She was once knowns as ‘the queen of hearts’ who had successfully redefined the role of heroine time and again with out-of-the-box roles that she chose. Rani Mukherji is known as one of the finest and the most versatile actresses of Bollywood.
Rani made her Bollywood debut, in 1996, with ‘Raja Ki Aayegi Baarat’. Even though the film failed to leave an impact, Rani’s confident performance caught everybody’s attention. In 1998, she played Tina Malhotra in the evergreen movie ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. Not only did she impress the audience and critics alike but garnered brownie points for having held her own ground in front of superstars like Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol.
Married to director/producer Aditya Chopra, the actress has now immersed herself into motherhood, although it is rumored that Rani might be making a comeback soon. On the eve of her 39th birthday, here are some lesser known facts about the Bengali beauty that you probably didn’t know of.
1. Rani’s debut film was actually a Bengali film of her father Ram Mukherjee’s, called ‘Biyer Phool’, in the year 1996. The film starred Prosenjit and Indrani Haldar in lead roles and narrates the story of two sisters. All of 18, Mukerji played the younger sibling of Haldar’s character.
2. After completing Home Science from SNDT College, Rani wanted to take up jewelry and interior designing but couldn’t afford the fee of Rs. 3 lakh. She was uninterested in pursuing a career in film. She said, “There were already too many actresses at home and I wanted to be someone different.”
3. Rani Mukherji is the first actor to ever win both the best actress and best supporting actress trophies in a single year 2005 at the Filmfare Awards. She won the awards for Kunal Kohli’s ‘Hum Tum’ and Mani Ratnam’s ‘Yuva’ respectively.
4. Rani has been credited for breaking the ‘fairness myth’ by the media. The actress has never endorsed a fairness cream.
5. She was apparently offered Tabu’s role in ‘The Namesake’, but had to give the project up because the dates were clashing with Karan Johar’s ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’. Rani has also rejected films like big movies like ‘Lagaan’, ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’, ‘Munnabhai MBBS.’, ‘Waqt: The Race Against Time’ and ‘Heyy Babyy’.
6. Initially, Rani had also turned down her role in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Black’ when it was first offered to her. She wasn’t confident enough to do full justice to the challenging part. But she not only pulled it off well, but also went on to win Best Actress and Critics Award for her performance.
7. Two of her films have been sent to the Academy Awards as India’s official entries – Hey Ram (2000) and Paheli (2005).
8. She is a trained Odissi dancer, having pursued the dance form for 10 years under Guru Ravindra Athibudhi, which she began learning while in the tenth grade.
9. Rani Mukerji has been the only member of the Bollywood film industry to have been invited for dinner in the Honour of Pakistan’s former President Pervez Musharraf. In 2014, Mukerji attended a charity dinner on child abuse in London, where she was felicitated by Prince Charles for raising awareness on the issue through her work in ‘Mardaani’.
10. Rani once said in an interview that she will never marry an actor because according to her two megalomaniacs can’t exist in the same house, “We’ll end up killing each other.” In April 2014, the actress got married to director/producer Aditya Chopra, in Italy, in a secret ceremony. On 9 December 2015, she gave birth to their daughter, named Adira.