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'People are happy with me in Saathiya. So am I'

By Subhash K Jha
March 21, 2003 14:04 IST
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Be it Raveena Tandon or Kareena Kapoor, everyone likes Rani Mukherji.

The 24 year old's performance in Shaad Ali's Saathiya opposite Vivek Oberoi has won her criticalRani Mukherji and Vivek Oberoi in Saathiya acclaim and a brand new fan following.

Back from a recent trip to the UK, Rani reveals she was invited for an interactive interview on BBC's East-Asia Live to talk about Saathiya.

"Saathiya is doing very well overseas. My performance has been talked about in the UK and the US. The interview on the BBC was special because it gave me the chance to interact with British Asian actors. Zohra Sehgal, Amit Uncle [Amitabh Bachchan], Aamir [Khan], Karisma [Kapoor] and Ash [Aishwarya Rai] have earlier been there [on the show]. A lot of people are happy with me in Saathiya. Frankly, so am I," she confesses.

Rani is now working with Shah Rukh Khan, her costar in Karan Johar's Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, in Aziz Mirza's Chalte Chalte. "Why are you forgetting [Johar's] Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, [Raj Kanwar's] Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega and Saathiya? So what if I was in a coma in Saathiya? At least we were in the same frame," she chuckles.

She is tight-lipped about the film: "I'd rather not talk about it. They haven't asked me to keep quiet. Aziz Mirza makes a different kind of cinema. I got a lot of whacks from him and Shah Rukh for my performance in some scenes. I was very touched by the trouble they have taken over me. I love working with Shah Rukh and Aamir. They are much more than actors. Shah Rukh is so helpful on the sets regardless of who the producer is. Usually, actors are only bothered about themselves."

Featuring in J P Dutta's LoC in a cameo is, according to Rani, an honour. She says, "JP is a very upright man. He really cares about the country. I don't think a film like LoC will be made again."

When asked about Oberoi's recent admission that he 'loves Rani Mukherji,' she smiles. "Vivek is a little boy. It is like the love a child feels for the whole world. We had our share of problems during Saathiya. Vivek knows so much about cinema. He made sure everyone knew that. From a newcomer, this attitude was bothersome. Aishwarya Rai and Rani Mukherji

"By the time we did our last schedule, he was chilled out. Even Shaad agreed. Shaad is very special. I shared some really special times with him during Saathiya."

Glossies spoke of Vivek making a trip to Kolkata to join Rani after her cousin's sudden demise. "It was like this," Rani explains, "When Vivek called me, I was speaking to him about my cousin Mimi. I broke down. Worried, Vivek called up my brother Raja and arranged to come to Kolkata. Aishwarya Rai and her mother [Vrinda], who were shooting in Kolkata, came along with Vivek. It was a really kind gesture. Mimi [Rani's cousin] was like my own brother."

Describing herself a tomboy, Rani says, "I don't behave any differently with my male costars. I am like a pal to Anil, Shah Rukh and Aamir. Nobody's girlfriend or wife needs to feel threatened by me. I am in my own world."

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Subhash K Jha