Rani Mukerji says she knew that Indian films were popular in China but it was still a surprise to witness the love and respect the audiences have for Bollywood stars when she visited the country to promote Hichki. In Hichki, Rani played the role of a teacher who suffers from Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary vocalisations.
The film, which released in India in March this year, is currently doing well in theatres in China and the actor was on a multi-city tour to promote the movie there. The film has earned over Rs 150 crore at the Chinese box office.
Rani said it was phenomenal to see people connect to the story the way an Indian audience would do.
"They understood each and every emotion of the film. They knew about the film, they had seen the film so there was a lot of positivity everywhere I went. It was surprising because I knew that Indian films are popular but to what degree, I found it when I went there," Rani told PTI in an interview.
The actor said she decided to be a part of the promotions in China because she wanted to witness the love first hand and it has been an enriching experience for her.
"Interacting with the audiences and Chinese people has made the entire travel so much more inspiring for me. It was just amazing and surprising at the same time because the kind of love they have for an Indian actor and the kind of respect they give you is phenomenal," she added.
Rani said "Hichki" has been a special film for her because it was her first film after the birth of her daughter, Adira.
"It was a difficult time for me since it was my first film after motherhood so I was really anxious leaving my daughter behind and going to shoot but it all went really well. I have more focus today than before because now I want to complete my work to the best of my ability and go back home immediately.
"Also, there was a lot of goodness attached to the whole process of filmmaking. It's really nice to be around people who work towards a common goal," she said.
The actor believes Indian films do well in China because the two neighbours share a lot of cultural similarities.
"Our cultures and our way of life is very similar. Indians and Chinese are very similar in terms of family life and in the way they live. So a lot of things are common and I guess that's what really connects our stories to them because it feels very close to home.
"The language of cinema and emotions is universal. When you make a film which is about human emotions, it kind of clicks in any part of the world and I guess 'Hichki' doing that consolidates the fact. It makes you believe in good content, good cinema and also makes you believe that if you back a project which has heart and soul, there will always be an audience somewhere who will appreciate it," Rani said.