Dil bole hadippa (more photos, videos, songs)
Rani, where have you been?
I have actually been right here only, in Juhu. I have been kept quite busy with Dil Bole Haddipa, which was actually meant to release in April. But due to the multiplex release date issue, it got pushed now to September. Which is why it looked like I have been really staying away from everything. It′s also that kind of film. Since I play a cricketer, or a girl who wants to play cricket so much that she dresses up like a boy, I was pretty sure that I would perfectionize the part before I played it. I have never actually played cricket in my life before and I know very little about the game.
So how did you prepare for the game?
Actually I had to train, with some cricket experts to get the shots right. I have never even played gully cricket in my life. My brother being a big bully always kept me away from all games, and my mother would say don′t go out you will get dark. You know like most middle class moms do! So for me, to pad up, hit the right shot and I am supposed to be this really really good cricketer in the film, so I had to train a lot. Besides the tougher part was walking with the pads on.
Why does it become really heavy?
It′s definitely awkward... And to play a girl who loves cricket, and plays it really well, so I had to practice that walk. Besides I needed to look like an athlete so I had to lose my extra weight. So I had to toughen up and train for that. Now that people have seen the promos, I have feedback that I am looking really fit. So I basically had to tone. Weight isn′t the right word...I had to get over the lose skin...I have been thin for a while now, and have really been fit. So the one thing missing in my fitness regime was the toning part, and I needed to get working on that.
So how did you tone up and achieve that?
I started off with power yoga, which requires a lot of cardio vascular exercises. Today it′s called power yoga. And I combined it with weight training. That′s where Satya my trainer come in. I combined weight training with yoga. And the myth being that you can′t eat when you train or plan to lose weight, is totally off the mark. For any fitness expert will tell you that the more you eat in small portions during weight training, the more you tone up. The trick is to eat small portions. Simple dieting, if not combined with exercises, will not make you fit, the fat will return with a vengeance. I chose to tone up and get in shape at the right pace, as I love food and only dieting wouldn′t help.
Your love for Bengali food is pretty well known.
It′s not just Bengali food; I love food, all food. I love Italian and Punjabi too.
So what is the one fitness tip that you would give the Indian middle class girl to get into shape?
I myself have a simple, middle class home diet. I start with Roti, Gawar ki sabzi and a little brown rice with dal. I turned vegetarian for 6 months of my weight loss, as I simply can′t resist home cooked non-veg food. I snack on bhel or Jhal muri as we call it in Bangla and dinner is usually a jowar ka Roti as wheat gets too heavy. I eat well, but eat in small portions.
How did you get into the role of a girl who becomes a Sikh boy?
I have never consciously stayed away from the limelight. I have never been a big fan of partying or going out or hanging out. I have always been you know, what my mother calls a Ghor kuda (in Bengali) or a home worm. I like to return home to play with my niece, spend time with my parents. I prefer to call my friends over for dinner at home. I started working so early in my life, that I missed out on chilling and relaxation at home. So this whole limelight-avoiding thing doesn′t work, as I never have been a part of it in the first place. And now with my new Juhu bungalow, I have made it perfectly fit to my needs. I have a home theater. So with this move that took a lot of time from me, and this move and settling down to the new bungalow. So I coincidentally stayed away from it all...
Rani Mukherji (more photos on gallery)
A lot has been made out of this move to Juhu with people calling your new house unlucky, and saying that it′s hindering your career. How do you react?
(Laughs) I find these rumours entertaining and sometimes end up liking them for they at least keep me buzzing! I dont′ have a PR. I hardly meet the media or step out for appearances, so bizarre stories are made out of my life. Like this rumour that this Juhu home is unlucky for me. I even heard that I am running away from my home! I just laugh them off, as I don′t know who these journalists are and why they write all this. But sometimes they end up hurting my parents like with these house related stories. I have actually worked hard to build this house, so it′s a bit sad. People who visit my new house tell me about these TV stories. I don′t think I will leave this house even when I get married.
So you do plans to get married?
Yes I of course plan to get married. I think marriage is important, and I really think children are important so I will positively have kids. I take a look at my brother, with his two children and coming home to them, it′s so beautiful. I think marriage is important, when it happens to my life great. But I am not hankering after it. I kept myself very busy with the film and was too busy enjoying the house, so I am not in a hurry to marry. Unfortunately, except for Haddipa not too many interesting offers have come for me. So I am taking it easy, and focusing on Dil Bole Haddipa for now.
We heard you met Harbhajan and have invited the Indian cricket team for a screening?
(Smiles) I met them at Neeta and Mukesh′s party. We actually got a British Make up artist to model my look after Harbhajan, so when Bhajji said I look good as a Sikh cricketer, it felt really good. I did invite Sachin and Yuvvraaj to a screening, and told them since it′s a film about cricket it would be nice to get their feedback. My character is Sachin crazy so they have promised to attend the screening, and I am looking forward to get their opinion.
Shahid is junior to you in the industry and also younger. Do you like the feedback?
Shahid and I both think we look good together, and we think our onscreen pair works. But more than what we think, it′s the audience′s reaction is more important. So far it s been positive, hope it remains likes that. I surfed the net and my fans are so excited with the film that it keeps me hopeful.
Working with Rakhi Sawant came as a surprise to us.
Well she is fun. Our director Anurag Singh wanted to do this role only with her. Whenever I shot with her, I ended up liking her. She fits the role perfectly too.
Thanks a ton.