Mukerji comes from a film-oriented family of Bengali origin. Her father, Ram Mukherjee, is a retired director and one of the founders of "Filmalaya Studios". Her mother, Krishna Mukherjee, was a playback singer. Her brother, Raj Mukherjee is a film producer, now turned director. Her maternal aunt, Debashree Roy, was a Bengali-film actress and her cousin, Kajol, is a Bollywood actress.
Mukerji is a trained Odissi dancer, and began learning the dance in tenth grade. Mukerji studied at Maneckjee Cooper High School in Juhu, and later enrolled at Mithibai College in Mumbai.
While in school at the age of 14, Mukerji did a cameo role in her father's Bengali film Biyar Phool (1992). In 1994, Salim Akhtar, a family friend, offered her a film called Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1994) but her father was against it as she was too young. Mukerji turned down the offer and Urmila Matondkar was cast instead.
Two years later, Salim Akhtar came up with another offer and insisted on her playing the protagonist of Raja Ki Ayegi Baraat (1997). After a long discussion with her father, she agreed to do the film. When the film was unsuccessful at the box office, Mukerji returned to college to complete her education.
Queen of Bollywood
Got her first breakthrough with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998).
Her favorite film is 'Titanic' along with that her favorite song is 'My Heart Will Go On' from 'Titanic'.
Won 'Best Actress' for Hum Tum (2004) at the Bollywood Movie Awards, Screen, Cinegoers, Sports World, 1st GIFA, Zee Cine, IIFA and at the 50th Filmfare Awards.
Won accolades in the 'Best Supporting Actress' category for Yuva (2004) at the Bollywood Movie Awards, Screen and at the 50th Filmfare Awards.
Won accolades in the 'Best Supporting Actress' category for Veer-Zaara (2004) at the Sports World, Cinegoers, IIFA and South Africa Awards.
Won Sports World Jodi of the Year with Saif Ali Khan (2004).
Only actress on Filmfare power list (2004).
Won a Filmfare award for best supporting actress for Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998). Directors then started taking her seriously, and then she signed up to do 22 films.
She changed the English transliteration of her surname from Mukherjee to Mukerji several years ago. At the time, it was reported that she did this for numerological reasons. Recently, she has claimed that numerology was not a concern; her name had been put down as Mukerji on her passport, and she wished to harmonize her name and her passport.
She is the first actor to ever win both the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress trophies in a single year (2005) at the Filmfare.
Appeared at the Closing Ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, as part of a performance showcasing Indian culture, on behalf of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, to be held in New Delhi.
Besides acting in films, she also does many charity appearances for noble causes. Her most noteworthy show was Temptations 2005 where she performed in New Delhi. The event provided the opportunity to raise funds for National Centre For Promotional of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), a leading disabled rights group. Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra were also amongst the many who contributed to this cause.
In 2005, she worked with the biggest production houses and banners: Black, Bunty aur Babli and The Rising. These three movies were amongst the top ten grosser of the year. Paheli, while only moderately successful, was India's official entry to the 2006 Oscars.
In February 2005, she was the only woman on the listing of "Ten Most Powerful Names of Bollywood". Filmfare Magazine incorporated her into the Power List at # 10. She was ranked at # 8 the following year, a number ahead of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. In February 2007, she was placed at #5 on the prestigious Power List, configuring the highest ranking for a woman. Rani has also been ranked # 1 in the Filmfare Top Ten Actresses' Listing for three years in a row (2004-2006).
She has won well over 60 awards to date.
Listed # 1 on Rediff's 'Top Bollywood Female Stars' Rankings for three consecutive years (2004-2006).
Was honored by an audience of 50,000 at the Casablanca Film Festival (2005) in Morocco where her selected four movies were presented to the foreign masses of people.
Her film, Paheli (2005) got the honor to open the ninth Zimbabwe International Film Festival in Harare a year later.
In 2006, the actress bought a new house for herself in Juhu. The interiors were done by Twinkle Khanna and it took an entire year to get ready.
Appeared at the Closing Ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, as part of a performance showcasing Indian culture, on behalf of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, to be held in Delhi.
Listed # 36 by UK magazine 'Eastern Eye' as one of "Asia's Sexiest Women" (Sept/2006).
Rani Mukerji have been the only member from the film industry to have been invited to the dinner in Honor of President Musharraf.
She was invited to the Toronto International Film Festival to promote her movie Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. Due to her schedule shooting of Tara Rum Pum in New York City, she opted not to go.
In early 2007, the actress performed an act with Saif Ali Khan in Versailles for Lakshmi Mittal's guests at his daughter's £30 million/$65 million wedding.
In November 2006, Mukerji was shooting a film in Varanasi when avid fans crowded the set. Security personnel beat the crowd back with sticks. A media storm followed as various groups insisted that Mukerji should have stopped the security guards. The actress later issued an apology.
