Monday, October 8, 2007

Rani gets candid on number game, Oscars and her latest film

Tinselville's Miss Congeniality, Rani Mukherji, seems full of joie de vivre as usual.

No nail-biting nervous Friday moments for Rani as she gets ready for her new film, the Pradeep Sarkar directed Laaga Chunari Mein Daag to hit the marquee. After staying away from public glare and media flashbulbs for months, she returns to scorch screens in a film about women empowerment.

Here's a latest interview she gave to Times Of India.

Turning recluse wasn't a conscious choice for her, she claims.

"You've got to realise that the media functions differently now. Some sections of the media are interested only about our personal lives or what we do everyday. I'm not comfortable talking about all that, so I stay away. The media has been very supportive of me most of the time and I have some very good friends. I like to talk about my work, and whenever a film is ready for release, I am around to chat."

Given that Laaga... has an unusual storyline and isn't another bubblegum romance from Yash Raj Films, how confident is Rani about the film?

"Laaga... is a complete Hindi film. It's the story about a woman's struggle to fend for family and traces her journey from Benaras to Mumbai. It's also about the pressures and expectations that a child has to face if she is the breadearner."

The other highs were of course working with Jaya aunty (Bachchan).

"She's like a surrogate mother on the sets. We bonded instantly. When you work with powerhouse performers like Amit uncle (Amitabh Bachchan), Jaya aunty or Abhishek (Bachchan), you learn so much and have fun on the way. Coming to Laaga..., everyone is like one big family, Koko (Konkona Sen Sharma), Kunal, Anupamji (Kher)," rewinds Rani.

And what's this constant need to experiment with her look in every film (a flamboyant fringe in Tara Rum Pum, straight hair in Laaga... and a bouffant in Saawariya)?

"Well, it's important for a character to look convincing. I have been lucky with the people who've styled my look," she says matter-of-factly.

For all those number crunchers, Rani firmly points out that she's no longer bothered by the numbers game anymore.

"I love the experience of being in front of the camera and shooting. That's the greatest high for me. I sign a film because I am in love with the character. And acting enables me to be different people, live different lives and face new challenges."

So, no Oscar dreams?

"I respect all awards I get, but I never crave for them. I only want people to love my work and if I can make them smile, that means a lot to me. And as an actor, I would love to explore new opportunities, but my first priority is and will always be Bollywood. "

Whether the queen can conquer hearts again is now a million buck question!

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