"Ain't I getting fishnet stockings back in fashion," laughs Kangana Ranaut, referring to her zany look in Mental Hai Kya. Ahead of the film rolling, producer Ekta Kapoor has piqued the audience interest by sharing quirky looks of Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao from the promotional photo shoot. "The film deals with mental illness and hallucinations, but Ekta decided to take this route."
Besides the incentive of reuniting with his Queen co-star, Rajkummar Rao says the "unique script" floored him. "I chose this part because I've never heard of such a character. I get a kick from challenges. Comfort zones are boring." For Kangana Ranaut though, the choice was driven by a personal reason. "The way my life unfolded in the past few years, I realised there was so much stigma attached to being different. 'Mental' or 'psycho' were the terms used to shame me, but these can't be used casually as swear words. When this script came along, I knew I had to do it to break the stigma around it. High time we made individuality aspirational."
Ask her how will she walk the tightrope of depicting mental illness and she assures, "We won't show people as pitiable, sympathy-seeking characters. We'll portray the issue with sensitivity. The film takes a stand against equating individuality with madness." Though they've worked with Kapoor on separate projects before, this marks the trio's first collaboration together. Quiz them if they are worried about creative differences and Rao says, "We are all friends. Movies are more about teamwork than egos."
With three bright minds on board, Ranaut says they'll have a fair share of creative differences. "We are like-minded people who know it's not going to be hunky-dory. I am not a sulkpot. That's how Raj and I have come this far in life. Strong opinions don't mean either of us is going to act like we know it all."