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Heeramandi actor Aditi Rao Hydari on why Sanjay Leela Bhansali heroines are 'more than grandeur and glamour' | Exclusive

Aditi Rao Hydari praises Heeramandi and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's depiction of women, emphasising that they transcend mere grandeur and glamour.

Heeramandi actor Aditi Rao Hydari on why Sanjay Leela Bhansali heroines are 'more than grandeur and glamour' | Exclusive
Aditi Rao Hydari/Instagram

Last Updated: 02.27 PM, Apr 30, 2024


As the world eagerly awaits the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's latest epic, Heeramandi, on Netflix on May 1, Aditi Rao Hydari has opened up about her extraordinary journey with the acclaimed filmmaker. The series promises to deliver a visual feast typical of Bhansali's grandiose style, enriched with deep narratives and complex characters. 

Aditi Rao Hydari's gratitude for working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Aditi, who has had the remarkable opportunity to collaborate with Bhansali on multiple occasions (Padmaavat too), shared her feelings about working with him. "It's like you want to do one film with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and you get to do four. So for me, it was like, I'm so lucky; I get that much more time to spend with somebody I love so much and respect so immensely. It's like a great blessing in my head. I really enjoyed myself, and it's a huge privilege," she said.


The actor has been in several period-genre films and series, such as Padmaavat, Jubilee, and Taj: Divided by Blood. She emphasised that her attraction to projects is often influenced by the director rather than the genre. "It's not the context that attracts me; it's the director. I'm a director's baby; I want to work with directors that I love and respect, who will push me and nurture me at the same time. It's that, and also, whether it's period or contemporary, great directors create stories and characters that move you and touch you as a viewer and as a lover of cinema. It's the characters and the scenes and the music and the drama and the feeling that I go home with, and great directors create that. So it's that that fuels me; it's not a period drama or a contemporary, but I'm very lucky that I've gotten to do quite a few of these period dramas because it is a very beautiful world. Sanjay Sir's Heeramandi specifically is exquisite, and I love him. I mean, I feel very blessed that, whether it's period or contemporary, I would be there in a heartbeat. It's him and what he's creating, and I want to be a part of his vision," Aditi explained.

Crafting stories with passion and honesty

Reflecting on Bhansali's method of storytelling, Aditi recounted the emotional impact his dedication to his craft had on her. "To me, he's the kind of director and human being who actually understands history, art, human emotions, humanity, passion, fire, and purpose. There will be times when he will speak about a scene, but while he is speaking about a scene, he will go into the psyche of that person, the time, or whatever. There were times when I would just have tears because he would speak with so much passion and honesty that it was very moving. He always does that; he always creates worlds like this, and it also stems from his own true love for the stories that he wants to tell and his own true love for the characters that he wants to bring to life—the honesty of those characters and the context in which they are placed," she detailed.

In discussing her character, Bibbojaan, in the upcoming series, Aditi shared her admiration for Bhansali's portrayal of women. "Since you asked about Bibbojaan, I find it so amazing that, like you said, there's the grandeur and the glamour and the beauty and the artistry and everything. But that is not the only thing a woman is; she is so much more than that. There is a fire in her; there is loyalty; there is a purpose; there is the fight for justice; to be righteous; to help; to be kind; there's so much that goes into a complete and beautiful woman, and he sees it. So he creates it, and we get to play it. It's so beautiful, and I feel I'm so lucky that Bibbojaan is a part of my life and that he gave me this life to live—a very honourable life to live—for which I'm very grateful," she expressed. 

Heeramandi is set to premiere on Netflix on May 1.

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