In her quest to make enemies out of everyone in Bollywood, Kangana Ranaut has found an unlikely supporter (who is not a family member) in director Vishal Bhardwaj.

Bhardwaj directed Kangana in the famously troubled Rangoon – there were rumours of a cold war brewing between its stars before filming even began, which erupted in the now-infamous episode of Koffee With Karan, in which Kangana’s comments against the host sparked off the debate on nepotism. It should be noted that during the episode, both her co-stars – Shahid Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan – seemed to have been taken off guard, and said little to quell the rumours. Saif then wrote an open letter, after landing in trouble for yelling ‘nepotism rocks’ at the IIFA awards – which Kangana responded to.

Vishal Bhardwaj (R) directs Shahid Kapoor (C) on the sets of Rangoon.

Speaking to Indian Express, Bhardwaj nudged the ongoing debate on Kangana’s professionalism in an unexpected direction – mere hours earlier, a revealing Huffington Post piece painted her in a very negative light. “Kangana is a very professional girl. And, maybe this is the right time to talk about it. When their (Kangana and Hrithik’s legal spat) personal conflict was going on, if it was any other actor, they would have stopped shooting for the film in the middle stating that they need to fix their mental state,” he said. “Whereas Kangana was strong, even when the media was writing something or the other controversial about her every day and night. She would come for the shoot and once she was in front of the camera, she was totally into the character she was playing.”

But what happened after the cameras stopped rolling, even he doesn’t know. “But I know for a fact that it was a tough time for her. She was absolutely professional, and not even one day has she asked to stop the shooting for the film. We were shooting in the interiors of the country. So, we were totally cut off from the world, and would read the news on our phones only,” he said.

Rangoon was a critical and commercial failure, but Kangana’s performance was praised.

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