Rani Mukerji trained with motivational speaker Brad Cohen on whom her character in the upcoming film, Hichki, is based
Still from film
Rani Mukerji found the perfect comeback vehicle in Hichki, which sees her play an inspiring school teacher who suffers from Tourette syndrome (a nervous system disorder characterised by tics). To lend an air of authenticity to her Naina Mathur, the actor closely interacted with Brad Cohen, whose autobiography – Front Of The Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had – has inspired the Siddharth P Malhotra-directed film. A renowned motivational speaker from the US, Cohen traced his journey of overcoming the challenges of the disorder in the book that was later adapted into a TV film.
Keen on bringing Cohen’s inspiring story to the Indian audience, Malhotra reached out to him as early as 2012 and started developing the story with his inputs. The director says that he also introduced Mukerji to Cohen so that she could understand the finer nuances of her character.
Malhotra says, “Rani Mukerji communicated with Brad for two weeks over Skype. He showed her how he calms himself every time he gets the tics, how he dances, how he gets excited – basically, the entire gamut of emotions. She internalised Brad and his struggles. Rani realised that in order to pull off the role with conviction, she would have to make these tics part of her body language. After every scene, she would return to the monitor to check that the tics looked effortless.”
Sources say that Cohen is quite impressed with the film’s trailer. “Brad will be promoting Hichki from the US. He wants to lend his support to spread awareness around Tourette syndrome in India and the world over,” says a source.
Also read: Rani Mukerji: For women, looking young is a challenge
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