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As the World Cup picks up steam, there is one film which is making one hopeful that it would continue to provide entertainment right through the cricket season. It is Tanu Weds Manu, a film which is hitting just the right notes and making one strongly believe that in a season of some big disappointments, this mid-level unassuming film would end up being a pleasant surprise of the season. As the film catches on heat amongst the audience, Madhavan and Kangna are already out in open and taking Tanu Weds Manu all over the country. On the eve of the film’s release, National Award winner Kangna chats with Joginder Tuteja and explains how this Aanand L Rai directed film is indeed special for her in many ways.
In Tanu Weds Manu, I am sure you would have really loved the experience of making it, primarily because it must have allowed you to connect you to your ‘desi’ roots. Is that right?
I loved making Tanu Weds Manu because it is a really fun movie. The script is delightful. The first time I heard it, I was in splits. The shooting was also a lot of fun. Entire unit was like family and we had lots of fun together. And yes, we shot in North India where food was delicious, and we had lots of foodies on the sets – Maddy (Madhavan), Aanand L Rai, me and our producer Shailesh Singh. So all the fun that we had shows on screen. It’s looking good, there’s this big buzz around it, so it’s great!
She is an audacious but very lovable character
In the film we see a combination of you and Madhavan coming together. Since he too is someone who is attached to his roots and has a ‘desi’ appeal to him, you two must have had some good tuning building out there, isn’t it?
Maddy and I had a lot of fun doing this film for sure. He has a terrific sense of humour and is a great person to hang out with. Also, Maddy has a very different background from the typical filmy family folks; he has lived and studied abroad, he’s been in the Army. So there is very rich experience there and you can hold a conversation with him which is very broad.
In fact I am told that you found him such a gentleman that you gave a nickname to him – ‘Maryada Purushottam Ram’.
Yeah (smiles); whether it was Maddy in real life or the character of Manu that he was playing, he stood tall despite all the adversities around him. He was also the strongest of all even with all the temptations around so yes, ‘Maryada Purushottam Ram’ suits him just fine.
How about your own self Kangna? I guess in the film you have detached yourself from the trappings of being a quintessential Bollywood heroine.
If by quintessential Bollywood heroine you mean ultra glam, then well yes, Tanu is certainly not that. She is an audacious but very lovable character. She is from a very cultured Kanpur family, who has studied in Delhi University. But then she also likes to shock people and have a bit of fun.
By fun do you mean someone who gulps down a few vodka shots on the day when a prospective groom comes to visit her house?
(Laughs) Exactly. And it is not just the fun factor here which makes the story enjoyable. If you look at her overall look and dressing sense then that too would make quite a few heads turn. Reason being that while she loves a contemporary Indian look, she comes with the potential of totally jazzing it up.
At times, we were shooting in 50 degrees for days at stretch
But don’t we see that trademark dramatic equation coming into play which one associates with Kangna in each of her films?
Well, you can watch the film and then let me know what you thought! Till then I am not saying anything (smiles).
Fair enough, will wait for that. Meanwhile let’s talk about the film’s director Aanand L Rai. In every conversation, he has some very fantastic words to say about you. Has he been sharing such compliments with you all through the making of the film as well?
Yes, we got along very well. I am very fond of him. Also, he is someone who is always charged up and excited about what he does which is something that is very infectious. What also helped was that he had great faith in me throughout. He really knows how to get the best out of his actors and always gave me space for creative expressions. I think he is a terrific director and a wonderful person.
The film has taken some time to reach the finishing line. Also, it required you to travel extensively. Wasn’t that exhausting as well as frustrating at times?
Yes, there were times when it got really tough, especially since the weather was not easy. At times, we were shooting in 50 degrees for days at stretch. That was very difficult. I also injured myself very badly on the shoot. But as they say, all is well that ends well!
And the end seems like a fun romcom in the offering?
Well yes, I would agree that it is a romantic comedy but then in its spirit, it’s a true blue love story in the old fashioned sense.