HELLO!: How do you feel about the recognition you’ve received from HELLO! for your outstanding performance in Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway?
Rani Mukerji: “It’s always good to be acknowledged for your work because that’s what we actors strive for — audience acceptance, love and adulation. The award from HELLO! is an acknowledgment of the work I’ve done, so I’m elated.”
H!: While you’ve always been acknowledged as a great actor, there was something special about this performance. What moved you so deeply about the role?
RM: “As an Indian citizen, I was angered to hear about the ordeal that another Indian citizen had to go through in a foreign country. These are not the usual stories you hear about NRIs. More often than not, we feel that Indians abroad lead amazing lives. This story opened up many conversations about the other side of things. On a human level, I was very connected to Sagarika’s story. As a mother, I felt her pain. In fact, I don’t think I needed to be a mother to be able to feel Sagarika’s pain. Anyone with any semblance of humanity would be bothered by what she had to go through. It’s a story that binds all of us with compassion.”
H!: You’ve seen both highs and lows in your career. What was your greatest learning from them?
RM: “Very early in my career, my father had advised me to not get over excited with success and disillusioned by failure. That’s the mantra that’s stayed with me. Nothing is permanent in this industry. If you go through lows, you’ll see a high. Take every day as it comes, and keep striving to do your best. At the end of the day, the audience will see your work. Leave the rest to destiny.”
H!: What can we look forward to from you next?
RM: “That’s something I’m thinking about right now. I’m still fulfilling my commitments towards Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway, so whatever I do will be an organic transition, something that works for me and moves me emotionally.”
H!: You’re a successful woman married to a successful man. What makes this partnership work?
RM: “We both respect each other and our work. Since we’re both in the same field, we understand the challenges of our profession. Our relationship is based on mutual respect as we know what it takes to be here and the effort involved in succeeding in this industry.”
H!: How do you define success?
RM: “Success is about being able to choose the kind of work I want to do and also being able to choose to sit at home with my daughter whenever I please. If there’s a story that needs to be told and I feel strongly about, that would make me want to go to work, not a sense of compulsion.”
H!: Share a few moments that stood out for you in the past year.
RM: “I’ve cherished every year of my daughter growing up. The memories I make with her are precious. When I look back at the time I spent with my parents, it makes me want to hold on to every year with her. She’s just seven, but is already like a little lady!”
H!: You cut down on your work since your daughter’s birth. How have you explained the importance of working to her?
RM: “It’s normal for Adhira to know that both her parents work. That’s what she’s been taught, so that we could inculcate these values in her early in life. She needs to understand that the privileges she gets as a child do not come on a platter but because her parents work hard for them.”
H!: Does she watch your movies?
RM: “She’s still in her cartoon zone in princess land and likes happy stories. She hasn’t started watching my films yet because she can’t disconnect me as her mother from the characters I play on screen.”
This has been adapted for the web from a story originally published in the May-June 2023 issue of HELLO! India. Get our copy of the latest issue right here!