Vikas Bahl on his Queen heroine, Kangana Ranaut, and why not everyone can play an ordinary girl
IN THE midst of headline-hogging celebrities, Bollywood also has members — like producer-director Vikas Bahl — who rarely come into the spotlight. Bahl, who debuted
with Chillar Party (which won the National Award for Best Children’s Film in 2011), has produced interesting films like No One Killed Jessica, Udaan, Hasee Toh Phasee and the upcoming Bombay Velvet. This month, however, is his time to shine as director. Bahl’s movie, Queen — starring Kangana Ranaut, Rajkummar Rao and Lisa Hayden — will release on February 28 and Karan Johar has already gone to town about how he “loves the energy” of its song, London Thumkda – a selling point if there’s any. More from the director:
Off the sets
Oscar select: The Wolf of Wall Street. Promising Directors: Ayan Mukerji and Vikramaditya Motwane
Genres: As a producer, I like movies that are entertaining and have some
masala. I am a complete Amar
Akbar Anthony person
Actor choices: Ranbir Kapoor. He is the best thing to have
happened in decades.
Tune in: I am listening to old
numbers like Hum Kisise Kum Naheen right now
Queen is about this shy Punjabi girl, Rani. She goes on her honeymoon alone and, during that journey, learns a lot about herself and the world. Why the bridegroom cancels the wedding and why she takes off alone is part of the story. The script was ready over two years ago, but I was busy with other projects. The movie was shot on a low budget and was completed in 45 days.
Kangna Ranaut worked hard for this movie and was perfect for the role. She is familiar with roles where the character goes through a lot of stress in life. Moreover, several of the small situations and gestures in the film suited her perfectly. She is a girl who is ready to take on anything.
It is easy to play a hero who gets noticed, who fights villains and triumphs ultimately. But to do an ordinary man and to step out of your comfort zone is difficult. The role that Ranaut plays is not caricaturish.
This year I am working on movies like Bombay Velvet, NH10, Bhavesh Joshi and Hasee Toh Phasee. I work closely with my directors, specially good friends like Vikramaditya Motwane and Vinil Mathew, so we don’t have a difference of creative opinion later.
Independent films are fantastic. Sometimes the studios do not understand the director’s vision. Some of the independent movies are path breaking and not all need two hours. Some can be shorter.
The movie is scheduled to release on February 28.
— Mrinalini Sundar