Rani Mukerji Talks About Sridevi, Aditya Chopra, Adira & Hichki

Why do we see you so less nowadays? What has happened?
(Laughs) Nothing has happened. I am going to remove this complaint of yours by  doing at least one movie every year now, if not two. I have decided to be more visible. My maternity break is over and I am back.

Rani Mukerji Poses For A Photo Shoot

Post Adira's birth, is it that you want to do only those films that matter?
Of course, because when you become a mother, it is important that you prioritise your life around your baby. Adira is still very young. The film has to be really something if I was to divert my attention and time towards it.

So, how many films have you refused in the past one year or so?
Not many, actually (laughs).

How did Hichki become that film for which you wanted to divert tour attention and time?
When Hichki  came to YRF, I was pregnant. And, it had been offered to another actor. That actor kept YRF waiting for a year and latter moved out- for unavailability of dates or whatever the other reason(s).

Rani Mukerji In Hichki

Maneesh Sharma got to know a few months back that I was ready to return, and he asked Adi (Aditya Chopra, husband) that since anyway I was his first choice, can he approach me? Adi told him to go ahead, and things fell into place pretty soon.

Okay, so I found the film's subject very interesting, especially how the protagonist overcomes her weakness of Tourette Syndrome  and converts it into her strength.

The film also dwells on how our society discriminates against lesser intelligent children and poor children. Hichki is a very sensitive film.

Playing Nana Mathur has been extremely challenging and it was perfect as my comeback vehicle.

Filmmaker Maneesh Sharma

Did you interact with people who have Tourette Syndrome?
We tried but could not make much headway in that. Strangely, in India very few people are aware of what is Tourette Syndrome. We did ask people to come forward but very few parents were forthcoming in bringing their children.

I wanted to get it right, and we then went to Brad Cohen on whom Hichki is inspired from. Brad and I interacted a couple of times. I understood the trials and tribulations he had to undergo.

I had to look natural, so I developed my own tics, showed it to director (Sidharth Malhotra), he approved--- and we got shooting.

Brad has seen the trailer and quite liked it.

Is Hichki your toughest role till date?
No, I think Black was my toughest role. Hichki would come a close second.

Did you get the tics right immediately?
Yes, but I had made it very sure before I got to shooting that it shouldn't become a laughing matter. Such things are dicey.

All said and done, you might feel a little unnerved seeing all that on screen--- but that is the idea.

Has life changed after marriage?
No, but it has changed after motherhood. My day starts and ends with Adira. First, my life revolved around my parents.

Is Adira a naughty child?
Hmmm... no. (Animatedly) Ek Maa se uske bachche ke baare me mat poocho (laughs).

Star kids are constantly chased by the paparazzi. Shahid Kapoor is not very comfortable with this, but Saif Ali Khan doesn't seem to mind. What is your take?

I wouldn't be giving an opinion about what others are doing, but as for my own take, I feel every child should have a normal childhood and should not be given undeserving attention.

Shahid Kapoor With Wife Mira And Baby Misha

Adi and I feel that she shoukd get attention from flashbulbs not before she deserves it and not because she is so-and-so's baby.

Your take on pay disparity between heroes and heroines?
We are working with production houses that are unbiased. The day an actress' film starts opening at the price that that it does at her male counterparts' fee, the difference in their pay packets will disappear.

The nation lost a wonderful actress Sridevi, recently. She was very close to you...
Yes, she was very close to me. I grew up seeing her films like Chandni and  Lamhe. Her demise was a personal loss to me. She was my source of inspiration.

We grew closer especially after Adira was born. She gave me lot of tips and anecdotes about motherhood. We were confidantes. We were really thick friends.

Sridevi In Lamhe

I remember going on her sets in my school uniform. I have lost two very important people in my life in space of 2 months- Sridevi and my Dad.

Death is such a bitter truth of life.

When did you last speak to Sridevi?
I was busy traveling for Hichki promotions and she had gone to Dubai (for Mohit Marwah's wedding).  She had called me about 15-20 days before (the tragedy). She said, "Laado- she called me laadoo, I want to see Hichki."  I told her, "Maa, surely. I need your opinion on it, and you shall see it soon."

Aur yeh rahe gaya?
Yes, Dad bhi nahin dekh payenge aur Sridevi bhi nahin.

rani mukherji poses for a shoot
hichki poster featuring rani mukerji
maneesh sharma
brad cohen has liked the hichki trailer
rani mukerji in black
rani mukerji daughter adira
shahid kapoor with wife mira and baby misha
rani mukerji talks about adira
sridevi in lamhe

Image Source: Manav Manglani, urbanasian, instagram/hichkithefilm, bradcohen, guiltybytes,