Rani Mukerji has managed to amaze her viewers with a wide body of work each time she has been on the big screen. Mukerji, maybe the only female actress in Bollywood with a franchise (Mardaani), has played characters of all ages and has never been hooked on exclusively portraying so-called "young roles." During a masterclass on 'Delivering Compelling Performances' at the 54th IFFI, Mukerji discussed the ageism controversy in the film business and how she has never let it become a source of stress for her.
"I don't believe an actor's age should be used to assess them. It's only because we have an open theatre that you want to see young people on screen all the time because that's what motivates young people to go out and see films. But it's equally crucial not to live in your own illusory universe and imagine that you'll always be young. You can be young at heart, but accepting your age and accepting roles that suit your age is also important for audiences to accept you in those types of characters," says Mukerji, adding that it has always been a "conscious decision of mine to be able to give my audience something that will be palpable for them."
When asked how she has remained relevant for 27 years and continues to try and experiment with roles that aren't necessarily her age, she says, "That's how my audiences have loved me and accepted me over the years, and they have in fact helped me to break this ageism barrier, and I promise to my audience that I will work until I am 80 for sure." "I'm not going to hang up my towels anytime soon."