Wholesome and pretty with a distinctive voice, Rani Mukerji carries with her the familiarity of a girl next door.
Born on the 21st March 1978 in Kolkata, Rani became part of a Bengali family that was heavily involved in films. Her father is Ram Mukherjee, a director and co-founder of Filmalaya Studios while her mother Krishna was a playback singer. Her brother is producer turned director Raja Mukherjee. Her maternal aunt is a National Award winning actress Debashree Roy. Actors Kajol, Tanisha and Mohnish Behl are her cousins.
She did her schooling in Maneckjee Cooper High School and graduation from Mithibai College in Mumbai. She also took an interest in Odissi.
Rani was rumoured to have dated her co-stars Govinda, Aamir Khan and Abhishek Bacchan. More recently she is said to be going out with director Adithya Chopra, all of which remain unconfirmed.
Rani was one of the actresses who visited jawans with the NDTV team. She participated in HELP! Telethon Concert to raise money for tsunami victims and also the Temptations 2005 show in Delhi, which forwarded the funds raised to National Centre for Promotional of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP). The prize money she won on Kaun Banega Crorepati was donated to the Holy Family Hospital which cares for children with heart problems.
Living Life Queen Size
Rani first faced the cameras when she was fourteen years old in a brief appearance in her father’s Bengali film Biyer Phool in 1992.
Her first full-fledged Bollywood film was Salim Akhtar’s Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat in 1996.
But the film did not do well. Rani returned back to Bollywood in 1998 with two hits Ghulam with Aamir Khan and as Tina in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai opposite Shah Rukh Khan and cousin Kajol. She won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her role as Tina. After the initial success, the films that released in the following two years were average performers. Her film with Kamal Haasan Hey Ram, was India’s entry to the Oscars. Badal did well on the commercial front and her performance in Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega was nominated for the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.
In 2001, she starred in films like Chori Chori Chupke Chupke with Salman Khan and Preity Zinta which dealt with surrogate motherhood. She also appeared in a cameo in friend Karan Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. The year 2002 saw a reverse in her fortunes with hits like Mujhse Dosti Karoge and Saathiya. Her role as Dr.Suhani Sharma in the latter won her the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance. Of the films released in 2003, her performance in Chalte Chalte received a nomination for the Filmfare Best Actress Award.
All three films that starred Rani in 2004, did a good job at the box office. Her convincing portrayal of Sashi Biswas in Yuva won her another Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award. She won the Filmfare Best Actress Award for her role in Hum Tum with Saif Ali Khan which was based on When Harry Met Sally. Her role in Veer Zara as a Pakistani lawyer was nominated for the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.
2005 was again a big year for Rani as her releases like the critically acclaimed Black, the comedy Bunty Aur Babli, Paheli and The Rising hit the screens. Paheli with Shah Rukh Khan was India’s entry to the Oscars. She was nominated for the Filmfare Best Actress Award for two of her roles the deaf-blind Michelle in Black and the notorious Vimmi alias Babli in Bunty Aur Babli. She finally won it for Black along with the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance.
In 2006, she appeared in the multi-starrer Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna which revolved around extra-marital affairs. The film was a hit overseas. In 2007, she had some moderate hits like Saawariya and Laga Chunari Mein Daag. Her only release in 2008, Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic failed to do well.
In 2009, Rani is playing the lead in Anurag Singh’s Next. She is also lending her voice to Koochie Koochie Hota Hai, an animated version of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, a love triangle between three dogs.