Rani Mukerji has always wowed audiences with her brilliant acting, but critics and audiences rate her performance in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black to be her best to date. On the 16th release anniversary of Black, Rani talked about her experience working with the filmmaker and the appreciation she received post the film’s success.
Rani reveals, “I had already been a huge fan of Sanjay Leena Bhansali after watching Devdas and it was a dream project for me, because working with Bhansali is a dream for any actor. But I wasn’t very confident that I would be able to pull off the role, so I was very reluctant to do the film when Sanjay offered me the role."
She adds, “I was quite intimidated actually at first but it was entirely Sanjay’s belief in me as an actor and he promised me that he will be there with me at every step of the way guiding me through the role, through the character and give me as much help as is I need to basically study the character of Michelle McNally, through the real people who are speech, sight and hearing impaired. I felt confident because Sanjay fulfilled his promise. I actually went through intense training and learning the sign language and interacting with all the impaired people for 6 months and that’s how I was able to then get into the character of Michelle.”
Rani further added, “I was overwhelmed when both the audiences and critics showered heaps of praise on Black and me but I was deeply touched by Dilip Kumar’s kind words. It was a dream for me after watching Black , Dilip Kumar had written an appreciation letter for my role and acting. It was really an honour for me to get blessings and a pat on my back from a thespian like him. Because my father has worked with him, I have literally grown up hearing numerous tales about his work and professionalism. I have been a huge fan of his work from childhood. We as a family have always looked up to him as an elder in the family so obviously a letter of appreciation for my work written from him is something I will always cherish.”
Black also starred Amitabh Bachchan as Debraj Sahai, the stubborn mentor of Michelle McNally, who helped her complete her college education.