Be­ing a mum no bar for Rani’s end­less hunger as an ac­tor

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Prashant Singh

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?”

PHOTO: AVINASH GOWARIKER

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