The actress donated her prize money, her half-share of half-a-million rupees from her 2007 appearance on "Kaun Banega Crorepati?" (2000) with Preity Zinta, to the Holy Family Hospital. She said that this institution looks after children with heart problems which is a major setback in India.
In February 2005, Mukerji performed at the HELP! Telethon Concert to help raise money for the victims of Tsunami in company with other Bollywood stars.
As of 2012, she is a seven-time Filmfare Award-winning Indian film actress, the most wins by any actress. She now has two Best Actress Awards, two Best Actress Critics Awards and three Best Supporting Actress Awards.
Besides acting in films, Mukerji has associated herself with several other commercial and non-profit organizations. In March 2004, Mukerji visited the sandy dunes of Rajasthan to boost the morales of the soldiers. It was for a show where entertainers and stars visit Indian troops in far-flung regions to encourage them along with the NDTV team.
She has been featured in the list of Rediff's "Best Dressed Actresses".
For her three minutes dance act at the Closing Ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games, alongside Saif Ali Khan, she was reportedly paid 1.5 million rupees.
She performed in the "Temptations 2004" concert alongside Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Arjun Rampal, Preity Zinta, and Priyanka Chopra in nineteen stage shows across the globe. It was the most successful Bollywood concert in its time and it broke all records.
The actress has been an active stage performer and has participated in numerous world tours. Her first world tour was in the year 1999 with Aamir Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Akshaye Khanna and Twinkle Khanna. It was called the "Magnificent Five". The show was widely watched in every city where it was showcased.
As of 2006, her total box office impact is worth well over Rs. 5 billion.
Her friends in the industry include Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Karan Johar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Aditya Chopra, Vikram Bhatt, Sohail Khan, Arbaaz Khan, famous choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant, Farah Khan', Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Manish Malhotra, Ashutosh Gowariker, Kiran Rao, Anil Kapoor and all his family including daughter Sonam Kapoor, the Deols, especially Bobby and Twinkle Khanna.
She is very good friends with superstar Salman Khan. She starred in the Khan's home production "Hello Brother" in 1999.
She is the only actress to have won both Best Actress and Best Actress Critic's for the same movie at the Filmafre Awards. The film was 'Black'.
She is extremely close to actor Anil Kapoor and his family, especially his daughter Sonam Kapoor.
She is the only actress in Filmfare history to have won both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in the same year.
Rani was the first choice for Dil Se, Lagaan, Munna Bhai MBBS, Salaam Namaste, The Namesake, Bhool Bhulaiya, Heyy Babyy, Billu and Gulab Gang. She could not do Lagaan, Munna Bhai and The Namesake due to date conflicts.
She is the only actress to have worked in both Salman Khan & Shahrukh Khan's home productions, under Sanjay Leela Bhansali's banner, Anurag Kashyap's and the Bhatts, all whilst being an established and leading Yash Raj and Dharma Productions heroine. Rani was also the first choice for Aamir Khan's debut production, Lagaan.
I don't party, I don't get drunk and I don't have affairs. So all my passion goes into my work.
When Karan wanted my voice to be dubbed for Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), I really thought that it was bad and very husky and rough, but slowly I worked to improve my diction, and am now quite comfortable with it.
You sign two films with a hero and it's said you're having a scene with him. Please, the only scenes I'm into are in front of the camera.
Why should I try to imitate Kajol? I am not a mimicry artist.
It's frustrating for the media to see me going about my work like Florence Nightingale - They'd like me to be Rangeeli Rani.
I'd never trade my dad's house, even for Buckingham Palace. I'm very sentimental about living with my parents.
I'd rather have a room full of cuddly teddy bears than a diamond necklace in a safe deposit locker.
On her character in The Rising (2005): "See, my role started as a cameo. I was supposed to play the widow Jwala's character - yes, the one Aishwarya Rai was supposed to have done. Now Amisha Patel is doing that. When I read the script, I fell in love with the small role of the prostitute. There were two or three very good scenes. The script underwent a change, and I got more space than before. But it's still a cameo - nothing like what Smita Patil did with Ketan Mehta in Mirch Masala, though I wish had."
I can never be rude to people who want photographs and autographs, but I don't like to be followed and stared at constantly.
My schedule for the day is somewhat fixed. I wake up early; go for my work-out. Play with the baby for a while, get ready and then I am off for my shoots. After work, I come home directly, play with her as long as she is awake. Then I have my dinner and hit the bed. That's it. My life revolves around my shooting schedules and Myeisha's daily routines.
I am here to act, entertain and make good films. I don't want to work hard for a film which does not even get released. I will cooperate with my director and help him make a good film. I get disappointed if my co-actors don't put in as much as I do. Today I am looking for banners and costars who have the same goal as me --- to work towards making a good film with dedication. I have made mistakes in my career, but that is just the learning process.
