Saif and I are not friends off the set
Thursday, April 26, 2007 12:11 IST
By Subhash K Jha, Santa Banta News Network
/> Rani missed out on doing Mira Nair's Namesake.

"I don't regret missing out on The Namesake. But I regret not working with Mira. I loved Jumpa Lahiri's novel and I love the film. Being a Bengali I completely relate to the ambience. So many of my aunts live in the US the way the protagonist does.

But I wasn't convinced about playing the mother of a 25-year old guy. And I said so to Mira. She completely understood my point of view. Also, Karan's film happened at the same time. I apologized to Mira. But I'm so fond of Mira. I love meeting her whenever I'm in New York.

In fact I bumped into her while shooting for Karan Johar's Kabhi Alvidaa Na Kehna. We were once shooting below her house. I'm very fond of her. And I'm sure we'll work together. The Namesake isn't Mira's last film, you know," Rani chortles.

Rani is very happy for Tabu. " Every role has a destiny. And I genuinely think Tabu was suited for the role. She was superb."

Rani's last release Baabul was a bit of a blown-up babble. Tell her that, and she jumps to the film's defence.

"To be very honest my parents wanted me to do Baabul. It's been quite a while since I had done a film on their say-so. And I'm happy that I did. Baabul was a cause every person relates to. See, a film has to touch a core audience. And Baabul did that. We made it with conviction."

Rani completely believes in Tara Rum Pum. "When I read the script I was so ecstatic I called Siddharth and whooped with joy. I completely identified with the script. I thought of my own mother who has handled all of us through every crisis. I've modeled my performance on my mother.

There're little moments in Tara Rum Pum that wrench your guts....And I got to play mother for the first time, to such professional kids. We had a lovely time because of them. Saif and I became children with the young actors. It's a story that will touch everybody."

And the third kid? "You mean Saif? It's so wonderful working with him. How much fun we have! Saif and I have grown together as an actor. Hum Tum was a breakthrough film for both of us. It got me my first best-actress award.

Hum Tum bonded us. He has come a long way from Hum Tum to Tara Rum Pum. Even I've changed with age and chemistry. Saif and I are not friends off the sets. We don't chat on the phone and we don't go out for dinner together. But on camera we share a great chemistry.

We're very helpful to each other. If he's stuck on a scene he doesn't hesitate to ask for my advice. I really wish Saif well. And I know he feels the same for me. And we're very vain about ourselves. We keep looking at each other's performances and patting each other on the back."

And the supposed fights they had in New York? "I never react to rumours. The truth was out when Saif and I talk about the film. Do you see any bitterness in either of us?"
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