Rani Mukerji’s stellar body of work makes her one of the best actors ever produced by India. But what’s even more stand out is the number of powerful female protagonists that she has given to Indian cinema through her incredible acting performances. From Sashi in Yuva, Saamiya in Veer-Zaara, Aparna in Hey Ram, Michelle McNally in Black, Naina Mathur in Hichki, Meera Gaity in No One Killed Jessica, Shivani Shivaji Roy, to name a few, Rani has immortalised some of the more charismatic and phenomenal female protagonists in the history of Bollywood.
Rani sheds light on her choice of such brilliant characters. She says, “I have always looked to celebrate the strength of women through my films whenever I have got the opportunity. No One Killed Jessica, Black, Mardaani, Hichki, etc are some of the favourite films of my career because they resonated with who I’m as a person in real life and my belief in how a woman should always be perceived. For me, a woman is a pillar of strength for her family, community, husband, child and I do feel we don’t celebrate women enough.”
Rani is reprising the role of the fearless and committed Superintendent of Police, Shivani Shivaji Roy in Mardaani 2. She had delivered a knock-out performance in the super hit and hugely acclaimed prequel, Mardaani, in which she took on the kingpin of a child trafficking racket. In Mardaani 2, Rani has been pitted against a very young yet dangerous villain who can be called pure evil.
The actor opens up on why her character in Mardaani has become so popular among masses. She says, “Mardaani 2 is another attempt of mine showcasing what a fearless, self-made, self-believing woman can do despite being pitted against all odds. Shivani Shivaji Roy is someone who will never back down in the face of injustice and I’m glad people have showered so much love and appreciation on her. She is one of my most favourite characters because she lives life her way and isn’t cowed down by judgments and stereotyping. She is the boss in a man’s world and she ensures her work speaks the loudest. She is the quintessential spirit of a woman and maybe that’s why she resonates with so many people.”
The versatile actress is thrilled with the current new generation of actors who are choosing to pick up scripts with script female protagonists.
Rani says, “I can see the tides changing and I can’t tell you how thrilled I’m as a woman and as an artiste. I have silently tried to do my best to bring out powerful women on screen and impact the psyche of people through their life. I get so happy when I see the young actors choosing to do gritty, women-centric films that give out the correct messaging about women to society.”
Produced by Aditya Chopra, Mardaani 2 will be Rani’s next release after the global blockbuster Hichki that delivered 250 crores worldwide. Mardaani 2 is set to hit theatres on 13th December.
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