‘I never watch my films

Sayoni Sinha
24 FPS

Says Rani Mukherjee as she talks about 'Talaash', her choice of films and why romance always works in India

As we are ushered into Rani Mukerjee's tastefully done up office, we are strictly told that Rani won't be available for photo shoot. Few minutes later we find out why. Sitting with a freshly scrubbed face with minimal makeup, the actress looked relaxed and very much at peace (Is a certain Chopra responsible for it?). Her last release Aaiyaa may have got mixed response but Rani is nonchalant about it. Ask her if she is disheartened and Rani is quick to retort, "It can't bother me because as actors, we are meant to do projects and not meant to forecast whether it will work or not." Her latest release Talaash is a suspense-drama with Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor. Rani is one of the very few actresses who never had any qualms about working in a multi-starrer. "Multi starrers are infact lot of fun as it like a picnic with s many stars working together," she says. In a candid chat, Rani Mukerjee talks about the film and why romance always works in India.

Excerpts from the interview:

What were the challenges involved in working in a thriller?

My first suspense thriller and I can't divulge much as to what were the challenges involved. We have taken care to not reveal the suspense to the media and to the audience. That was the main challenge which will revealed on the first day's first show and after that it will be an experience to understand whether people will still come and watch the film after knowing what the suspense is.

The trailer has created enough buzz around the film. How important is it to get the first trailer right?

Getting the first promo right is important because it determines people's decision whether they want to see the film or not. The trailer has to create a sense of intrigue in the audience's mind.

You never had qualms about working in a multi-starrer right from the early stage of your career. Now that you have reached a certain stage in your career, don't you think you should only focus on solos?

Not at all. Multi starrers are infact lot of fun as it like a picnic with so many stars working together. Unfortunately in this film, Kareena and I didn't have any work together and it would have been great if we had scenes together.

Apart from box-office numbers, what is your definition of a good film?

For me, a film which stays in audience's mind for a decade is a good film. For me that is most important and I have always kept that in mind while doing a film.

You have done different genres of films. Every actor has a certain comfort zone. What's yours?

My comfort zone is probably doing romantic comedy or drama as these are something that I really enjoy doing.

No matter what genre, romance is the main essence of every film. Do you think Bollywood is scared of experimenting?

It is not about Bollywood. I think the innate nature of Indians is that we are in love and it is something we always live by. We look forward to a happy family life and love in general and that's why films which show a positive side to a story and has a happy ending work better with us. That's what works best as that's what they aspire for as individuals living in India. That's the reason why some film makers tend to make such films though there are film makers who are experimenting a lot with various subjects and they too are getting recognition. I too love watching happy love stories.

When you watch a film, are you able to keep the actor in you out and just enjoy the film?

I do think that at times but it is not something which always occurs to you when you are watching a film. I think as long as the character is doing its job of what is required to be done, it is fine.

'Aaiyaa' got a mixed response from the audience. Did that bother you?

It can't bother me because as actors, we are meant to do projects and not meant to forecast whether it will work or not. We work hard because we feel that this is a film that will entertain the audiences. But at the end of the day, if a film story doesn't work, one has to accept that and move on.

Every time you do a film, people call it your 'comeback' film. Does that bother you?

It doesn't bother me but it definitely bothers my fans who have also started looking through the word comeback.

After all these years, how do you feel while facing the first shot in the film?

Even after all these years, I am anxious to know how the character will turn out to be, especially on the first day because you have to get the nuances of the character right. This is important because in the first scene itself you have to figure out how different this character can turn out to be and how you can set it apart from the characters you have played earlier.

Are you a believer in method acting or are you a director's actor?

I think the method applies till getting the look of the character right. Beyond that, an actor needs to be spontaneous with the way the character reacts to a certain situation in the film.

After being in the industry for so long, what is your learning curve?

The learning curve exists every day for me, whether it is my co-stars, my actors or directors. I think learning is a never ending process in this industry and if you have the inclination for it, everyday is a learning experience.

Do you sit and enjoy the end product or are you ready to move on to the next?

I am always ready to move on to the next and that happens when you stop shooting for the particular film. As a creative person, I would want to keep discovering and coming up with something which is spectacular and surprise my audiences with different roles. If I don't move on how can I work on my other projects? I never even watch my own films ever.