She has been away from the public eye for sometime leading to a lot of speculation and rumors doing the rounds but she’s all set to surprise her fans and capture their hearts once again with a completely new slim and fit look.
Informal and unguarded with a smile you could see from the moon, Rani Mukerji talks to Businessofcinema.com about her forthcoming film Dil Bole Hadippa!, her fitness regime, rumors and things that are close to her heart.
How was the experience to play a man and a woman in Dil Bole Hadippa?
I am very excited about the film especially since I am playing both Veer and Veera, which is something I’ve never done before. It’s been very challenging playing a man.
How difficult was it to act sporting a beard and patka?
The beard was the only difficult part that I faced physically for this role because putting on glue and sticking the beard was the most tedious part. The patka was still easier because the hair was tied up so it was comfortable.
Are you comfortable with playing cricket? What kind of training did you go through for the role?
I had to train for about six months for the game because I had to look like a professional cricket player and for that I needed professional training. I was trained by former Indian cricketer Anjali. She coached me right from the way to hold a bat to everything… she really educated me in the game.
The very fact that I had to learn cricket and the fact that I had to lose a few inches to look like the part was a drilling session for me. I had to wake up early everyday and worked out for about two hours. I did yoga and weights alternately and lost about seven kilos. I did two hours of cricket training every day, that was drilling but I guess that is what charges me as an actor because for me it’s important that every day when I go for work there is something new and exciting that I’m doing, something that’s challenging me as an actor, doing something new. It was interesting but tough but I guess there is no gain without pain.
After Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic there was a gap before you did Dil Bole Hadippa. Was the long gap a conscious choice?
Yes, you could say it was kind of a conscious choice because everything fell into place that way. Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic came at a time when I wanted to do such roles and after that I got this offer, which was not only challenging but also demanding. Also the other offers I got did not excite me. My fans were tired of seeing me cry in all my films so I decided to do this film for my fans. The roles that I do are as important as the people watching me. The audience is my number one priority and I work for them.
Will we see you doing films outside the Yash Raj banner? If so then who are the people who you would like to work with?
Definitely. I am waiting for a good offer, if I get a good role that I like, I will definitely do it. I would love to work with people like Vishal Bhardwaj, Imtiaz Ali or Anurag Basu.
What according to you is a good offer? What is it that you would like to do?
I would love to do something different from what I’ve been doing. I would love to do an action film because it is something I’ve never done.
Since you have been away from the public eye, there have been speculations and rumors doing the rounds. What do you have to say about that?
Yes all the rumors have not gone down well. The rumors of me being married especially has ruined my career to a certain extent because people think twice before offering me a film thinking that if I get married then I might not be so dedicated to the film or I may not complete the film.
Then there were rumors that I have shifted back to my old house from my new house just because I felt the house was unlucky for me. How can anyone write something so bizarre? That was the house I made with my hard earned money, I have put in my blood and sweat to build that house. Why would I ever leave that house? I am not an insecure person at all.
Didn’t you feel the necessity to come out and clarify?
Three years back when the rumor about me getting married started, my dad even went to the extent of clarifying it on TV but it didn’t help much. Such rumors are not important in my life anymore, I have a really loving family, I have good work, there are more positives in my life so the little negatives really don’t matter to me. Also I clarify while I promote my films. I’ve been like this and I can’t change myself.
Our industry has become corporatized and while most of the actors have got PRs handling their work you don’t even have a secretary. Why?
I have never had a PR or a secretary to handle my work because I never felt the need for one. I believe that my work should speak for me.
As an actor, how much do you believe in the numbers’ game and how far does it affect you?
I have never believed in numbers and neither have I strived to be number one, I feel numbers affects fans not an actor. It’s the roles that make me the actor I am. For me challenging roles are more important. Numbers are for the people who believe in that.
What do you feel about the younger league of actresses?
I like the new league, I think the new actresses like Sonam and Deepika are very beautiful and they are doing well for themselves.
Over the 12 years that you have been in the film industry, how have you evolved as an actress?
Yes I have been fortunate to work with some of the best actors and directors like Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Hassan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Mani Ratnam, Karan Johar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali to name a few. Working with all of them has been very enriching and I feel that it has made me a much more better actress from when I started.