Suggest me a new marriage date: Rani

The question for the abundantly -talented Rani is, what next? After playing angel in Kunal Kohli's Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic she is all set to do one more thoroughly unconventional role.

Rani plays a cricketer in Yashraj Films' next to be directed by debutant Anurag Singh. She's paired for the first time with Shahid Kapoor in what promises to be a first of its kind not just for the actress but for cinema anywhere.

Laughing her hearty Mukherjee laughter from her swanky new home Rani says, "I don't know if any actress has played a cricketer before.

But I am playing one for sure. In fact I've been learning cricket regularly on the field for the past two months. I can most certainly play the game convincingly now, though not as good as the professionals yet. How convincing I look, we'll soon know. It's a very big challenge for me."

Rani is hungry for new roles. " At this stage of my career I feel I need new challenges. When Kunal Kohli offered me angel's role I was kicked. I don't now of any actress who has played an angel before, do you?"

I remind her of Brad Pitt in Meet Joe Black.

"Also, " says Rani. "For the first time I was playing a character who couldn't cry. Now they can stop saying Rani cries so much in all her films. It was pretty cool to play a character who actually doesn't know how to cry and who had to fly around like Hrithik in Krissh."

Being suspended on a harness was not easy. "It required a lot of physical strength to assume the correct 'flying' posture on the harness. I guess it'd be equally difficult for me to look convincing as a cricketer. But I'm glad to be doing work which challenges."

So is she equipped to join the ILP now? I quip. "I don't know about that. But I'm definitely enjoying it. My practical sessions are on full swing."

So who on earth is Anurag Singh and what gives him the privilege to work with an actress of Rani's stature?

"That you will have to ask Aditya Chopra. It isn't as if I haven't worked with new directors before. I was in Shaad Ali's first film Saathiya, remember? And Kunal Kohli who has made a beautiful magical film with me now started his career with me in Mujhse Dosti Karoge."

So after an angel and a cricketer what would Rani like to play? "Maybe an astronaut like Kalpana Chawla. And I'd also love to play a doctor. I've never done that before. Come to think of it I've never worked with Shahid Kapoor before either. I'm doing so now."

Isn't there a danger of her being branded a resident Yashraj heroine since all her recent films have been with that banner alone?

"Why?" Rani shoots back. "Wasn't Saawariya with Sanjay Leela Bhansali? And if Yashraj is making some of the best films in our country why should I keep out of them just because people are talking?

Incidentally my marriage date February 10, 2008 has come and gone. Would mediapersons like to set another date for me so I can start getting my trousseau ready?"