In an exclusive chat with Viraj Sawant, Boxing champ and now a National Awards Special Mention, Ritika Singh talks about her life after Salaa Khadoos.
How did you hear the news of the National Awards? And what was your reaction?
What happened yesterday was that firstly I had no idea that the National Awards were going to be announced yesterday. I had kept my phone on auto upgrade. So I was getting many messages and due to that my phone went off. I was wondering what happened and why suddenly was my phone ringing so much. It took around 25minutes for my phone to start. As soon as it started I got a message from my director saying, ‘Congrats Ritika. Special Mention. It’s huge.’ I couldn’t really understand the term ‘special mention’. Then suddenly I started getting a lot of calls from the media and I picked up a call and asked them to tell me what had happen because I absolutely had no idea. This reporter told me that I had won a Special Mention at the National Awards. I was super excited when I heard that. I started laughing, crying and it was a volley of emotions flowing through. I dint know how to react to this. I had my brother with me at home. My mom is a teacher so she wasn’t answering my call. My father was at office. So there was no one to celebrate this award with me.
What was Madhavan’s reaction to the news of the National Awards Special Mention?
Madhavan sir was very happy and in a very jolly mood after the National Awards were announced. He laughed and said, ‘I told you, you were amazing in the film. And he was happier because both his co-stars had won the National Award. Kangana ma’am for Tanu Weds Manu Returns and me.
How has your personal life changed after the film?
Among friends and family it’s always been the same for me. I have asked them specifically to not to make any changes in their attitude towards me. Life mein kuch bhi ho jaye I don’t want them to change. I always want to stay grounded and down to earth and if they make me feel like I am a star, then I’ll start changing. I don’t want this feeling to grow on me. I want to feel as normal as I am, so they don’t give me that feeling.
Being a boxer, would you be inclined towards actions films more?
I’ve already done an action film. Salaa Khadoos had real action and the fight sequences were very real. I am looking out for a different role. So am looking out for different roles because I want people to know that I am capable of playing something other than a boxer also.I got a few scripts and offers to do some films. But I was looking out for good scripts. I finally finalise done script from Chennai. It was from a director who won a National Award for his film Kaaka Muttai. The actor in the film is a huge theatre actor and a great actor down South. The script is really tight and so I chose the film. My role is complete opposite of what I did in Sala Khadoos. An educated city girl.
Will boxing take a backseat since you have decided to be an actress?
I have always been saying this that if there is a big fight happening I will definitely participate in it. It’s a sport I have been playing since I was three years old. It’s very close to my heart and I want to give something back to the sport. When I have some fame and when people will know me from door to door, I’ll make sure I use that fame to garner some attention towards this sport. If there’s a big event, I’ll train myself with full dedication and I’ll compete.
From a boxer to an actress, what changes do you plan to bring about in yourself?
I have to change myself a lot. In terms of grooming myself and keeping myself properly and looking good all the time. An actor’s life is very difficult. When you step out of the house, and go to the airport and catch a flight, there are shutter bugs waiting to click you there. You have to look presentable because people are going to click pictures of you. It’s a stressful situation. I actually hate make up and for me travelling with make up on is a big task. I just wear a hoodie or a jacket and I leave. I am the same girl and I need to change myself. I am still trying to get a hang of it.
After working with Rajkumar Hirani, which director tops your list?
We have so many good directors but I would love to work with Imtiaz Ali sir. He just brings out the best in every actor. Kareena ma’am in Jab We Met or Alia Bhatt in Highway.