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Rani Mukerji: I am very naughty in real life

Last updated on: September 7, 2012 14:48 IST

Image: Rani Mukerji
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar Patcy N in Mumbai
Rani Mukerji is all set to return to the marquee with Aiyyaa, produced by Anurag Kashyap and Viacom 18.

Malayalam actor Prithviraj plays the male lead. 

The first promo of the film was launched on September 6 at Cinemax in the Mumbai suburb of Versova. 

Explaining the title of the film, Anurag Kashyap said 'aiyyaa' is a common expression used by Maharashtrian women.

Watch the trailer here.


Rani: I will not do a dark film

Image: Nirmiti Sawant and Satish Alekar who play Rani Mukerji's parents in Aiyyaa
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

Kashyap explained how he came to be the producer of the film: "I did a play called Sir Sir Sarla with Sonali Kulkarni. One day, she told me to watch a short film called Gandh (meaning 'fragrance' in Marathi) by Sachin Kundalkar. 

"That was the first time I met Sachin. When I saw the short film, I told him it should be a full-length movie and he started developing. I asked who he wanted as the actress, and he said, 'If I can get an actress like Rani Mukerji, it would be great.' That's how I approached Rani," he says.

Rani said that when Anurag came to see her with the script, the first thing she told him before even reading the script was that "I will not do a dark film like the ones you do. If you make a film which has happiness, I will surely do it." 

Luckily for her, Anurag had a 'happy script' at hand.

Rani: There is a quirky side to Anurag

Image: Anurag Kashyap, Rani Mukerji and director Sachin Kundalkar
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
"After listening to the script I loved it," Rani adds. "It is a different film; it is mad, quirky and wacky. I had just finished with No One Killed Jessica when they came to me and I felt I should do this film because it is very special. When the audience sees the film, they will know why I loved the script so much and enjoyed the film so much," Rani said.
Why did she shoot down a dark film with the brilliant Anurag, considering Jessica and her upcoming film Talaash are dark?

"Because I wanted to do a different kind of film with him," Rani replied. "I have known Anurag for a very long time, since the time he was assisting Mani Ratnam (in Saathiya). He is very entertaining. There is a quirky side to Anurag. I was already doing two dark films so I did not want to do one more. I wanted to do a light film."

Rani: Meenakshi Deshpande is not a normal girl

Image: Rani Mukerji with her onscreen mother Nirmiti Sawant
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
Aiyyaa has a Maharashtrian setting. "Sachin wanted the film to have a Marathi flavour as I play Meenakshi Deshpande. My dialogues and pronunciation are how Marathi people speak Hindi and English. The film also has a South Indian flavour," Rani said.
Talking about her character she said, "Meenakshi Deshpande is not a normal girl. She is inspired by films and is a huge fan of Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla. "Therefore there are three item songs in the film in Meenakshi's dream sequences where she dances like her favourite stars -- she is Meenakshi in Wonderland."
Rani says it was very easy to portray the role "I am very naughty in real life also."

Rani: I have studied Marathi in school but I don't have the twang

Image: Anurag Kashyap, director Sachin Kundalkar, Rani Mukerji, Nirmiti Sawant Rani's mother, Jyoti Subash, Rani's grandmother, Sachin Alekar Rani's father, Amey Wagh Rani's brother in the film
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
Sachin Khundalkar and his assistant Chinmaye would work on her pronunciation, she said. "I have studied Marathi in school but I don't have the twang so I had to learn to get the dialect right."

Rani describes her co-star Prithviraj as "awesome". 

"He is wonderful in the film. He was busy with shoots so he couldn't come today. He is very handsome and can speak Hindi very well. He is being exploited by the director -- he is been asked to expose which normally heroines do."

Anurag Kashyap said Aiyyaa was headed for the London Film Festival. 

"They (the festival organisers) loved the film and said it looks like Kusturica's world (Emir Kusturica, French director). They said the film has a universal appeal."