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The Rediff Interview / Rani Mukerji
I don't feel insecure: Rani
Syed Firdaus Ashraf | August 02, 2003
Rani Mukerji began her career with Salim's Raja Ki Aayegi Baarat. But did you know Mamta Kulkarni was the original choice for the role?
Again, in Vikram Bhatt's Ghulam, Pooja Bhatt was supposed to be Aamir Khan's leading lady. She walked out of the film at the last minute and Rani stepped in.
Aishwarya Rai began playing Priya in Chalte Chalte before her former beau Salman Khan turned up on the sets and quarrelled with producer-lead actor Shah Rukh Khan. The next thing you know, Ash was out and Rani was in.
"It is just coincidence," she says. "But, today, people are writing roles for me. I am very happy about that."
I am not a playing a typical Hindi film heroine. My looks are not important in this film.
For the first time in my film career, I have tried comedy. I really enjoyed doing it because I always wanted to do comedy. I am playing the role of Miss Nautanki and Ajay [Devgan] is called Mr Sadiyal. I am a fun-loving person. He is tall, dark, and handsome. He is serious and I am not. The relationship between us is very funny.
It is about two people who would never dream of being together but come together because of certain circumstances.
He was very helpful. He is my senior. I don't want to bring personal relationships into this [Ajay Devgan is married to actress Kajol, who is Rani's cousin]. The experience has been fabulous. The best part about working with seniors is that you learn a lot. He was a thorough professional.
Did you feel bad when Chori Chori's release was delayed?
Yes. This is true for every film that gets delayed. We work as a family and a team to make a good film. We get emotionally attached to it. But the good thing is that the film is being released. This is a good time for a release as people are going to the theatres.
How important is growth for an actor?
I am not in the numbers game. I have always worked hard and that is my motto. My father [producer Ram Mukerji] is from a filmi family. He told me in the beginning that this line is all about ups and downs. He said if you are successful you will be on a constant high but when you fail you are very down. So I must take both success and failure in my stride. People say that this is my rebirth [as an actress]. If that is true, I am grateful to God.
You have lost a lot of weight…
It is important for every one to keep fit. I lost weight three-four years ago. Sometimes I feel my weight is more popular than my acting [laughs].
Earlier, when I joined the industry, I used to eat a lot at night. Once I controlled that, I lost weight.
The credit for that goes to my make up-men, dress designers, et al. I am quite lazy. I don't bother much about what to wear and what not to wear. I know nothing about fashion. I am cool with a sari or maybe a tee shirt and jeans. In films, I am doing different kind of roles so I have to change according to my role. I feel if you look good on screen, half your battle is won.
Yes, I would love to. I am a true blue Bengali. It is my mother tongue. I am looking for a good script and director.
There are many women who are not married till they are 30 and they are mature. Saathiya is about of a young couple and the difficulties they face immediately after marriage. Chalte Chalte is a mature love story.
Amitabh Bachchan. He is incomparable. When I was in school, I would skip classes to see him acting on the sets.
As far as actresses are concerned, I am a great fan of Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi. I have always been a film buff.
I don't plan anything. I only try to work hard. It is an honour for me to work with these filmmakers.