Arnab: You told her that?
Rani: Of course I told her that but she knew & she believed that I could be one. Because probably she has seen me as a child & she thought that I could. But coming back to the phase - at that phase I realised when I was doing those films I was working everyday but somehow I did not enjoy the characters I was playing. It was not the movies. It was the role that I was not enjoying.
Arnab: Why it didn't have depth?
Rani: It was not as if it did not have depth or something but I was not enjoying as much. It was not probably the central role or it was not the main thing about the film.
Arnab: That's not the reason. You have done things where you have not played the central role yet you were noticed.
Rani: No I am not talking whether the audience is noticing me. I am talking about myself.
Arnab: So it was becoming a drag at one point of time?
Rani: I would not call it a drag but it was something that I was not enjoying.
Arnab: Which was the one film which made you feel like coming back to work?
Rani: Saathiya & Mujhse Dosti Karoge
Arnab: If I remember Saathiya came at a time when you were not doing fantastically well in your career?
Rani: Probably yes. Not too fantastically as you put it. But I did have a film like Mujhse Dosti Karoge which had done well & that was one film & Saathiya was one film where I really enjoyed my roles & I really enjoyed going to work. So I really liked those films & probably because of these 2 films I realise yes I must take on nice roles & film where I really feel that I've something to do in it.
Arnab: You became more confident?
Rani: I would not say confident. Confident I was from my first film.
Arnab: You got noticed?
Rani: Probably yes as a more serious actor.
Arnab: Did you get into the rat race after that?
Rani: What rat race are you talking about?
Arnab: Come on Rani!
Rani: Come on what?
Arnab: Rani, be frank with me... I am not a film journalist...
Rani: Why do you think that I won't be frank with you?
Arnab: ...because you began by saying that...
Rani: I was just pulling your leg...
Arnab: Bottom line is that now am sitting opposite someone who presumably holds the number one tag. Do you look at yourself as holding the number one tag?
Rani: No I don't. I just see myself as somebody who is respected in the industry for the kind of work that I have done & for me it's very important that I do not let my fans down because they have supported me even as you so called the phase where I wasn't noticed. My fans supported me even at that phase. My fans loved me in films like Bicchu & Hello Brother, my songs were super hit in all those movies & my fans really supported me even at the phase where my critics were lashing out at me, my clothes, my make-up & my weight...everything....
Arnab: It was difficult?
Rani: Fans are very very innocent people, when they love you they love you from your first film & they will love you forever. So it's our duty & responsibility as stars to not let them down.
Arnab: Politicians are diplomatic & stars also diplomatic.
Rani: Why do you say that stars are diplomatic? Just because you sit on the chair to interview us doesn't mean that you say anything...
Arnab: Can I ask you a simple question? Is there competition in your industry?
Rani: Competition is there in every field. Competition is there in your field also. So when you say stars are diplomatic you should know why they are diplomatic.
Rani: Yes I am saying something diplomatic probably I am feeling that it's not important for me to tell a media person the truth because that might hurt somebody. If you ask me whether he or she is your friend? Why should I answer that to you? I would tell or show that other person
Arnab: I never asked you that.
Rani: I am explaining you why stars are diplomatic & why you get a diplomatic answer?
Arnab: That was a pretty long reply for such a simple question?
Rani: Yes. I need to be as long because I need to explain to you that you have to be that nice to a person who comes & sits in front of you.
Arnab: We are not in the business of being nice but we are in the business of asking questions. If I were asked if I want to be the number one I would just say yes.
Rani: Good for you.
Arnab: So I am asking Rani Mukerji is she number one & what does that number one slot mean to you?
Rani: For me, I want my film to be number one because as long as your films are number one, as long as your films do really well you will always be considered as really good.
Arnab: They say that Rani Mukherjee is one actress who works well with all the Khans. Which one has been your most comfortable working relationship? Whom do you have a special equation with among all your actors.
Rani: Only the Khans you are talking about or all other actors?
Arnab: You can broaden that...
Rani: I can broaden that? Let's start with the Khans because I started my career with them. Aamir & Shah Rukh remain very special in my life because Aamir & Shah Rukh were superstars when I worked with them. I was barely a newcomer. Hardly knew how to act, didn't have the know-how to even do a scene. I was put in front of big stars like them. Ghulam & Kuch Kuch Hota Hain were the films I did with them. It's been a wonderful experience working with them because I learnt a lot working with them. They were my seniors at that point of time & what I really found amazing about these 2 people was that they were so focused & dedicated towards their work. I really got to learn a lot & I guess because those are the formative years of your life, you are trying to grope & learn things because you are so new. My experience working with them really helped me becoming a better actor.
Arnab: Tell me about the Aati kya Khandala song... did you think it would be such big hit when you were shooting it?
Rani: We didn't really think that. It was something that just happened & of course the audience has liked it so much that it was almost like a national anthem in that time. But while we were shooting it we really didn't think it would be such a big rage. As I told you my entire experience in working with Aamir in Ghulam... I still look up to him & they are 2 people whom I can do anything for, whenever they ask me because I've that respect for them. They have been very instrumental in shaping my career in an indirect way... without even knowing... I've learnt a lot from them like the way they used to work, their conduct - professionally & personally... the way they treated me - they did not treat me badly because I was a new comer. They made me feel very comfortable, they really took time out to teach me on the sets... if something would go wrong they were there to help me. So I would say that my comfort level with these 2 people would always be special & will always be very different because they have actually seen me grow as an actor. Even today when I am doing well they just feel proud as parents towards me. They really feel proud of my achievements. So it's a different equation that I've with them. So I can't really compare these 2 with anybody.