Why Rani And Kajol Grew Distant

In the latest episode of Koffee With Karan Season 8, the never-seen-before camaraderie between Kajol and Rani Mukerji takes centre stage.

The actor recall several moments from their film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, directed by Karan Johar, and reveal why there was “organic distance” between them despite being cousins.

Mohnish Singh brings you some surprising revelations from an entertaining episode.

Did Karan Johar hit Rani Mukerji?

Rani jokes that Karan had “hit” her and “snatched food” from her during the filming of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

Before that, Karan recalled how Kajol called him to her van on the first day of the shoot and asked him to scream at her “loudly” on the set so that everybody would take him seriously.

“I just thought it was quite sweet that you offered that. Though I did not land up screaming at you because I thought it would be a bit too much if Day One, I start screaming at such a huge movie star right in the middle of the shoot,” Karan says.

“You did not scream, but you hit me,” Rani chimes in.

“I did not hit you!” a visibly-shocked Karan replies. “Don’t say such things. It is not considered appropriate.”

“It was abuse,” Kajol says.

“I know I snatched food off your table, but I did not hit you, Rani,” Karan insists.

“Those were different days and we were not woke,” Karan adds. I had told Rani, ‘You have to wear a short skirt in Mauritius so just lose some weight because you have to wear it.’ She said, ‘I’ll lose four to five kilos.’ So she did. Four to five kilos happened. They were not lost. They were put on. And I was like how she was going to wear those orange shorts. So then we instructed the room service not to give you any food and Rani’s mother was in on this.”

Rani later clarified that it was a “gentle pat”.

Karan’s Lies in Desperation

Recalling how he had lied to Rani while casting her as Tina in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai as he was desperate to find the perfect actress for the role, KJo says, “The funniest thing happened when I narrated Rani the film, when eight girls had said no and I was like, ‘Mujhe yeh short skirt pehenke karna padega Tina ka role‘.”

After the narration, she had invited Karan to her room, and Karan claims, “I had never been invited to a girl’s room (before).”

“But why did I say that to you? At least say that, otherwise people think this story is incomplete. I invited you because Tarun Mansukhani and Nikkhil Advani were in the room,” Rani clarifies.

Karan adds to the story: “She took me into the room and said, ‘Will you be able to convince the world that SRK loves me over Kajol because SRK and Kajol are such an iconic pair?’ At that time, I was so desperate that I lied through my teeth because I didn’t even know how convinced I was. I was like, ‘You leave it to me. I will do it.’ I really wasn’t sure what was coming my way but it was fun.”

Such Lovely Couples

Karan reveals a funny incident when he and Manish Malhotra went to London to shop for Kajol and Rani’s clothes for the film.

The red jumpsuit Kajol that wore in the song Koi Mil Gaya was from the Baby GAP from London.

“Those were the days when I fit into baby clothes!” Kajol quips.

KJo reveals another funny incident from his shopping spree.

“Aditya (Chopra) was setting up Yash Raj Films in the UK and Anil Thadani was his partner. So we had taken an apartment with two bedrooms because I was shopping with Manish and they were setting up the YRF office.

“So the guy who was the concierge of that building, at one point looked at Adi and Anil — because first in the morning Adi and Anil were in corporate clothes and used to leave and then me and Manish with our shopping bags used to go — and said to Adi once, ‘You all are both such lovely couples.’ Adi’s face was in shock. It was hilarious.”

Why Rani and Kajol Didn’t Talk Much in the 2000s

Karan wonders “What kind of family is this?” that they don’t even talk to each other.

Kajol answers, “Nothing really like that. It was just an organic distance. Where work is concerned, it’s more that both of us liked where we were.”

Rani adds, “Because I have known her as a kid and she was Kajol didi for me and it was a bit strange. I guess when you grow apart, you really don’t know the reason why because you don’t meet that often because Kajol didi used to stay in town and we were in Juhu. Me and Tanisha were much closer and we are still. But Kajol didi was always closer to the boys of the family. So it was a bit strange.”

Rani reveals they eventually became friends “more after our dads passed away.”

Rani, a Protective Mother

Karan asked Rani about her successful strategy of keeping her daughter, Adira Chopra, away from the paparazzi, and she replies she simply tells them not to click the little girl’s pictures and how they look into her eyes and get scared.

“Right from the time Adira was born, I have to thank all the paparazzi and all the media people; they really love me because they kind of respected that. They know how Adi (Aditya Chopra) is. It was our decision that we didn’t want Adira to be photographed because we have a different idea of how we want to raise Adira, so that she doesn’t feel privileged or she doesn’t feel very special at school, and she feels like any other kid. And she doesn’t get any extra attention.”

“That was something Adi and I wanted for her. That would only happen if she would not be photographed.”

Age Discrimination

Karan discusses about how older actors are being paired opposite much younger actresses but older actresses have no such privilege.

Rani says, “It’s the truth of cinema and not particularly the cinema of the world but Indian Cinema.”

Kajol adds, “It’s the truth of society, actually. You have older men having younger wives and nobody raises an eyebrow. You have had 30-year-old men getting married to 13-year-old girls for like hundreds of years.”

Rani says, “I think it’s what we want to accept and what we don’t want to accept. So I think it comes from a collective thought process that has been told to us from childhood and that is what we are following because we are not using our brains.”

Blockbusters Rejected

During the Rapid Fire round, Kajol reveals she turned down three major blockbusters, including Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots, Shah Rukh Khan’s Dil Toh Pagal Hai and Akshay Kumar’s Mohra.

When Rani was asked the same question, she revealed that she did not refuse but a director had blocked her dates and was not allowing her to be a part of Aamir Khan’s Oscar-nominated film Lagaan.

“I did not turn down this role. It was a particular film-maker who did not release my dates, and because of this, I could not do Lagaan,” she reveals.

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