Colors’ Khoob Ladee Mardani…Jhansi Ki Rani has been presenting the valour story of Rani Laxmibai. Starring Anushka Sen and Vikkas Manaktala in the lead roles, the historical saga has been winning hearts of the audience.
Vikkas Manaktala made his debut with Left Right Left as an army cadet and then went on to play varied characters in Main Naa Bhoolungi and Ghulaam. The 34-year-old plays Gangadhar Rao in the historical.
The actor recently sat down for an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com about playing a king and how this show is different that other shows based on the warrior queen.
Here are some excerpts from the conversation:
What made you attempt a historical saga?
As an actor, I keep looking out for something which I haven’t done before. Also, I feel that I am quite similar to Gangaghar Rao. We are both misunderstood heroes in our own way.
From the time you have entered the industry, you have been the face of your shows. Since this show is all about Jhansi ki Rani, were you in any way apprehensive of taking it up?
If there was no King of Jhansi, the queen wouldn’t have existed. This show is the journey of Gangadhar and Manikarnika and their relationship. It will present the love they had, the issues and misunderstandings that developed and how they worked upon it. The tale is about the King and Queen and how as partners they built the kingdom.
It’s not the first time that the story of Laxmibai is being told. What do you feel makes your show unique?
All that we know about her is about her bravery, how she fought the British with grit and determination. For the first time, people will get to see her personal life. The show presents her humane side – how she was as a daughter, wife and friend. It’s the journey of an ordinary girl who became Jhansi Ki Rani. Our show is different because it has a very human feel to it.
What kind of research did you do before taking this show?
I did my basic online research. I did find some material but honestly, I did not want to completely block myself. It was extremely important that I went on shoot with partial knowledge as I wanted to know the writers’ and director’s vision of him. And I must add, the collaboration has been a fantastic one.
You also have a very young co-star in the show. How was the experience?
It has come as a blessing to be honest. I couldn’t have had asked for a better co-actor. We both are very passionate towards our work. There is also mutual respect that we have for each other. I hope it does wonders when that get encapsulates on screen.
You have been quite choosy with your projects. How do you pick your roles?
I feel, I have been quite fortunate. It has definitely not been an easy ride. I really want to do work that everyone can connect with. As for the requirements, first of all I ask for a detailed narration, that helps me understand the journey of the character. It helps me get clarity if I relate to the character. I think other things are quite secondary.