An Exclusive Interview With Rani Mukherji
Rani Mukherji on her latest movies Bunty aur babli and Paheli
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What is your next film Bunty Aur Babli about?
Bunty Aur Babli is the story of two small town kids on their way to Mumbai with a bumbling officer (Amitabh Bachchan) on their trail. How they leave their roots, evade the cop and ultimately reach their destination, but decide to go back is the crux of the film.
What are your expectations from the film?
Bunty Aur Babli will present me in a charming avatar. However, I am not banking on the film for my success. My mom always tells me that I shouldnít have any expectations, so that if things donít work out, I wonít be unhappy.
Is there any truth in your link-up with Abhishek Bachchan?
Abhishek is a very good friend, and our friendship translates well on screen. We are like Shahrukh Khan and Kajol. I can boss him around on the sets, because I am his senior in the industry. I sincerely wish he finds a good girl to get married to. I used to miss Amit uncle whenever I was working with Abhishek in Bunty Aur Babli and vice versa.
Tell us something about Paheli.
Paheli is a love story between a woman and a ghost. The film is set in an era when women were in purdah; fairy tales were used to reach out to them. Certain things about the film help you learn a lot about what a real Rajasthani woman is like. Thanks to societal pressures, even a modern woman like me may not have the courage to do what my character in the film does. Sexual independence exists everywhere, but we are scared of projecting it to the world. Paheli dwells at length on this subject.
To what extent have directors contributed to your growth?
All my directors have given me opportunities for versatility. When Sanjay Leela Bhansali cast me in Black, I wasnít sure if I could pull off the character with ease. It was his faith in me that inspired me to take up the film. Actors have a lot of choices when it comes to directors, but itís unfortunate that an actress does not have much of a say in selecting the actor or director she wants to work with.
Do you regret having started your career with films like Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat and Mehendi?
Life is a learning experience. I donít regret having taken up any film till date. All of them have taught me something. I got a lot of flak for working in Kamal Haasanís Hey Ram, but it was after watching this film that Mani Ratnam offered me Yuva, which was a turning point in my career. You need to be patient and optimistic to inch your way up in showbiz.
How important are films to your existence?
I entered the industry when I was barely 16. Circumstances forced me act in a Bengali film before Salim Akhtarís Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat happened. I have worked in 37 films till date. Films have always been a part and parcel of my existence. I will never quit films, even if I get married. I feel as though 10 years have passed in a flash! Iíve had my ups and downs, but consider myself lucky to have worked with the four Khans: Shahrukh, Aamir, Salman and Saif, besides my idol Amitji.