She has always been the 'Queen of Hearts' and has had much success in Bollywood, but of late, actress Rani Mukerji has become picky about her films, preferring to do only a few, meaningful films. In next film Mardaani, Rani creates a storm by playing a female cop tackling the menace of human trafficking. We cornered Rani for a quick chat about her upcoming film and how her life has changed post marriage.
How is marriage treating you? Has your life changed a lot?
Definitely, there are a lot of changes that have seeped in. I am still confused when the cook asks me what to make everyday! Although I've never handled or run a house before, I enjoy it now. It's a lot of fun but there is a huge responsibility that comes with it as well.
From Raja Ki Ayegi Baraat to Mehndi, then Black, Hum Tum and No One Killed Jessica, you have always veered towards strong women characters. Your next film Mardaani targets a social evil that plagues the entire society. Was it always a conscious decision to opt for such roles?
It is not about doing something consciously. Somewhere, subconsciously, I have always been attracted to roles where the female character has a strong personality. Whether it is my first film, which I never chose as it just came to me, to all the roles that came after that, there has always been a subconscious attempt to do roles that empower women. So Mardaani comes full circle in a sense.
Tell us more about Mardaani.
Everyday we hear so many stories of women getting violated somewhere in our country. There are reports about how every 8 minutes, you have a girl going missing in India. We all discuss these situations at the dining table, but there is also a collective anger in people now. When I was in college, I never thought the situation was this bad. I don't think my parents felt scared if we traveled alone by bus or a train. But these days, parents have to show ID cards while picking their children up from school buses. We are living in a society where things have gone from bad to worse. So this film is probably my way of venting out the anger and giving out a message to women to bring out the 'mardaani' in them.
Your film comes one week after Singham Returns. Are you skeptical about the box office collections?
Honestly, Ajay Devgn and Kareena Kapoor are close friends and I wish their film all the luck. But Mardaani is not made for just box office returns, our film is a very small film and made on a very small budget. The film aims to inspire each and every girl to learn to protect herself, to learn self-defense because that's an important requirement today. We would love it if everyone watches the film and learns something from it. Apart from women, even men should watch it so that they understand how important it is to respect woman. So passing the message on is the main aim, how much money the film makes is secondary.
And did the film also fulfill your desire to do something like a Chulbul Pandey from Dabangg with all the action?
Yes, totally! I got to do some really tough action sequences with authenticity, it is not depicted as a caricature. I've always wanted to do an action film so Mardaani is my way of playing Chulbuli Pandey!