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Rani Mukerji: I’ve always believed in having a great love story

Rani Mukerji on her marriage, husband, cook, self-defence and her latest film Mardaani

Rani Mukerji on husband Aditya Chopra: He’s a great soul, a wonderful human being and someone I really respect. Rani Mukerji on husband Aditya Chopra: He’s a great soul, a wonderful human being and someone I really respect.

With promotions of Mardaani in full swing, this is turning out to be quite a work-filled honeymoon for you. Has marriage sunk in yet?
Even if I forget, people keep reminding me of my marriage. We still have to leave for our honeymoon but it’ll have to be after the film’s release. I’m happy that Mardaani is my first release after marriage because I completely believe in the spirit of the film.

In your post-wedding note you mentioned that you always wanted a fairytale. Is married life also a fairytale?
Yes. The fairytale continues and I hope it does so till I die. I’ve always believed in having a great love story and I waited to meet my Prince Charming. The credit goes to my husband Adi (Aditya Chopra) for making it all come true. He’s a great soul, a wonderful human being and someone I really respect. It’s tough to get my respect since in this industry not many people are worthy of it. The world knows Adi as a great achiever, and a fantastic filmmaker but what is more important for me is that he’s a fair and good-hearted person. He’s the only producer who will give the biggest film to a director even if he has delivered a big flop.
You’ve known Adi closely for many years. Was there a particular moment when you felt that he’s The One?
You know, it’s quite strange. Before we even said it to each other, in our hearts we knew that we are meant to be together. During his speech at our wedding lunch, Adi said that he feels he was born to love me. Now he jokes that he said that because he writes love stories so I say to him, ‘Oh really?’ But in so many ways he has shown me that these are not just words for him. He calls me a ‘24-hour-entertainment channel.’ He says he doesn’t know what channel is running —  comedy, action or drama.
Adi is the most reclusive person in the industry. Will  we see more of him now that he’s married
to you?
(Laughs) No. He needs to be in his shell. Only I should be seen everywhere.
What’s the most significant change in your life after marriage?
Since Adi doesn’t live with his mother Pam Aunty (Pamela Chopra) I have to run the house. The biggest challenge is to tell the cook what to make everyday. After a month of planning the menu, I gave up. Now I’ve given him a list of things we like to eat and told him if we want a change, we’ll let you know. Some days I tell the cook to surprise us and make whatever he wants.

What according to you is the spirit  of Mardaani?
It’s about being fearless, bold, and independent. Through this film, I want to tell girls that they shouldn’t wait for justice. It’s time we stop asking men to accompany us for protection. Instead, the men should say that they feel safe because their wife/ sister/ daughter has a black belt. It’s my dream that girl students are taught self-defence in schools just like they are taught maths or science.

You sound really agitated. Obviously you feel strongly about this?
Everyday in the news we hear of so many incidents of crimes against girls. It’s disturbing no doubt but it’s also frustrating. Mardaani stemmed from this anger. As a female actor I’m no longer in my prime, even Dada (Director, Pradeep Sarkar) didn’t have a commercial hit behind him. Even though most people tend to believe, Adi has made this film for his wife, the fact is that this is my first film with Yash Raj Films (YRF) in four years and it’s only because as a team we all had this collective anger that we decided to make Mardaani.

How did you prepare for the role?
I learnt the Israeli self-defence form, Krav Maga. Usually we hear girls say that they couldn’t hit the guy because he was double their size. In such a situation Krav Maga is the best. It’s real, raw, does not require you to be
physically strong and is best for amateurs.

So what’s next? Babies? A creative role in YRF?
I’m not involved with YRF but if there is a requirement for my creative opinions then I’m available. As for babies, I hope they happen soon. Just like people kept pushing the topic of my marriage until it finally happened, I hope they keep talking about me being pregnant so that it happens soon.

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