One of the most acclaimed actors in Indian cinema, Rani Mukerji, completes 25 years in the industry and she feels she was ‘born to play Vimmy’ – the fun, bubbly, adventurous heroine in the Bunty Aur Babli franchise that she has immortalised in Indian cinema through her brilliant acting.
Rani, whose Bunty Aur Babli 2 is set to release on November 19, says, “It’s special that I’ve completed 25 years in cinema with the character that is probably closest to my heart, I feel I was born to play Vimmy, I remember I was blown away by her when I was narrated Bunty Aur Babli 1, her energy even from the pages of the script was very infectious and I’m fortunate that I have her and this special franchise in my filmography. What was special about Bunty Babli 2 is that I was reprising one of my favorite roles and an extension of that character so we see Babli aka Vimmy in this film about 10 years from the time we left her in the first.
Rani has played some of the most iconic Hindi film heroines in her glittering career that has seen her sweep awards and acclaim.
She says, “Looking back at my journey in films, I’m blessed that I did the films, that I worked in, and in a way, they’re all special. I’m fortunate that I got a chance to creatively collaborate with some of the finest actors and technicians that the industry has ever seen. I’m proud that I’ve witnessed them and their work at such close proximity, learnt from them and tried to be better with each passing film of mine which I till date do.”
About her journey in the industry Rani further states, “I started when I was 16, I was really young then, I didn’t think that I would be an actor but it was my mum’s insistence that made me an actor or rather made me take the plunge in the movie business. Thank God for my mum that she recognised my passion earlier than I did.”
She adds, “Going into films today for a lot of youngsters is looked upon as very cool but during the time that I was growing up, and the time that I came into films, it was not really a choice or a career option for many youngsters. I think it was looked upon more as a profession to be taken by people who come from a filmy background or whose parents are actors or film producers/directors. For someone like me who is from the industry, it was still difficult because we were not really brought up in a filmy atmosphere.”
Rani has always managed to pull people to the theatres with her star power and is among the top heroines of all time who have delivered a maximum number of blockbusters in Hindi cinema.
She humbly says, “For me, growing up I always idolised Sridevi and Madhuri in films, because they came across as screen goddesses, and then to actually imagine me as an actress was tough because I really didn’t think I have the qualities that make for an Indian movie star. But thankfully with times, movies change with each passing decade and audiences also accepted somebody like me who had a distinct voice, was short, according to the standards of how people viewed Indian actresses to be and I’m fortunate that my audience has kept me going for the last 25 years. It is only and only because of my audiences and my fans that I truly exist till this day.”
She further adds, “When people tell me that I’m still very relevant it has to do with the fact that I have loyal fans who have stood by me at every stage in my journey in spite of my highs and lows like a rock and I think their love gives me the energy to keep going back on sets and giving my best. Even at a time when I had my baby, I was not sure about going back behind the arch lights, it was my husband who reminded me of the fan following that I have and that I need to go back again and face the camera because today I am no longer Rani the person, but Rani Mukerji the star that my fans have created.”
Yash Raj Films’ Bunty Aur Babli 2 is an out-and-out comedy that will pit two sets of con-artists called Bunty and Babli, from different generations, against each other. Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji play the OG Bunty Babli while Gully Boy hunk Siddhant Chaturvedi and the gorgeous debutant Sharvari, play the new Bunty Babli. It has been directed by Varun V. Sharma, who has worked as an Assistant Director in YRF’s biggest blockbusters Sultan and Tiger Zinda Hai.