Being a mum no bar for Rani’s endless hunger as an actor
For ages, Bollywood has functioned with the perception that married female actors, especially those who are mothers, don’t appeal much to audiences. Clearly, things are changing now, and Rani Mukerji’s latest hit, Hichki, goes on to prove it.
Rani, who is married to filmmaker Aditya Chopra and has a baby daughter Adira, opens up about the age-old perception. “It probably comes from the mindset that the Hindi film industry is skewed towards youth, and that there are more youthcentric films or that people want to see younger heroines. That’s why the feeling goes that unlike in the West, there are no roles for actresses in Bollywood if they have crossed 40,” she says.
But Rani feels happy that “the way our industry is functioning now, there’s a lot of work for women my age”. She adds, “I believe a lot also depends on how you are looking [at a certain age] because if you look right, I don’t think anybody can typecast you. Just because you have something new (marriage or motherhood) in your life does not mean that your love for work goes away.”
The Mardaani (2014) actor insists that “a woman goes to work the same way a man does”. “When men get married or have children, do they give up their careers? They don’t. On the contrary, they feel that marriage and kids have tripled their responsibilities so, they have to work harder. It should be the same for women,” says Rani, adding that nowadays, “many women work, with their husbands taking care of the child at home”. She feels, “As long there’s a responsible person taking care of the child, I don’t think it’s a problem.”
Rani adds that she’ll “always be hungry as an actor”. She says, “That hunger doesn’t subside. With each passing year, you want to do something different. Plus, there are many people around to inspire you. Look at Meryl Streep and her body of work; she is absolutely wonderful. When I look at that, I feel inspired. Why can’t we do that kind of work?”