By Sandeep Sharma
When Kangana Ranaut looks back at her career, she smiles with pride. The "Queen" star says that while she has grown strength by strength from B-grade cinema to being the "number one actress of the country", she considers that her contemporaries "have had no growth".
The 28-year-old's post "Queen" phase has seen Kangana featuring in and bagging plum projects -- including "Tanu Weds Manu Returns", "Katti Batti", "Rangoon", "Rani Lakshmibai" and "Simran".
"This is just the beginning," Kangana told IANS in an interview, and added that for the "longest time I was struggling and nothing was falling into place, and I didnâ€™t have offers".
"I started from 'B grade films' and today Iâ€™m the number one actress of this country... whereas other actresses, whom you might call my contemporaries, they have had no growth in whatever platform they were launched... they are still there and have not risen to another platform," she added.
Without naming anyone, the two-time National Award winner said: "The other actresses, who are called my contemporaries, they started with a megastar. They were superstars overnight, and are the same even today."
Kangana herself earlier harboured dreams of being launched opposite an A-lister. But now she does not feel the need to share screen space with them as she considers herself a "profitable actress".
"Initially, I wanted to do films with A-list actors when I was struggling. I was hoping that I could also get that platform where I'm launched with Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan or Aamir Khan... and with them my career could also start, but it didn't happen. And then came 'Queen'," Kangana said, referring to the life-changing effect that the Vikas Bahl directorial brought for her.
Following that, "Tanu Weds Manu Returns", did well.
"Then why should I be dependent on anyone else," questioned Kangana, and pointed out that she has the capability "to recover the money that has gone into production" of her films.
She is proud that even though success came late to her, it tastes sweeter.
"Now I'm getting the kind of roles I think I deserve," said the actress, who hails from Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, and who belongs to a non-film background.
Starting from her debut film â€śGangster - A Love Storyâ€ť in 2006, Kangana has been appreciated for her performances. She was lauded for her impactful roles in "Fashion" and "Queen".
Kangana will next be seen in â€śKatti Battiâ€ť along with Imran Khan. Directed by Nikhil Advani, the comedy thriller will release on September 18.