Personal Life and Media Image
Rani uses the English transliteration of "Mukerji" instead of the original "Mukherjee" for her surname. She has never clarified the reason for having done so. Mukerji has three homes in Mumbai, including her childhood home. She currently lives in Juhu with her parents.
Mukerji is extremely guarded about her personal life, and despite constant media speculation, has never spoken about her relationships. However, in an interview with Simi Garewal she claimed to have been "absolutely in love", without divulging the name of the person. As opposed to most of her contemporaries, Mukerji limits her media interactions and is often termed as a recluse. However in 2011, in an interview to Screen India she clarified, "Today actors have become more open with the media. But this has posed a problem for actors like me because if I don’t do that, then I end up being called reclusive. So now I have changed myself and am easily approachable." She is additionally known for her friendly image and shares a close friendship with several Bollywood stars including Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Karan Johar.
In June 2005, Mukerji was widely criticized following the publication of an interview with British newspaper Desi Xpress. Mukerji was asked to name her idol and she replied, "Adolf Hitler". However, in an interview with Times Now a year later, she denied ever mentioning Hitler's name. In November 2006, Mukerji was shooting for the film Laaga Chunari Mein Daag in Varanasi when avid fans crowded the set. Security personnel beat the crowd back. A media storm followed as various groups insisted that Mukerji should have stopped the security guards. Mukerji later issued an apology.
Mukerji occupied the top slot of Box Office India's Top Actresses list for two years in a row (2005–2006). She was also placed number one on Rediff's Top Bollywood Female Stars Rankings for three consecutive years (2004–2006), while in 2007, she was ranked at number five. In February 2006, Filmfare placed her eighth amongst the "Ten Most Powerful Names of Bollywood", an achievement she repeated from the previous year, where she was ranked at number ten, the only woman on the list. In 2007, she was ranked at number five. On Women's International Day 2007, Mukerji came in fourth on the Best Bollywood Actresses Ever listing. She was placed at number 36 by the UK magazine, Eastern Eye, as one of Asia's Sexiest Women (2006). Mukerji is frequently featured in various lists by Rediff.com, including, Bollywood's Most Beautiful Actresses, Bollywood's Best Dressed Women and Women of Many Faces.
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