I had a tough life but didn’t give up
In an exclusive interview with Hans Talkies, actress Rani Mukerji speaks about ‘Mardaani’, her forthcoming release, on collaborating with Pradeep Sarkar again and why she considers herself a survivor.
In an exclusive interview with Hans Talkies, actress Rani Mukerji speaks about ‘Mardaani’, her forthcoming release, on collaborating with Pradeep Sarkar again and why she considers herself a survivor …
Over to Rani:
What attracted you to play a tough role like ‘Mardaani’?
I have always said that actors cannot be choosers. We make choices from what is offered to us by our producers or directors. Dada Pradeep Sarkar came to me with the story of ‘Mardaani’ and after reading the screenplay I said ‘Yes’ instantly. In my long career as an actor I have not played a role like this and the subject synchronises with what is happening in our society currently. ‘Mardaani’ raises relevant social issues related to women and security that will hopefully touch a chord with the audience.
Your last association with Pradeep Sarkar in ‘Laga Chunnari Mein Daag’ was not fruitful what do you think went wrong?
I would not like to analyse or get into a blame game about what went wrong because it is not fair to us as artistes. We do films with conviction. Sometimes everything falls into place and we are appreciated and sometimes, it does not and we are criticised but this does not mean that we failed as artistes or in intentions. The fact is that dada is talented and doing both the films with him was a privilege. Hits and flops are part of show business and everyone goes through the cycle of highs and lows, there is no stardom without it.
Tell us about your character Shalini Roy?
I belong to the crime branch so I did not have to wear the uniform, the styling for the character is non fussy because of the kind of work I do. The difficult part was the physical training; I had to learn a special kind of martial arts which is customised and very effective and hopefully all parents will train their girls in this form of self defense after watching the film. Gone are the days when women looked up to men to protect them. Today, we have to be fit and alert to protect ourselves because by the time help can reach us it may be too late!
It appears like a very unlike Yash Raj film?
(Smiles) Earlier YRF made mostly romantic films but gradually they have been experimenting with all subjects and budgets. I would agree with your observation because ‘Mardaani’ falls in the realistic social genre. It is stark and hard hitting but then you cannot be casual about human trafficking. It is a serious issue.
The tag line of the film says ‘every battle is personal’ would you agree with that?
I think so, because if you abuse me then I abuse you too. You slap me, I slap you too. In the film there is a dialogue that when looking for a mouse you turn into a mouse, when looking for a dog, you turn into a dog and when hunting a tiger you have to roar and fight like a tiger! A survivor is one who is able to adapt and accept his surroundings.
And you think you a survivor?
My parents think both their children are survivors. They raised my brother and me to accept and smile under all circumstances. We had a tough life but we did not give up. I’ve had to work hard as an actor too nothing was given to me on the platter.