Want to treat my 40 as my 20: Rani Mukerji
The actor who took a break from cinema is back with Hichki, which is set to hit the screens this Friday
Rani Mukerji looks far from someone who's about to turn 40. As she enters a new decade of life on Wednesday, the actor, who is coming back to the big screen after a hiatus of four years with Hichki, says she hopes to do more films.
"I want to treat my 40 as my 20, and I want to do a lot of work... More and more films. I want to enjoy bringing up Adira (her daughter). These are the most important years of her life, so I think it's going to be a really, really nice decade," she says.
Directed by Siddharth P Malhotra, Hichki is about Naina Mathur, who has a nervous system disorder, Tourette Syndrome, that forces her to make involuntary repetitive movements or sounds. The film's narrative focuses on turning disadvantages into opportunities.
In a way, it takes forward Rani's knack for taking up projects where the story comes before her stardom. "Stories that are human, which have a strong emotional connect, or the stories that connect with me or resonate with me as a person, are the ones I give precedence to," she says, adding, "For me, it is important that the audience connects with the story, and when they connect with it, they connect with me and the character as well."
In the past decade, Rani's filmography is filled with projects like Dil Bole Hadippa!, No One Killed Jessica, Aiyyaa and Mardaani, where the woman carries the film -- a rare but gradually visible shift in Indian cinema.
Does she find it empowering? "It's scary," she laughs, going on to explain, "Because you have the whole film on your shoulders and it's quite a heavy weight... But empowering, yes. However, for me, it's not about whether the protagonist is male or female. I think it's about the story. It's about how well you can carry forward the story. That's what is more important. Whether a male protagonist plays the role or I am playing my role as a female, that's secondary."
The fact that Hichki is actually based on the true story of a man named Brad Cohen -- an American motivational speaker and educator -- proves Rani's point.
She hopes the film resonates with the audience. "I hope Hichki is a hit because only that will give me more incentive and empowerment to probably come back and do more films," says the actor, who felt "great" about facing the camera after taking a break for marriage and motherhood.
Now she wants to face the camera more often. "I was so consumed with motherhood that I thought I might just do Hichki and that's it. But I think I was born to be an actor and it is just something I love doing."