On Replacing Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Chalte Chalte (2003): As a matter of fact, and I have said this before, I was the original choice for this role. Shah Rukh spoke to me about the film during Asoka. I didn't have dates, so Ash replaced me. When she couldn't do the film for whatever reason, Shah Rukh asked me to do it. I love Aamir and Shah Rukh in a different way. When Shah Rukh asks, I can't say no.
I am in the profession of acting and so to suit the character I sometimes have to indulge in kissing and provocative scenes. I have never felt comfortable shooting for kissing sequences. Although, kissing scenes like the ones in Yuva with Abhishek Bachchan and in Hum Tum with Saif were shot in an aesthetic manner. I am still pretty much uncomfortable performing such scenes.
On the State Dinner with President Pervez Musharraf: It was like a dream come true! To just be part of such an event made me feel that I've done something to achieve this. All the biggest dignitaries from both sides of the border were so cultured and down-to-earth. When I was invited, I was disbelieving and overjoyed. I'm really looking forward to going to Pakistan. Let's see where the invitation comes from. Maybe it will come directly from the Begum (President Musharraf's wife). They actually want me and Latabai (Lata Mangeshkar) to come to Pakistan!.
Fifty thousand people on the beach watching 'Chalte Chalte' with me, then asking me questions about the songs and dances, the idiom and language of expression was incredible. I don't think I'll ever forget my experience in Casablanca.
To be honest, when the media gets very curious about my personal life, I get a little worried because too much curiosity is not good for anybody's health.
I have been linked with all my heroes from Vivek Oberoi to Govinda. I deal with the controversies because it's a part of my profession, and I am not having an affair with anyone. They try to link me up so that I come across as a little more interesting for the viewers. Linking me with other stars is OK, but not Vivek!
I think what is essential to be an actress is that you should be confident enough, you should have patience, and you should be ready to do a lot of hard work.
I think what is really required as a trick to survive in the film industry is your dedication, patience, lot of hard work and no manipulation.
Preity Zinta and I have always shared a good working relationship. We were never great pals, but we vibe so well on-screen that to the media and outsiders it appears that we are great friends in real life, too.
Salman Khan is probably one of the most good looking people we have in our industry.
I feel beautiful in love. There is a lot of love for you in the beholder's eye. That makes you feel very happy.
[on her fallout with Abhishek Bachchan] The truth is if someone chooses not to invite you to their wedding you realize where you stand with that person. You may be deluded and think you are friends but maybe that friendship was only extended as co-stars on the sets. It doesn't matter. It became very clear to me that we were only co-stars not friends.
[on Saif Ali Khan] Saif is a brilliant actor, undoubtedly. He is one of my favorites and I enjoy watching him on screen. Both of us agree we have great chemistry onscreen that stems from our off screen rapport. We trust each other as actors. While shooting we never tried to outdo each other. The other day we were watching the preview if our film and, at the end, we both agreed that we look so hot together.
I had just been in the film industry for a few years before the Khan's (Salman, Sohail and Arbaaz) offered me Hello Brother. It was a really nice film and even today I am honored that they chose me for it. It is every stars dream that to work with the three Khan's (Aamir, Salman and Shahrukh) and I had done it as a newcomer! I thank them all for what they gave me.
[on the Vivek and Salman row] This really doesn't have much to do with me so I can hardly comment on it. But from my side I can say that Salman was and always will be a sweet co star and friend of mine and I don't believe in the accusations made against him. However, you have to hand it to him for handling the situation so well. Vivek and I were co stars in Saathiya and I guess our chemistry worked but personally I'm not close to him. He's my brothers friend from school, not mine.
[on Hrithik Roshan] We get along really well. Besides having a similar pattern of working, it's important to establish a comfort level between co actors. Mujhse Dosti Karoge was one big picnic. Since Hrithik and I were comfortable with each other I would tell him whether a particular scene was shot well or not. We are more friends then co stars. I would tell him to redo a scene if I thought it was not good or if there was something missing. Hrithik takes my suggestions seriously.
[Talking about working with Salman Khan] Salman was so sweet. He helps you whenever you're in trouble, whether thats personally or professionally. He'll help you with your scenes in the film, with your dialogs and also give friendly advice. I have worked with him in a few films and it's always been great. I'm looking forward to working with him again!
[on Salman Khan] Salman is absolutely adorable. I really love him as he is always himself. I only laugh when I am with him, he is so entertaining. He is a rock star. When he comes in screen, not only the common man but we actors also clap and whistle for him and say, "Star Aa Gaye." He is so good looking. When he passes by, you actually stop to turn to look at him. When I saw the promos of Dabangg, I called him and both of us went completely mad. He is a cult figure. Just as the South has a Rajnikanth, we have a Salman!
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