Rani Mukerji, who is currently in London, UK, recently attended the premiere of her last release, Mardaani (2014), in Poland. Describing the experience as “electrifying”, the actor adds that the perception of Bollywood abroad is changing from the song-and-dance routines it is usually associated with.
Do you think Indian cinema is now more influential overseas?
Yes, for sure. And I think more such films should be made, and they should show the world a different India. So far, the kind of films that have got a release abroad have been song-and-dance-based, so people think that’s all Bollywood is about. But Indian films are diverse, and are slowly changing that perception. It’s not just about Bollywood; this includes films in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati and many other languages.
How was your experience at the premiere in Poland?
It was overwhelming. Polish actors, directors, critics and the media were there, and when such people give you a standing ovation, it reiterates the fact that cinema and art can traverse borders. They were all engrossed in the story and were rooting for the characters, the way people in India did when they saw the film. It’s a foreign language film for them, but they were moved by the story, because sex trafficking is a global problem. They were also shocked that India has made such a film, since they’ve been used to seeing Bollywood films with song and dance.
The film’s subject is a sensitive one. Did you expect such a favourable response to it?
When we work on a movie, we’re always hoping for the best. But in India, no one takes a film seriously unless it works well at the box office. Thankfully, we got that as well as critical appreciation, and that helped us spread awareness.
Do you think Bollywood should churn out more serious, social message-based movies?
I think our industry makes a good mix of films. On the one hand, we have a Happy New Year (2014), and on the other, we have a PK (2014). Last year gave you films like Kick (2014) and Haider (2014). Indian audiences are lucky to get such diverse films. Abroad, you have to wait for really long to watch your favourite actor come out with a film.
Rumour has it that you’re likely to direct a film under your husband’s banner. Is it true?
No. I am yet to work to my potential as an actor.
What about producing films?
Production is a job with great responsibility. And I’m the kind of a person who won’t do anything unless I can put in my 100 per cent. When I have that kind of time, I’ll think about it.
So a good film and a happy marriage — your life seems perfect.
Ever since my wedding, it seems like I am living a fairy-tale life. Honestly, there’s nothing better than your audience’s adulation. It feels great.
Rumours claim that there might be a sequel to Mardaani (2014). Is it true?
I would love to act in a film like this again. From the feedback I’ve got, people would like to see a sequel, but making a film depends entirely upon the writer. If there’s a script better than this, then for sure. But as of now, I don’t think anything is happening.