It’s very important to look the part: Rani
Rani Mukerji feels that the audience accepted Aamir Khan’s outings in Dangal and Dhoom:3 with equal glee because “he is able to change himself according to the roles he plays”
Historically speaking, married female actors have been considered a misfit in the Hindi film industry. Another age-old perception that is common is that actresses, who become mothers, are likely to find the going tough in Bollywood. But Rani Mukerji, who has just had a big hit in the form of Hichki, doesn’t agree.
“What we forget is that an actor will always be an actor on screen,” says Rani. At the same time, she adds that it’s “very important for an actor to look the part”. “If I am playing the role of a 60-year-old woman or a 20-year-old girl, I have to look that way. In fact, when audiences see a particular character and not the artist [on screen], it makes them change their mind-set and perception vis-à-vis a particular actor,” she adds.
The Mardaani (2014) actor goes on to give an example of her Ghulam (1998) co-star, Aamir Khan. “When you look at Aamir in Dangal (2016), you see Mahavir Singh Phogat and not a superstar. Since you trust his portrayal, you believe the character completely. And then, when you see him in Dhoom:3 (2013) with his chiselled body etc., you think, ‘wow’. You accept it [two diverse avatars] because as an actor, he is able to change himself according to the roles he is playing,” she says.
Rani admits that it’s “very important” for her to be “absolutely believable” in the films and roles that she is involved with. “Whether I play a 30-year-old or a 60-year-old, I should be able to portray that in the correct manner,” says the actor, adding that she has “subconsciously” been attracted towards emotional parts.
“I think all my films have been highly emotionally driven ones and the same holds true for my characters as well. Be it a thriller, a romantic one or a drama, my characters in all of them have been extremely emotional and I think that emotion itself connects with audiences. I guess since I myself am an emotional person, I can also somewhere connect with the ‘emotional’ bit,” she says.
Rani admits that even after 13 years of its release, “people still talk about my work in Black” because “somewhere it has impacted them”. “Even vis-à-vis Hichki, for me, the warmest reaction has been that people are saying it has gone beyond just a film. It has made a difference in people’s personal lives and stirred an emotion inside them that they possibly can’t express. These are the kind of films that stay with you forever. I am sure if Hichki has impacted them as much as Black, 13 years down the line, they will talk about this also,” she says.