Exclusive Interview: Rani Mukherjee “A boy said something inappropriate”

“When I was 12, a boy said something inappropriate … and I slapped him.”

Despite your film Mardaani getting a decent initial response, why are you applying for a fresh Censor certificate?
I am reapplying for censorship because the film has been given an ‘A’ certificate. Why are we shying away from the reality? Why can’t we show the film to a 12-year old girl? We have made this film for the girls of India. In UK and Canada they give Plus-12 Certificates but in India we don’t do so. So now I have raised the issue and I hope I get a Plus-12 certificate.

What was the best compliment you received for your performance?
Rekhaji, Shabanaji, Aamir Khan and even the Madhya Pradesh CM lavished compliments on me. My character has been appreciated a lot. After Black I thought it would be difficult for people to appreciate another performance (to this extent) but everyone is telling me that it’s my career-best performance.

What was your mom’s reaction after watching the film?
My mom loves all my work; like all moms she is very encouraging. Yesterday, she sweetly did a ‘nazar utarna’; normally she does not do that. She is very proud and happy. Rekhaji said that God has chosen you for the film — to hear that is very heartening. What is shown in the film is happening around but has been captured onscreen for the first time.

When did you first feel like a Mardaani?
I was in a girl’s college but never encountered any situations similar to the ones in the film. But when I was a 12-year old in school, a boy said something inappropriate; and I slapped him.

Are you planning a sequel to this film?
I hope this film turns out to be a blockbuster so that the producer (Aditya Chopra) gives us permission for a sequel.

How did hubby Aditya Chopra react to the film?
As a producer, he wants the reach of this film to be larger. Yash Raj, as a brand, has got a lot of respect for this film; and that has made him (Adi) very happy. It has already left a mark critically but today everybody equates a film’s success with its box-office. So it’s important for a film to create an impact at the box office.

Are you happy with the box-office collections?
Yes, I am very happy.

How will marriage affect your career? 
Whether you are a married heroine or not, it does not matter. If this film hadn’t worked out, you would have said, ‘Now that she has married, she should produce kids and not films.’ For me, acting is my job and I have to balance it with my personal life.

Two recent cop movies, Singham Returns and Mardaani, have done well.
I haven’t seen Singham Returns but I had watched the first part and liked it. But my favourite is Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan). I love Salman. Salman’s family has seen the film and everyone loved it. They gave me a lot of blessings. Salman has promised to see my film in LA.

This is your second outing with director Pradeep Sarkar.
It is important that a director and actor share a strong camaraderie. Dada (Pradeep Sarkar) and I are like two school girls on a bench. We are sahelis.

Are you open to working in television?
Yes, I am open to everything.

What kind of show would you like to do?
I would like to do a show like Oprah Winfrey.

- Anita Britto, Bollywood News Service

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