Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Rani Mukerji go back a long way. But now that Rani is married and a mother, she barely gets time to catch up with old friends, SLB included. But it looks like the two will meet soon.
Not much of a movie viewer, Sanjay has expressed keenness to watch Rani’s new movie, Hichki. Says SLB fondly, “Rani has evolved as an actor. When we first worked together in Black, she was tremendous and motivational. Now, I hear she’s playing another character that overcomes her physical disability to conquer prejudices and make a success of her life. I’d certainly want to see how she has interpreted her character.”
He also recalls her pivotal role in Saawariya as a tribute to Aruna Irani’s act in Bobby. “Rani played the other woman, the silent lover, the slightly older, and the very experienced woman to the virginal hero with such restrain and sensitivity. Her performance in Saawariya is amongst my favourites,” beams the filmmaker.
Not many know that Rani was to do a third film with Sanjay. Way back in 2003, Bajirao Mastani was planned with Salman Khan, Rani and the now Kareena Kapoor Khan. In an interview back then, SLB had said, “Only Rani can play Bajirao’s wife Kashibai the way I envision the character. I need a great performer who is also dignified. I have signed Rani for both Black and Bajirao. The two films offer her a range that actresses only dream about. Rani and I are very good friends in real life; that will help us while working together.”
Eventually, Bajirao Mastani was made with a different cast, but the warmth between the two remains....