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Rani Mukerji and Oz actor Rachel Griffiths bond in Melbourne over inclusivity in cinema

Bollywood actor Rani Mukerji, winner of the Best Actress award for Hichki at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, has also highly impressed the Australian actor-director, who’s an activist as well.

bollywood Updated: Aug 17, 2018 20:50 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Rani Mukerji,Rachel Griffiths,Hichki
Bollywood actor Rani Mukerji asked Australian actor-director Rachel Griffiths to visit India.

The ongoing Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (August 10-22) has already witnessed several acclaimed actors and filmmakers from India and Australia coming together to discuss cinema. Among those who headlined the panel discussions on Day 1 were Bollywood actors Rani Mukerji, Richa Chadha, Ali Fazal and Vicky Kaushal, and filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, along with Slumdog Millionaire actor Freida Pinto and producer Tabrez Noorani, and the Australian Minister for Equality and Culture Martin Foley.

‘Rachel is a huge activist and has watched a few Bollywood movies, too. She feels that the work [in Indian films] is diverse and very interesting’ — A source

Among them all, Rani seems to have made a rather wonderful impact on Australian actor-director Rachel Griffiths, who was present at the event and knows about Hichki, the film for which Rani has just won the Best Actress award at this festival. A source says, “Rachel is a huge activist and has watched a few Bollywood movies, too. She feels that the work [in Indian films] is diverse and very interesting. She was particularly quite impressed with Hichki’s storyline. She has been really looking forward to watching it soon. Rani, too, is very interested in Rachel’s upcoming film, Ride like a Girl, which she has directed, too, and is quite eager to watch it.”

Rachel has been a prominent face in Hollywood films such as Hacksaw Ridge, Step Up, My Best Friend’s Wedding, and according to sources, she was really moved by Rani’s outlook towards the festival’s theme, which is ‘Inclusion’. Upon learning that Rani has worked in a film that educated the masses on Tourette’s syndrome, a neurological disorder, Rachel was extremely impressed with the latter’s body of work.

Rani is hopeful that Rachel would watch the film soon and help the cause for spreading awareness. “Since Hichki’s plot is close to Rani’s heart, she feels that Rachel, being an activist herself, will help spread the message of representation and inclusion in films,” adds the source.

On what else the two spoke about, the source says, “Rani asked Rachel to visit India and Rachel replied that she would be more than happy to, and was already planning to fly out to India soon.”

Will fans get to watch these two in a film? Time will tell.

Interact with Monika Rawal Kukreja at Twitter/@monikarawal

First Published: Aug 17, 2018 19:10 IST