Bollywood actor Rani Mukerji believes people of the world can understand Indians only if they watch Bollywood films, says a report.
Cinema can go a long way in promoting positive bilateral relations between Australia and India, especially Bollywood films as they are “all about heart”, said Rani Mukerji, who was chief guest at the 2010 Indian Film Festival – Bollywood and Beyond.
“Cinema showcases different cultures and Indian films are all about our culture, our traditions, human relations and all about heart. So when Australians watch Indian films, they will get to know Indians better and that will help in knowing each other better,” Rani told a news agency in an exclusive interview.
So will she act in a film on racism? “As an actor, I would be part of any film that inspires me as an artist. If there is a great character for me to play, if I feel there is something interesting in the film about racism and if there is a positive outlook towards changing the mindset, I would hundred percent do it.”She would like to do diverse, challenging roles. So does she feel socially responsible while doing a movie?
Giving the example of her role as a deaf, dumb and blind girl in “Black”, she said, “I do expect that people who do not know about the deaf and blind get more aware of people like them. You should never pity them because they are such spirited, lively, fun people and there is so much to learn from them.
“Michelle McNally did graduate despite her handicap. The sheer fact that if you have the passion, nothing is impossible in life. That is what my character in ‘Black' and the film taught me and that is what I would like to portray to the hundreds and millions of my fans who watch the movie”.
The festival, which opened with “Black” and “Dil Bole Hadippa” in Sydney, is screening a retrospective of Rani's distinctive films alongside recent Bollywood hits, some regional cinema gems and documentaries.For Rani, every role is a dream role, but the role that debutant director Anurag Singh gave her in “Dil Bole Hadippa” was “wonderful”.
“It is wonderful being a man and to feel like a man and get attracted to beautiful women. It was a dream role because I could never imagine in my life that I would cross dress as a man. I also got to experiment with cricket, a sport I had never played in my life. I trained for eight months and fell in love with the game. And, of course, being a man and tying your hair up in a turban was the most relaxing part!”
Being a Bengali, was it difficult for her to play the role of a Sardar?“Punjabis and Bengalis make a great combination; even marriages between them are lovely,” said Rani, relating an interesting episode about how she was exchanged with a Punjabi baby at the hospital and her mother had to fight to get her back.“I still have to crack the code whether I am a Sardar or Bengali,” she said.
Rani also revealed that if she weren't an actress, she would have been “a housewife with my sari tucked in my waist, making chapattis for my husband, raising two kids probably in Allahabad or Kolkata or somewhere where my parents would have married me off!”So is she ready to direct films after a career spanning 17 years as an actress?
Rani was forthcoming: “I would like to do a lot of things in life, but you never get to do everything that you want to do. When an actor probably completes 10 years, you are often asked would you like to direct or write?
“I didn't want to become an actress, but I became one and so I have this thing in my head that ‘Never say never'. It is not something I have planned, but if I do get an opportunity and have this energy rush in my body to take up the responsibility of a director some day, I would definitely love to direct.”
Asked if she dreams about winning an Oscar, the multi-award winning actress said: “I would dream about everything and as an actor our greed never stops for awards, recognition, fame, and love and warmth from people; so it is a never ending process for an actor.”
The actress, who chooses her roles with care and takes what inspires and excites her, is looking forward to “No one killed Jessica”, a film based on the murder of Delhi model Jessica Lall in which she plays the journalist.
“It is a very different film that I am doing after a long time. It is a very different and powerful role; so I don't know how my fans are going to react to it, but I am looking forward to it because it is an interesting movie based on a true life story.