EXCLUSIVE: Richa Chadha On Playing Lajjo In Heeramandi, Says 'Sanjay Leela Bhansali Told Me To Study Meena Kumari'

EXCLUSIVE: Richa Chadha On Playing Lajjo In Heeramandi, Says 'Sanjay Leela Bhansali Told Me To Study Meena Kumari'

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi is slated to release on May 1, 2024.

Shefali FernandesUpdated: Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 12:14 PM IST
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Richa Chadha is gearing up for the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi, who plays the role of Lajjo. Ahead of it, the actress talked to the Free Press Journal and expressed her excitement. She said, "I am quite happy, also because promotions are coming to an end. I am in my third trimester now, so it gets a bit challenging to manage all the things that are happening at once, but I am in a good space. 

When asked about her pregnancy journey so far, Richa said, "We found out quite late, too. We did not find out immediately. So far, so good. It has been quite comfortable and I am very grateful that everything has been easy. I have a good support system, good staff and a very good partner (Ali Fazal), who takes care of me very much."

Further, Richa talked about her character in Heeramandi and said that Lajjo is Mallikajaan's (Manisha Koirala) favourite in Shahi Mahal. "She is very funny, chulbuli, and tragic. She suffers a heartbreak in the show and instead of letting it get to her, she chooses to be an escapist and becomes an alcoholic. Thus, there are comparisons to female Devadas about it. She becomes self-destructive," she added.

Talking about the preparation, Chadha said that Sanjay Leela Bhansali was the one who told her what to do and gave us the right cues to ace the role. "He told me to study Meena Kumari from Pakeezah, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, and not just on-screen but also her off-screen life. So, that part was quite challenging and that is what I tried to imbibe. I hope I have come close to it. I know I will never be Meena Kumari, but I hope I have come 5% close to it."

While reports are stating that Bhansali is temperamental, Richa denied the claims and said that he is an actor's delight. Calling him generous, the actress said that he is the most collaborative director she has worked with. She added, "Maybe whoever said it was from their own experience. I had a great time working with him and I really think that he is someone who gives you so many chances, as he feels like you are living the character. Tell me what you think. Also, if you have so many crores riding on you and you have high standards, Every single day is so lavish, I don't know how other people will be different."

On working with Manisha Koirala, Richa said that she is very supportive as a co-actor. Sharing an incident from the sets, Richa said, "One day I was having a bad day on set; it was the day I did 99 takes, fir bhi kuch nahi hua. She called me after that and said, 'I have to tell you that even though unko nahi mila jo chaiye that, I could see that you were working very hard.' She is very lovely and she did not have to reach out to an actor like me out of the blue."

Lastly, Richa was also asked if her husband, actor Ali Fazal, has watched Heeramandi. To this, she said, "He has watched the 2 episodes shown on the premiere. He really liked it."

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