Rani Mukerji is an Indian actress known for her work in Bollywood films. She made her screen debut with a supporting role in Biyer Phool (1992), a Bengali film directed by her father Ram Mukherjee. Her first leading role was that of a rape victim in the 1997 social drama Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat, a financial failure but notable for earning her a special jury trophy at the Screen Awards ceremony. In 1998 she received public recognition for her role alongside Aamir Khan in the action film Ghulam. Later that year, her breakthrough role as the romantic interest of Shahrukh Khan’s character in the romantic drama Kuch Kuch Hota Hai earned Mukerji her first Filmfare Award in the Best Supporting Actress category. She followed this initial success by portraying the leading lady in several films, including the comedy film Hello Brother (1999), the action thriller Bichhoo (2000), and the drama Nayak: The Real Hero (2001), none of which helped propel her career forward. A supporting role in Kamal Hassan’s bilingual film Hey Ram (2000) was more notable, as the film was selected to be India’s official entry to the Academy Awards for that year.
Mukerji’s career prospects improved in 2002 when she played the lead role of a medical student in Yash Raj Films’ Saathiya, a romantic drama that garnered her a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress. For her roles in the 2004 romantic comedy Hum Tum and the drama Yuva, Mukerji became the only actress to win both the Filmfare Award for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively, in the same year. Also that year, she starred in Veer-Zaara—the highest-grossing Bollywood film of the year. In 2005 she garnered praise for portraying a blind, deaf and mute woman in the drama Black, and starred in the critically acclaimed fantasy film Paheli. She also played a con woman that year in the highly successful comedy film Bunty aur Babli. For her performance in Black, she was awarded the Best Actress and Best Actress – Critics trophies at the Filmfare Awards ceremony. The following year, she played an unfaithful wife in the drama Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna—one of the top grossing Bollywood films in overseas.
Following a leading role in the financially successful family drama Ta Ra Rum Pum (2007), Mukerji starred primarily in films produced by Yash Raj Films for the next two years. None of these films performed well at the box office, after which she featured as a talent judge for the Sony Entertainment Television reality show Dance Premier League (2009). The role of Meera Gaity, a headstrong television reporter in the 2011 semi-biographical thriller No One Killed Jessica earned her another Best Supporting Actress trophy at Filmfare, and the film proved to be her first box office success in four years. She also reprised the role of Gaity for an episode of the C.I.D. television series. In 2012 she portrayed the role of a grieving mother in the supernatural thriller Talaash: The Answer Lies Within, a commercial success, and in 2013 she appeared in one of the four short films in the critically acclaimed anthology film Bombay Talkies