Rani Mukerji: Adira Has Special Connection with Bunty Aur Babli 2, She Loved Me in the Film | Exclusive

Rani Mukerji talks about relating to her role in Bunty Aur Babli 2 as a mother, reuniting with Saif Ali Khan after 13 years and having daughter Adira choose her looks.

After a series of some intense characters, Rani Mukerji is all set to entertain her fans in a comic avatar with Bunty Aur Babli 2. The film, also starring Saif Ali Khan, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Shravari Wagh, hit the cinema halls today. In conversation with News18.com, the actor talks about how much she missed playing a glamorous role, teaming up with Saif and also revealed that her daughter Adira thoroughly loved watching the movie.

Your song Tattoo Waliye in Bunty Aur Babli 2, reminded your fans of your character Tina from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. We haven’t seen you doing a lot of song and dance numbers in the last few of your films. Was that something that you were really missing out on?

I was missing dancing around the trees, empty buildings and streets. I do miss dancing on the snow capped mountains because that is how I started my career and that is something that I love doing. With changing times and films, every decade brings about different storytelling and performance. So my past few films didn’t give me an opportunity to dance a lot. But Bunty Aur Babli 2 gave me an opportunity to go back in time to do it and it was so much fun including singing, dancing and looking glamorous.

You’ve been shooting with an injury…

I currently have an excruciatingly painful knee because of the tear in the cartilage that requires me to pay attention to it for 3 months to heal it. I shot for the song Dhik Chik (in Bunty Aur Babli 2) with insurmountable pain but I had no idea that I had an injury, it was only after the shoot when I did an MRI did I realise that I had a tear in my cartilage and I have to rest my knee minimum of 3 months in order to heal properly.

It’s been 16 years since the first film was released. How has Babli evolved?

It was relatable because when I did the first part in 2005, I was single and carefree. Today I am a mother in real life and so is Vimmi (aka known as Babli) who is a mother of a 10-year-old and what she was doing all this time while the audience hasn’t met her is that she succumbed to family life. Her life revolves around her son and husband. She has become comfortable in her life. At the same time, she hasn’t allowed the boring life to get on to her. Vimmi has also given herself a fashionista tag where she is confident of her fashion sense. She calls herself the fashion queen of Fursatganj (laughs). There is a point where she is compelled to protect her brand (Bunty Aur Babli) where there are two new cons who have taken that title and she is hell bent on taking that tag back. So there is a nice fun and real element to the character.

How was the experience of pairing up with Saif Ali Khan after 13 years?

It’s almost like meeting your school friend after a long time. We were having so much fun on the sets. Saif and I went through the same emotions where we felt that absence makes the heart grow fonder. There was a lot of excitement to be paired opposite each other again. Also, there was a certain amount of comfort that we have in each other’s company as actors where we are completely honest with our craft and there is a lot of love and respect. Scriptwise we were pitted against the new pairing (Siddhant Chaturvedi and Sharwari Wagh) so we were like underdogs who were trying to match up with the millennials. It was an absolute delight to work with Saif again.

Is there then a conscious effort to choose films which your daughter (Adira Chopra) can watch?

Not really. Earlier my choices never depended on my parents and now it’s definitely not because of my daughter or husband. Filmmaking is a lonely process in the sense where I am the one who is dealing with it. Even though I live with my family, I have to be on the sets and perform. I have to believe in the story, the character and my performance. What matters is that my family watches my film like any other audience and gives their opinion.

Has Adira watched the film and what has been her feedback?

Yes she has watched the film and it was amazing to see her reaction. In fact, she was a part of the shooting process while I was shooting in Abu Dhabi and even helped me choose a lot of costumes and accessories. I remember I was in London, when Adira actually came along and insisted that she wanted to come and help me choose. She actually single-handedly chose everything and she has coordinated my looks. So, Adira has a special connection with Bunty Aur Babli 2. She loved me in the film. She really likes me doing comedy roles and never likes me doing serious films. She was laughing and rolling over while watching the film so seeing her enjoying the film fills my heart with happiness. In fact she was quite intrigued with the fact that I have a 10 year old son called Pappu in the film (Laughs). Probably when she grows I will know exactly what she feels as right now she is too small to articulate in proper expressions.

As a mother, are you concerned about shooting during the pandemic?

Yes there is a bit of a concern. Luckily for me the production houses that I have worked for have been very responsible. They understand what goes behind a person’s health so the environment has been very safe to shoot.

It is said that there is a poster of City Of God, a Brazilian crime drama film in Aditya Chopra’s office. It is completely different from the kind of films that he produces. Have you ever had a conversation about making an out and out crime film?

Yes there is a poster of the film but we have never had a conversation about making it. But now that you have pointed out, I should ask him (laughs). These are films that Adi loves to watch and respects as a filmmaker. It is one of the films that impacted him and is also one of his favourite films. YRF (Yash Raj Films) makes films keeping Indian sentiments in mind. So I think they would have to find an Indian version of City Of God to remake or get inspired by the original.

From someone who didn’t want to become an actor to completing 25 years in the industry, how do you look at your journey?

Looking back I think I was destined to be an actor. And the credit of completing 25 years goes to my fans because they have tolerated me all through these years (Laughs). It is their success as they gave me love and unconditional support through my failures and success. I am relevant today because of my fans. The only thing I do for them is to work hard and make sure that they can take back something from the characters that I portray. I am hoping that they love Bunty Aur Babli 2.

Is there also a process to stay relevant?

For me it has always been about doing age appropriate roles. I like to do characters that people won’t question that it’s not possible. I also try to look like my character as when you look a certain way, it is half the battle won. With each passing day it is becoming difficult to stay fit. Things which used to come easily in our 20s don’t happen anymore so I have to work doubly hard. Also when I work with young filmmakers and actors, I get to see their side of the story, new opinions and what are the preferences of the millennial kids.

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