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Rani Mukerjee


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'I'm my brother's slave'

She is one of the most sought after Bollywood divas, and her films become the talk of town even before their shootings commence. Many in the industry still can't stop talking about her camaraderie with Abhishek Bachchan.

Yet, seldom will you find Rani Mukerji speaking her heart to the media. This queen of hearts keeps her personal emotions buried deep under the layers of rouge.

But she has no qualms about admitting that she will do anything and everything when it comes to her family.

"I am my brother's slave for today," jokes the actor as she sits patiently, draped in "dear friend" Sabyasachi's outfit to promote brother Rajaa Mukerji's directorial debut.

She says, "I wonder whether I would have given so many interviews for my own films."

Just when you think she won't talk about her own films, Rani smiles and shares a few anecdotes of her experiences on the sets of her upcoming releases — Tara Rum Pum and Laga Chunri Mein Daag.

"On Pradeep Sarkar's sets, almost everybody is Bengali including Jaya aunty, Konkona and me. We are conversing in Bengali all the time. The only difference is that our dialogues are in Hindi," she says, asserting her Bengali roots with pride.

Ask her why she started her production journey with a Bengali film, and Rani retorts with, "Why not? Ami Bangalir gorbo! "

Now that's what we call self confidence, girl! Wasn't there any apprehension about brother Rajaa donning the director's cap?

"It's true that apprehensions were there right at the beginning. After all, when you associate your name with something, there is a lot at stake, including name, money, respect. People expect a lot from you and there is nothing wrong in that. I just told Rajaa to be sincere in his efforts. In fact, we were all shocked that Rajaa had actually made the film."

Rani is clearly affectionate towards her elder brother. But did her brother bully her in any way to be part of the film?

"No way. Rajaa is a very sweet person." And did she feel left-out for not being included in the cast?

"Oh, Rajaa never asked me. He felt that Hrishita would be the right choice," Rani indulges in some leg pulling before she spills the beans saying, "The truth is that my days are not mine anymore. I can't expect Rajaa to wait for me to give him dates."

Any plans of doing a Bangla film in the near future? "I want to do Bengali films, not for the sake of it. I am seeking good, meaningful cinema," Rani says.

Would she do an out-and-out commercial film like MLA Fatakeshto or I Love You?

"Frankly speaking, I don't get a chance to watch many Bengali films. I don't wish to categorise my films as art or mid-stream. For me, the 100 days that I spend with the unit has to make me happy," Rani seems quite clear about her priorities here as sure as she is about where to draw the line when it comes to taking questions.

And that also includes questions about the Abhiash wedding. "I am here just for my brother's film. Let's stick to that, please," comes the parting shot.

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Single costume for Rani in Kunal Kohli's next?

While most know about it, for those who do not, the 'Rani' of Bollywood is playing a fairy ('apsara/pari') in Kunal Kohli's next. An interesting aspect of the film is that Rani is expected to be seen in just one costume (complete with a magic wand!) throughout the film, as per the requirement of her character.

Ms. Mukerji has been busy shooting for the venture for a while now, sans her hero, Saif Ali Khan. Her co-star (in the film) has off late been busy with the shooting of Yash Raj's TASHAN and other happenings in his personal life! However, the 'Chote Nawab' is expected to join the shoot anytime.

As per the tentative schedule, the shooting of the latest venture from the director of films like MUJHSE DOSTI KAROGE (2002), HUM TUM (2004) and FANAA (2006), is expected to be complete by the year end.

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No marriage bells for Rani

Jyoti Mukerji, Rani’s sister-in-law, fields questions on Rani’s behalf

Is it true that Rani is marrying Aditya Chopra on December 10?

No. People are simply spreading false stories. We cannot shut their mouths nor stop the pens.

But isn’t Jodhpur’s Umaid Bhawan booked for the D-day?

Can anybody show us the papers which will certify that Jodhpur’s Umaid Bhawan has been booked for December 10?

So, when is Rani getting married?

Let me tell you that Rani’s marriage date has not been fixed. When we fix it, we will certainly announce it to the world.

We know it’s difficult for Aditya to get married just yet. After all, his divorce with Payal Malhotra hasn’t come through...

I don’t know anything about Adi’s divorce.

But Rani and Adi are seeing each other, right?

No. Even that is a rumour. Rani is not in a relationship with Aditya Chopra.

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