OTTplay Logo
settings icon
profile icon

Sanjeeda Shaikh on being a part of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi - 'Learned to be a good listener and a better actor' | Exclusive

In an exclusive interview with OTTplay, Sanjeeda Shaikh opens up about her transformative experience in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi.

Sanjeeda Shaikh on being a part of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi - 'Learned to be a good listener and a better actor' | Exclusive
Sanjeeda Shaikh/Instagram

Last Updated: 02.37 PM, Apr 27, 2024


After being a part of the television industry for around two decades and also starring in a few films, Sanjeeda Shaikh is gearing up for the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Netflix series, Heeramandi. In the series, the actor plays the role of Waheeda, who is Mallikajaan's (Manisha Koirala) sister and has grey shades. In a candid conversation with OTTplay, Sanjeeda delved into the profound impact of her collaboration with Bhansali in Heeramandi. She shared exclusive insights into her character, the artistic process, and the invaluable lessons learned from working with the ace filmmaker.

Sanjeeda Shaikh expresses gratitude on collaborating with Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Reflecting on the transformative nature of the experience, Sanjeeda expressed profound gratitude for the opportunity to work with Bhansali, citing it as a cherished moment in her career. "I think the process of filmmaking, which I have experienced on such a large scale, is an experience that I cherish all my life," she remarked, emphasising the influence the filmmaker had on her as both a performer and an individual.

Describing the immersive nature of Heeramandi, Sanjeeda spoke about the poetic quality of each scene and shot, likening them to individual films within the series. "Forget each episode; each scene and each shot was poetry for me," she enthused, underscoring the depth of her artistic connection to the material.

Navigating complexity

Sanjeeda also delved into the complexities of her character, Waheeda, acknowledging the challenges inherent in portraying such a multifaceted role. "It is very exciting for me as an actor, but it is also very challenging because it is not an easy character to pull off," she confessed. Yet she found solace and inspiration in Bhansali's direction, noting how it enabled her to connect with her character on a deep level.

Exploring the nuances of Waheeda's persona, the Fighter actor revealed the character's isolated yet childlike emotions, highlighting the freedom and unpredictability she experienced in portraying such a role. "She does what she wants to do. She behaves how she wants to behave. She talks to people how she wants to talk," Sanjeeda explained, illuminating the liberating aspect of embodying her character's essence.

Sanjeeda Shaikh's artistic growth through Sanjay Leela Bhansali's mentorship

In addition to honing her craft as an actor, she emphasised the invaluable lessons she gleaned from Bhansali's mentorship, particularly in the art of listening. "When Sir talks, you learn so much about yourself and your character because his experiences come out in his conversations," she revealed, underscoring the profound impact of his insights on her growth as both an artist and an individual.

On May 1, 2024, Heeramandi will debut on Netflix.

Get the latest updates in your inbox