For those who are wondering how Rani Mukerji managed to get into those short skirts in Siddharth Anand's just released Ta Ra Rum Pum, the actress reveals it all.
"Getting slim, my dear. That's the magic mantra," she told IANS while shooting for Pradeep Sarkar's Laaga Chunari Mein Daag.
"The minute I was told about what kind of look I'm supposed to carry off in a major part of Ta Ra Rum Pum, I knew I had to get seriously slim. If I had put on those short skirts looking the way I did earlier, I'd have looked pretty cracked."
While Rani toned her physique for the skirts, she made her trainer work overtime.
"I made my trainer Satya's life a living hell. I don't think he has ever had a more demanding client."
Besides the slim and svelte look, Rani also had to make sure the clothes went with the transitions in the character's life.
"See, at first Saif Ali Khan and I play collegians. Then I gradually go on to being the mother of two growing kids. So I had to have a specific before-and-after look."
"My dress designer Surily Goel was driven up the wall by my demands. See, today the character's look is very important. Not just the heroines, even the heroes devote a lot of time to getting the look right.
"Earlier, I'd constantly have fights about my clothes with Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi Mukherjee. Now it was Surily's turn to get the brunt of my exacting nature. All three designers feel I'm one of the most quarrelsome heroines they've worked with."
Rani chuckles hard, and then sobers down when Sarkar drops in to brief her for the day's shooting. They converse in fluent Bengali and obviously have much to share.
Sighs Rani, "I don't know where all those stories about me squabbling with dada (Sarkar) came from. Probably from people who want to see us fight and cannot bear to find me getting along with my directors.
"Whether it's Anand, who incidentally was in college with me, or dada, I'm the last person to create any problems."
Rani will now finish her solo portions in Sarkar's film and then wait for Abhishek Bachchan to return from his honeymoon in June before shooting with him.
"Almost all of Abhishek's scenes in Laaga Chunari Mein Daag are with me. So, we'll be shooting together constantly in June. I'm looking forward to that. I'm really happy for Abhishek and Ash. They deserve all the happiness in the world."
What about love in Rani's own life?
"I'm not holding my breath for it. Love isn't something that obeys a timeframe. When it happens, it'll happen. In a way I'm glad I don't have a man in my life. It gives me the chance to focus completely on my work. But if and when it happens, I'm not going say no to love just because I'm busy with my career. No way."