Top: Zabella; Earrings: Eurumme
Chitrangda Singh has wowed audiences with her OTT release Modern Love Mumbai as the relatable and very likable Latika
From first stealing our hearts with her debut movie Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi in 2005, Chitrangda Singh has come a long way to the 2021 crime thriller Bob Biswas and the recent OTT release Modern Love Mumbai. The actor also took on the role of producer with the commercial success Soorma (2018), a biographical sports drama based on hockey player Sandeep Singh’s life. While we wait to see the talented actor on the big screen again in the upcoming Bollywood drama Gaslight, we’ll make do with a little heart-to-heart. Currently vacationing in the UK, Chitrangda tells us how she loves the countryside, being a director’s actor, picking classics over trends, and more. She also reminisces about how Healthntrends has been one of the magazines she grew up on!
Dress: Moonray; Rings on left hand: Inaya; Rings on right hand: Eurumme
You're known for being a versatile actor. What do you look for in a script or character before making your decision?
I’m a director's actor. It's about how I feel when I meet someone, how much faith I have in their work. Rohit Dhawan (Desi Boyz) was a first-time director, and I had never worked with Gauravv (K. Chawla) before Baazaar; so it’s about how they make you understand their perspective on a character or film. That makes me excited. Of course, the character is important, but the director comes first. Then on, it’s about how much you enjoy the character. I don’t limit myself in my head.
Top: Vedika; Skirt: The Summer House; Necklaces and Slides: Moonray
Who is your favourite director?
Vishal Bhardwaj. I've always loved his work. Shoojit (Sircar) is superb with actors – in what he can make them do and the way he can see them differently. I loved what he did with Vicky Kaushal in Sardar Udham. Shashank (Khaitan) is very good, so is Abhishek Chaubey and Mihir (Desai).
Pant Suit: Shruti Sancheti; Necklace: Roma Narsinghani; Rings: Eurumme
One character you’ve loved playing...
I keep going back to my first film (Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi) – there were so many firsts and such a sense of discovery when it came to films or playing a character, being someone other than who you’ve been all your life. I enjoyed playing Geeta Rao. When I saw myself onscreen playing another character, it was another level of enjoyment. There was something very spontaneous about the performance.
Your digital debut with Modern Love Mumbai has receieved great reviews for your role as Latika. What is it that you think people relate with the character most?
The ordinariness of her. I feel they relate with how everyday mundane life can take away your dreams and aspirations. You have this self-image that you think you will achieve, but that doesn't happen. So, there's a small bit of regret that every person lives with, no matter who you are or where you’re from. I think women make those sacrifices more often, emotionally or otherwise. Latika is a simple, likeable, relatable character. A lot of people, especially women, have connected with her, with the feeling of being left out, of making sacrifices to keep the family together.
What is one thing you love about working for the big screen and OTT platforms?
When it comes to OTT, I love the kind of content – it’s far more experimental, not formulaic. With the big screen, I love the audiences that you reach and the theatre experience. The theatrical bit is bigger than life, and you can’t replace that with OTT no matter how experimental you are or how exciting your content is.
One on-screen character you’ve related to the most...
I love Umrao Jaan. Rekhaji’s was such a complex character. Women you think are the strongest are probably the most vulnerable, and there was so much strength in that character. You think she’s not going to be affected by love or men leaving her, but you see the vulnerability that every woman has hiding within. I also loved Parineeta. I think shades of women's weaknesses and strengths excite me, when it's done honestly – without being preachy or having to hold up a flag saying we are strong or weak.
Let us in on one of your beauty secrets.
You are what you eat. No crash diets or magic workouts. The cleaner and healthier you eat, it shows on your skin.
What’s your favourite cheat meal?
I love burgers with bacon and cheese and chicken – the really big fat ones are amazing – but I don’t eat them so often. Now and then, I indulge in ice-cream. Haagen-Dazs Cookies & Cream is my favourite flavour!
What do you do to keep your mind stimulated?
I watch a lot of content. I love different languages, so I keep watching something or the other. I read different things online. Travelling keeps the mind busy and is one of the best ways to keep learning.
Which is your favourite place?
I’m currently in the UK. I love driving, I love the countryside. We’re on our way to Scotland and it is so beautiful. Great Britain is definitely one of my favourite places. Other than that, I love Thailand and Bali (Indonesia) – the sea and the warm climate there.
What's one fashion rule that you live by and any tips you'd like to share with our readers?
I’m not very big on fashion in that I don't always follow trends. I love classics and vintage, clean silhouettes. I always say that you can't go wrong with classics – just a pair of jeans, a white round neck, and a nice blazer. Always invest in good shoes and in leather bags, shoes, or belts. It’s good to spend money on these things. The rest you can buy high street fashion and mix and match.
As a fitness enthusiast, how does a normal day in your life look?
Most people think that if they aren’t going to the gym, they aren’t working out and freak out about it. But, as long as you are active through the day – you keep walking or take the stairs, aren’t sitting in one place, it’s fine. I’m serious about getting four workouts a week. I prefer band workouts to lifting weights as they are better and work different layers of muscles. I combine that with cardio and also Muay Thai. I’m enjoying it a lot more than a regular machine workout, which I find very boring.
Do tell us about your upcoming projects...
I’ll be starting shooting for my first web series later this year. That’s also when Gaslight will be released, for which I’ve just finished shooting. The movie also stars Sara Ali Khan and Vikrant Massey. It’s got all the drama, thrill and suspense. I've never watched anything like this on-screen in a very long time. I think it’ll be interesting to watch this kind of plot.
Crew Credits For Shoot
Photographer: Bhanu Pratap Singh; Fashion Editor: Krishna Mukhi; Art Director: Bendi Vishan; Makeup Artist: Yashaswini Gupta; Hairstylist: Reeta Shukla; Videographer: Jagdish Limbachiya; Fashion Interns: Ritvi Mehta and Dominique D’sa; Celebrity’s PR: Communiqué Film PR; Location Courtesy: The Grand Hyatt Mumbai