On Rani Mukerji’s birthday, here’s a throwback to the time when Aamir Khan admitted that he had made a huge mistake by dubbing Rani’s voice in Ghulam.
Bollywood actor Rani Mukerji debuted with Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat in 1997 but the film that made her a household name with the masses was Karan Johar’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. In those early days, Rani was known as the actor with a unique voice, which, to date, stands as one of her most unique features. But not everyone in the film industry was accepting of her voice at the time, not even her Ghulam co-star Aamir Khan.
Ghulam was released a few months before KKHH and made Rani known as the ‘Aati kya Khandala’ girl. But not many know that Rani’s voice was dubbed by a voice-over artiste in the film. Rani, in an interview in 2018, shared that Aamir Khan, Mukesh Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt were not on board with Rani dubbing for herself in the film. She told Mid-day that they “felt that probably I didn’t have the shrill, nice and beautiful voice that heroines used to in those days.”
At one point, Aamir had a chat with her and told her that even Sridevi’s voice was dubbed over in many of her films so it was perfectly okay for someone to dub for her. She recalls that he told her, “We should do anything for the betterment of the film.” Rani thought he made sense and since she was a newcomer, she did not have a choice. “Being a newcomer I didn’t have a choice, but it was gracious of them to inform me,” she said.
Ghulam and KKHH were being shot at the same time and when the time came for her to start dubbing for the Karan Johar film, Karan asked her if her voice was being dubbed by someone else in the Aamir Khan film. “I told him that they thought my voice was not good. He asked me whether I had dubbed for my first film. He asked me if I had any issues with dubbing at all. He told me to dub for KKHH. Karan took that decision and that sort of changed everything for me. KKHH was such a popular film. Everyone saw it. There was acceptance for my voice,” she recalled.
Even though Rani was in a supporting role in KKHH, she was accepted with open arms by the industry and the audience. She recalled that after watching the film, Aamir called her and admitted that they made a huge mistake by dubbing her voice. “I remember Aamir calling me after watching KKHH, saying, ‘Babes I think we made a huge mistake by dubbing your voice. And your voice is really good.’ For me, that was a really amazing moment, since I respect him so much. The fact that he called and said that they had made a mistake was a big thing for me as a newcomer,” she said.
Rani and Aamir later worked together in films like Mann, Mangal Pandey: The Rising and most prominently in Talaash.