Rani Mukerji is a powerhouse of talent. Over the years, her range of diverse roles, across spheres, has been noteworthy. Expected to make a comeback with her new film Hichki’ in 2018, there is less doubt that she will shine bright like in the past!
A sneak peek into the life of Rani Mukerji and how she attained the status of an actress par excellence in Bollywood.
Early Life –
Rani was born in Mumbai on 21 March 1978. Her father, Ram Mukherjee belonged to the famed Mukherjee-Samarth family. He was a film director and one of the founders of Filmalaya Studios. Her mother, Krishna Mukherjee, is a former playback singer Entertainment runs in her genes! Her elder brother, Raja, is a film producer and director. Her maternal aunt, Debashree Roy, is a Bengali film actress and her paternal cousin, Kajol, is an acclaimed Hindi film actress. Ayan Mukerji, the famous scriptwriter and film director is also her cousin.
Even though movies were like second skin for her, Rani took a while to make the decision to traverse the tuft.
Educated in Mumbai, with a degree in Home Science; she is also a trained Odissi dancer.
Rani experimented with acting, first in a Bengali film, titled ‘Biyer Phool’ , in 1996. The film was directed by her father. Soon after, she completed work on her first Bollywood movie titled ‘Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat’.
But it was the widely acclaimed ‘Ghulam’ with Aamir Khan that illuminated a shining star on the cinematic screens. Not only was she praised for her role but also termed as the actress to watch out for.
She then began a full-time career in films.’Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ with Shahrukh Khan and cousin Kajol was again a feather in her cap. Post this, there were tough times when consecutive movies of her flopped. But 2002 saw the release of ‘Saathiya’ with Vivek Oberoi and things changed forever for Rani.
By 2004, she had established herself as a leading actress of Bollywood with roles in ‘Hum Tum, Yuva and Veer-Zaara’. She achieved further success for portraying a deaf, blind and mute woman in the acclaimed drama ‘Black’ in 2005 and an unhappily married woman in ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’. ‘Bunty aur Babli’ with Abhishekh Bachchan surmounted her to another pedestal of success.
Other noteworthy movies include ‘No One Killed Jessica, Talaash: The Answer Lies Within and Mardaani’.
Rani Mukherji is the recipient of several awards including seven Filmfare awards.
Rani was appointed as an ambassador by Procter & Gamble and the NGO Child Rights and You for their joint venture, Shiksha, to endorse the cause of children’s education. In 2011, she set up a Stroke Treatment Fund, in association with the Indian Stroke Association, to pay for the treatment of financially deprived stroke-affected patients.
From time to time, she has visited Indian Army units too; once in Pokhran, Rajasthan and the other time in Baramulla. In February 2005, she along with other Bollywood actors participated in the 2005 HELP! Telethon Concert to raise money for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
From spending time with physically challenged children of the Helen Keller Institute to raising funds for the “Because I am a Girl” charity campaign; Rani has always been involved with social causes. A few years back, she attended a charity dinner on child abuse in London, where she was felicitated by Prince Charles for raising awareness on this issue.
She is married to filmmaker Aditya Chopra, with whom she has a daughter.