Bollywood's reigning queen Rani Mukerji doesn't regret doing Baabul that turned cold turkey at the box office and is quite upbeat about her next film Ta Ra Rum Pum. She says she has modelled her performance in the film, releasing Friday, on her mother.
"When I read the script I was so ecstatic I called Siddharth (Anand) immediately. I completely identified with the script. I thought of my own mother who handled all of us through every crisis in our lives. I've modelled my performance on my mother. There are little moments in Ta Ra Rum Pum that wrench your guts.... And I got to play mother for the first time - to such professional kids at that," Rani told IANS.
Angelina Idnani and Ali Haji play Rani and Saif Ali Khan's children in the film.
"We had a lovely time because of them. Saif and I became children with the young actors. It's a story that will touch everybody."
And the third kid?
"You mean Saif? It's so wonderful working with him. What fun we had! Saif and I have grown together as actors. Hum Tum was a breakthrough film for both of us. It got me my first best actress award. The film bonded us. He has come a long way from Hum Tum to Ta Ra Rum Pum."
Rani says she has also changed with age - the chemistry is different.
"Saif and I are not friends off the sets. We don't chat on the phone and we don't go out for dinner together. But on camera we share great chemistry. We're a great help to each other. If he's stuck on a scene he doesn't hesitate to ask for my advice.
"I really wish Saif well in life. And I know he feels the same for me. We are both very vain about ourselves. We keep looking at each other's performances and patting each other on the back."
And the supposed fights they had in New York?
"I never react to rumours. The truth was out when Saif and I talked about the film. Do you see any bitterness between us?"
She was Mira Nair's first choice for The Namesake and Rani says she regrets not working with the NRI director.
"I don't regret missing out on The Namesake but I regret not working with Mira. I loved Jumpa Lahiri's novel and I love the film. Being a Bengali, I completely relate to the ambience.
"Many of my aunts live in the US the way the protagonist does. But I wasn't convinced about playing mother to a 25-year old boy. And I said so to Mira. She completely understood. Also, Karan's film happened at the same time. So I apologised to Mira," said Rani.
Rani says she is very fond of Nair.
"I love meeting her whenever I'm in New York. In fact I bumped into her while shooting for Karan Johar's Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. We were once shooting below her house. I'm very fond of her and I'm sure we'll work together. The Namesake isn't Mira's last film, you know," Rani chortled.
Rani is very happy for Tabu who is getting rave reviews for her performance.
"Every role has a destiny. And I genuinely think Tabu was suited for the role. She was superb."
Rani's last release Baabul was a bit of a blown-up babble. Tell her that and she jumps to the film's defence.
"To be very honest my parents wanted me to do Baabul. It's been quite a while since I'd done a film on their say-so. And I'm happy that I did it. Baabul was a cause every person relates to. See, a film has to touch a core audience and Baabul did that. We made it with conviction."