Rani Mukerji is fast gearing up for her comeback movie Hichki but when she enters the room, she carries the aura of the yester years of Bollywood. A period of Bollywood when stars lead a life outside paparazzi’s eyes. This time, the Bichoo girl will play a teacher suffering from Tourette syndrome. This will add to her long list of female protagonist lead films like Mardaani, Black and No One Killed Jessica, but Rani wants to dispel the concept that it is only now that Bollywood is churning out women-centric films.
“I feel actresses have taken the front line right from 1950’s when you see films that Nutanji did or Meenakumari did, they were single handedly running the show. There are so many big actors like Amitabh Bahchan who made their debut opposite Jaya Bachchan who was the bigger star at that time. So I don’t understand why it is only now that actresses are taking the realm. It has been happening right from the beginning, from the gold age of 1950’s. It was just that only during the 80’s there was a difference because it was more action oriented,” said the actress sitting wide legged on a reversed chair.
While present day stars turn their gym into temple and clothes into brand narratives, Rani prefers to step back and denounce the pressure to look good for fans. “What pressure? To wear good clothes? Who is saying take the pressure? Nobody is telling you to take the pressure. If you don’t want to dress up nobody is going to come to you with a gun. People are even giving you free clothes to wear so where is the pressure?” said the 39-year-old actress.
Most actresses argue that it has become more difficult to become an actress owing to the constant glare of the public catalyzed by social media and paparazzi but for Rani none of that matters when it comes to the profession. “I think now is the easiest time to be an actor because the actors are pampered so much. There are 10 people who are roaming around the actor. We never had that, I feel uncomfortable with that, I keep telling people I don’t want you around me. There is so much of help actresses keep getting these days from make-up artists, hair dresser, physical trainer, security, PR and others. It is a whole gamut of people educating you, telling you what to do and what to say in a particular event. Actors are pampered like anything today. We were never pampered.”
Rani’s nonchalant attitude in her personal life will also be at play in Hichki as she struggles to find herself a job as a teacher with her neurological condition in the film which will hit screens on March 23.