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'I play bubbly characters but in reality, I am a very serious person'

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Actress RAGINI KHANNA speaks to SHAIBER RAICHUR on her current projects, roles in TV serials and upcoming films.    

Ragini Khanna has been on a hiatus from daily soaps of late. The actor, who was last seen in the movie Gurgaon is all set for her upcoming movie Ghoomketu, Ragini says she is enjoying doing films and is open to doing finite TV shows.

We have seen you playing the character of a bubbly girl in TV serials and have simultaneously also seen you act in a crime thriller where we have seen you in a very serious space. Do you find this challenging as compared to the previous roles you've played?
Yes, it is always difficult adapting to different roles. In fact, that's the idea  -- to keep testing your capability as an artist. And its always good to test yourself to understand what you can achieve, what you cannot and what you should work on in order to carry on improving. Thankfully Gurgaon was widely appreciated. I felt very blessed and humbled and at the same time, it gave me ammunition to do even better in my next film.

Mr Bachchan also appreciated your performance in the film...
Bachchan sir is legendary and I can't believe that my name and film promo was mentioned on his timeline. It feels great, getting a compliment from him. It's a very big thing for me.

I have read somewhere that when you read Mr. Bachchan's post on Twitter, you got emotional.
(Laughs) Yes! I actually started crying when I saw Mr. Bachchan's tweet as it was a very emotional moment for me.

We have seen you working in TV serials as well as in movies. What do you find more difficult and which of the two is your forte?
I don't know what my forte is yet. I am too inexperienced to understand what my forte is at present. But yes, television is more challenging physically and cinema is something that I have grown with. That's why I love working in movies. The life and the beauty of cinema is different from TV; you have the time to give it the kind of detailing you want to give. The kind of perfection you want to give, with your characters. Unfortunately, with television, the time limits are so strong. So if I want to achieve something in a TV show but if the telecast will be stuck then I have to compromise somewhere with my creativity because it is a systematic issue. That's the reason I enjoyed cinema more because I passionately play my characters, detail it, correct it, prepare for it and attend workshops for it.

The audience also liked your performance in cinema...
Yes, because cinema is cinema and television is something which is like a daily newspaper, you have to publish it daily. And cinema is like one flame in a yearly anniversary issue. I hope to do more good films with good directors and writers.

How will you describe your journey of being an actor, did you always want to be an actor?
Honestly, I wanted to be a singer. Yes, I have trained in Indian classical singing for 15 years and that's it.

As every actor has a favourite memory or two, which was yours?
Me being on KBC and singing front of Mr. Bachchan. It was amazing. I remember I was told to sing but I was so excited and nervous about singing that my voice was not coming out. After that, Mr Bachchan asked me to sing and thankfully at that time, my voice supported me and I sang. That is one of my most cherished memories.

And which of your fans gave you a special memory?
I had gone to Delhi and met a fan she was so sweet and had made a greeting card for me which was half my height! She was unable to give it to me as there was a lot of crowd at that event, was unable to reach me and started crying. Somebody told me that she was crying so I met her and saw that card. It was a sweet and genuine gesture. And it was humbling to experience how many lives we can touch.

But have fans ever been a hindrance to you? Has anyone ever gone a bit too far?
I am very fortunate in this case, as my fans have been very generous and very kind to me. Sometimes they spam you but its okay because they are expressing something or they want to be paid attention to, which is fine. Fortunately enough for me, nobody has used bad language and if happens I will avoid it and don't pay heed to negativity.

Being a part of actor Govinda's family, tell us about your view on nepotism.
I have whatever I have achieved on my own and so has he. He has done everything on his own and he has never made calls for anybody - even for his own children. I have only to look up to him and learn. Whenever I need guidance, he is always there and I am blessed to be born in a  family in which my Nani was a legendary thumri singer and my Nanaji was an actor. All my cousin brothers and sisters are involved in performing arts and so is my family from my mom's side.

How was your experience working with Nawazuddin Siddiqui? He is of course known for his good performances in cinema.
It has been outstanding, he has been amazing and is such a humble person to work with. He is so prepared to inhabit his character too. He is so focused and he wants his performances to be perfect. When I worked with him I have learned what discipline means like to be an actor. When great actors are great human beings then you have to be a greater human being to be a great actor.

When you got the offer for Anurag Kashyap's movie Ghoomketu how excited were you considering that Kashyap has directed films like Dev D, Gangs of Wasseypur and others?
I was overwhelmed and overjoyed. I was very scared because the movie is full of theatre actors and that they were considering me for a film like this. My first reaction was that I thought that they will take the name of some big actress who is very experienced in theatre so I didn't even bother about asking for a part in that film. When I was informed that I am that actor I was shocked.

We have seen your pictures on social media and from that, we can surely say that you enjoy travelling. Do you think travel gives you a fresh perspective in bringing out the best in your roles?
 Absolutely. Travelling helps us to understand different cultures and different kinds of people. It expands your mind and gives you a larger perspective and makes you believe that there is a bigger world out there which is not contained within the regular mould of our lives. I enjoy travelling. I like clicking pictures and putting it on my social networking accounts.

Tell us about the difference between your real life self and reel life characters that you play.
As for the real me, I am a very simple and at the end of the day we all are human beings. I play bubbly characters but in reality, I am a very serious person and that is the flip side of my personality.

I'm identified with the character I have played like Suhana (in Sasural Genda Phool) and if someones says 'Ragini Khanna', they immediately recall Suhana. I feel very happy that I have spread so many smiles, in fact, I think people need to smile and need to be happy. So now, I did Gurgaon then people started saying: 'You didn't smile in the movie even once'. So I then said that I'd do that in my next movie. People want to see me happy and what better than that? People wanting to see an actor play happy roles in a world where there is so much happening... I feel blessed to portray roles which has given happiness to me and also to the audience. For my fans, I'd like to say keep good health, be kind to everybody and stay positive. Don't lose hope; It keeps you going.

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