ used to be my mother’s favourite and I remember watching it with her. That memory holds special.

When making appearances in song sequences, does an artiste get enough importance?

It really depends. Having appeared in song sequences, I know that a song cannot be just a music video and has to try and do this as well. In India, the kind of importance music has in a film is huge. It  is a strong platform to get some eyeballs.

If not an actress, what would you have been?

I’d be a wreck! (Pauses) I guess I would have been a charcoal artist or a wannabe artiste.

You come to Bengaluru often. Your thoughts about the City?

I love the weather and the people here — they are the best! I do not like the chaotic traffic though but everything else is charming.

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