In last night’s episode of Koffee with Karan, Kanagana Ranaut not only took over the show with her amazing attitude and supreme confidence, but she also fulfilled her promise of maintaining the dignity throughout the episode.
Kangana didn’t mind reminding Karan that he had made fun of her English at that very show and that episode inspired her to do better.
Instead of getting all wound up, she took the criticism on her chin and worked on improving it. And she wasn’t afraid to tell the man sitting in front of her that he was the trigger in her life that drove her towards the success.
For years, Johar never cast her in any of the big project and now she had reached a place where it was essential for him to invite her on a show that he hosts.
Ranaut is very aware of this shift in the power structure, and she asserted it with casual nonchalance. Without mincing words, she blatantly called him someone who’s ‘intolerant’ towards outsiders.
“If ever my biopic is made, you will be the stereotypical Bollywood biggies who is snooty and completely intolerant to outsiders. Flag-bearer of nepotism. The movie mafia.”
While this triggered bouts of laughter, Ranaut didn’t say this as a joke. Well, at least not entirely.
What she was doing was holding a mirror to Johar who is notorious for peddling only industry talent. The gates of the hallowed Dharma Productions remain firmly shut for anyone who doesn’t come with Grade A film pedigree.
She even took on Aditya Chopra as she revealed that he once told her that she will never make it big in the industry. But last year, Chopra ate his own words when he called Ranaut to his office and confessed that she has proven him ‘wrong.’
“I was very glad to hear that. He didn’t have to do it,” she said with a radiant smile.
In this context, Ranaut is a refreshingly bold voice, one that we must take a moment to fully applaud. KJo may never cast her in any of his films. But that doesn’t scare her. It empowers her. She seems to be in such a secure space, it is ridiculously scary.
And it isn’t that she has not dealt with the consequences before.
Yet she came out of it stronger than ever before.
Actresses here send ‘feelers’ to directors and male co-stars, often going to great extents to secure a role in a tent-pole entertainer.
But here she is, on national television, saying:
“I don’t want to work with any of the Khans. I don’t want to work with anyone with whom I don’t have an equal role,” she said, referring to the fact that most movies starring the Khans are also driven entirely by them.
No actress has ever tried to challenge the status quo like Ranaut has. By saying so, she effectively puts herself in a premier spot, where her relevance as an artist in the film industry is not dependent on the superficial validation that a movie with the Khans ensures.
While there was a fair amount of underlying tension in the episode, there were some lighter moments too. Like when she pointed out that on good days, Shahid is a dream to work with and that he even gets breakfast from home for her. And on bad days? “He looks at you like you are a suicide-bomber,” she laughed.
About Saif, she said that he likes all the attention and wants to always be in the spotlight, which according to her was one of his bad qualities. And the good? “He’s hilarious.”
But this wasn’t even the wittiest part of the show, which came when Johar asked her whether she would like to be poor and in love or rich but without love.
For which Kangana replied saying, “Karan, your idea of poverty is very different from mine.”