Happy Birthday Rani Mukerji: She was the only actor to be invited by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the official banquet in honour of visiting President General Pervez Musharraf. Rani was invited as she was the favorite actor of Begum Sehba Musharraf and her role in Veer-Zara was very well appreciated by President Musharraf.
Rani who was not in movies for quite some time is making a comeback on 23rd March with the release of her film Hichki which means hiccups. She plays the role of a person having Tourette Syndrome where an individual makes involuntary sudden sounds and movements. The movie is inspired by the real-life success story of American motivational speaker, teacher and author Brad Cohen.
As a part of promotion for the movie Rani interviewed her popular costars about Hichkis in their lives. Shah Rukh Khan said it was his parents death, for Katrina Kaif it was dancing and for Ajay Devgn it was comments about his ordinary looks, not-hero material.
Hichki is expected to be one more unusual movie in Rani’s long list of films with different and unconventional roles in her outstanding professional career which has seen no hichki.
Today on her birthday on 21st March let us have a look at some rare trivia about her.
Her family tree; the Mukherjee-Samarth family
Rani is from the legendary Mukherjee-Samarth family. Her father is producer Ram Mukherjee, son of Ravindramohan Mukherjee who was the elder brother of Filmalaya studios founder the legendary Sasadhar Mukherjee. Sasadhar’s son was the popular Joy Mukherjee. Joy’s brother Deb is father-in-law of Ashutosh Gowarikar while another brother Shomu married Tanuja and they are parents of Kajol, Ajay Devgn’s wife and a huge star in her own right.
Tanuja is from the famous Samarth family in which the 1st star was Shobana Samarth. Her daughters are Nutan and Tanuja. Nutan was also a huge huge star. Her son Mohnish Behl is a popular actor as well. For some time Rani was considered a second fiddle to her popular cousin Kajol, until she established herself in her own right.
1st major success; major awards
Rani’s 1st super hit was in only her 3rd movie, Ghulam. Though she did not have an extended role, she had a terrific impact. Her song “Ae kya bolti tu, ….. aati kya Khandala” will be remembered for all.
The very next year she had a supporting role in Karan Johar’s directorial debut, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. This movie remains the only movie in history to win all 4 main acting awards, Best actor for Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol , and Best Supporting Actor for Rani Mukerji and Salman Khan.
Rani is also the 1st and only female actor to win both best actor and best Supporting Actor in the same year. She did so at the 50th Filmfare Awards for her roles in Hum Tum and Yuva. The next year she once again got the best actor award for Black and also the critics choice for best actor female to be the 1st and only female actor to have this feat.
The Oscar Connection.
Two movies in which Rani has appeared have been India’s entry to the Academy Awards. Paheli was the official entry for the 2006 Oscars. In Paheli she plays Shah Rukh’s wife. Hey Ram was an earlier entry in 2000. However the movie which starred Kamal Hassan, Shahrukh and Rani was not nominated.
Rani will next be seen on screen in Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero. One does hope she will be seen regularly in movies from now on.
Happy Birthday Rani, and all the best for Hichki.
Ritesh Misra is an IRS officer currently based in Mumbai. He blogs & tweets @riteshmisra.