A day before the release of Hansal Mehta’s slice-of-life entertainer Simran, Apurva Asrani spoke to Firstpost‘s Renil Abraham about his writing credits controversy involving Kangana Ranaut and said that he became an unsuspecting victim of the actress’ rant against patriarchy in the Hindi film industry.
“I have always supported Kangana in so many of her battles. But I feel when the oppressed breaks through the glass ceiling, sometimes they become the oppressor. So I think she was just blazing guns all over the place and I was in the crossfire. Maybe because I am a man, a writer and everything that she stood up against,” Asrani said, in an exclusive interview with Firstpost.
He clarifies that he has no issue with Kangana being given additional writing credits for Simran. What he had a contention with was Kangana discrediting his contribution to the film’s script. “It was in March or May that she started talking about this issue. She said that he (Asrani) has not written anything. That is when I raised my voice and I am glad a lot of writers supported me.”
Apurva, just like Kangana, believes in going all out to promote a film. However, what he disapproves of, is the way Kangana is approaching the promotions of the film. “She has forgotten that this film is not Jhansi Ki Rani. That is her next film (Manikarnika: Queen of Jhansi). But she has just gone about assassinating people left, right and centre with her talvar. I am not saying whether that is right or not, but at least take responsibility for the film,” says Asrani.
Since he has high hopes for the film, he is not comfortable looking back at the controversy it’s mired in. “I gave all those interviews only because she underestimated the power of the pen. You cannot go about assassinating a writer’s character. She did all that because she thought that she can get away with doing this to a writer.”
He also confesses that he does not underestimate the value that Kangana added to the film. “Actors obviously add a lot to films. Manoj Bajpayee did that to Aligarh and Rajkummar Rao did that to Shahid. Good actors do that. But gracious actors do not go around talking about it.”
He also lashes out at journalist Barkha Dutt for acting like a ‘fan girl’ to Kangana in her interview and not asking her the tough questions. “I do not approve of how feminism is being projected these days. I told Barkha that I was very disappointed by her interview. I thought she would bring up the Ketan Mehta issue or my thing but she did not. She just acted as a fan girl — but what about journalism, what about truth?”
Watch Apurva’s full ‘Hangouts’ interview with Renil Abraham here: