No one asks Aamir why he does only one film a year: Rani Mukerji
After five long years, Rani Mukerji opens up to Mid Day to talk about stereotypes around Bollywood actresses
It has taken Rani Mukerji almost five years to break her silence with Mid Day because of a misunderstanding. But when she starts talking, she does it in style! And with a smile... The light-eyed Bong beauty is quick to let bygones be and start talking about her upcoming film. As long as there are no cliched questions, the 34-year-old husky-voiced actress is happy to answer all of them.
It’s been a long time since 'No One Killed Jessica'. Would you call 'Aiyyaa' a comeback film?
No, I won’t. Aamir (Khan) does one film a year but you don’t go around asking him whether 'Talaash' is his comeback film. I have two releases within a period of a year and half. The thing is people in the industry feel that it’s okay for an actor to take time to prepare for his next but the same standards don’t apply to an actress. I believe somewhere the prevalent mindset has to change.
Do you ever experience insecurity as an actress?
I’m neither an insecure person nor an insecure actress. I don’t look around who are my competitors but yes, I’ve got a responsibility towards my fans. I need to surprise them. At least that’s how I feel about my job. So it all boils down to choosing the right film. However, sometimes your instincts work and sometimes they don’t.
Are you very choosy?
I think it’s important for an actor to have that power to choose. You can’t do everything that comes your way. To give you an example, even Sachin Tendulkar doesn’t play every single match out there. Number-wise, I dedicate about 120 to 150 days to a particular film so it has to be worth the while. I’ve been in this industry for 17 years now so obviously, it’s important for me to know how challenging the role is, how different it is and of course, whether it’s the kind of script I’d watch myself in.
So what is so different about playin a Maharashtrian girl?
On the last day of my shoot for 'No One Killed Jessica', Anurag (Kashyap) called me and said he wants to meet because he had this wonderful idea. The love story he mentioned was a quirky one: a Maharashtrian girl falls in love with the smell of a South Indian guy. So I asked him whether he’d be directing it, he said no but added he’d be producing it.
How comfortable are you with Marathi?
Being born and brought up in Mumbai, I can speak the language but not that fluently. I can read, write and even recite some poems in it. Marathi was a compulsory subject in school so I picked it up there.
How do you rate Sachin Kundalkar as a director?
He took about a year to pen the script but after reading it, I realised why he took so much time. He’s an amazing writer. It’s hard to believe that this is his debut Hindi directorial venture. Furthermore, he wanted to break the cliché of emphasising more on North India and not portraying other regions enough in Bollywood films.
Is it true that you recently called Prithviraj a better dancer than Shahid Kapoor?
And you’re dancing like never before in the promos...
(Laughs) Yes! People are going ‘Oh my god, Rani is dancing!’ and I’m like ‘Darling, I was always dancing’. I am glad that I can still astonish my audience. Over the years, my dancing skills took a backseat, as my acting was more in focus. But now, with something as drastic as belly dancing, people are bound to sit up and take notice.