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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Ek Thi Begum 2 actor Anuja Sathe: ‘People didn’t expect me to do such a strong role’

Ek Thi Begum 2 has actor Anuja Sathe returning as Ashraf Bhatkar to avenge the death of her husband at the hands of his underworld rivals.

Written by Mimansa Shekhar | New Delhi |
September 30, 2021 7:39:13 pm
anuja sathe ek thi begum 2Anuja Sathe plays the titular role in Ek Thi Begum 2. (Photo: Screengrab/MX Player)

Actor Anuja Sathe says the upcoming season of her web show Ek Thi Begum is full of challenges for her character. Being a protagonist was a dream come true for Anuja, who is set to reprise the role of Ashraf Bhatkar in the MX Original crime-drama.

“Every emotion that Ashraf carries has gone one notch higher. It has rather amplified. She’s more focused and will be combating a lot of new characters and new obstacles. It’s more dramatic and is going to be an action packed series,” Anuja told indianexpress.com.

Ek Thi Begum 2 takes forward Ashraf’s story who sheds her demure image and picks up guns to avenge the death of her husband Zaheer, at the hands of his underworld rivals. After her plans were foiled in the first season, Ashraf returns under the alias of Leela Paswan, vowing to overturn don Maqsood’s illegal empire while also overpowering the underworld, cops, and politicians.

Anuja shared that it was about time that the stories of women dons who ruled back in the day were brought to light. “Underworld is a theme that was completely visualised around men, male dons. But there were so many women who had the courage to stand up against them and create their own empire in late 80s and early 90s. It was about time for people to know about them.”

Touted to be inspired from real-life incidents, Ek Thi Begum debuted in April last year. Anuja claims she had to prepare to get into the skin of her tough role, that included learning how to operate a gun. According to her “firing a gun and saying your dialogues at the same time is difficult.”

“When you fire, you automatically blink. So my action master taught me some tricks. Initially it was bit clumsy but I managed later. I have an athletic body and I love watching action being performed by female actors. I’m lucky even I got to do that. I knew I’d be able to carry it off because of my body structure,” Anuja added.

 

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A post shared by Anuja Sathe (@anujasatheofficial)

Ek Thi Begum has Anuja not just doing action, but her Ashraf flaunts her bolder side too. She honey traps her enemies. So did the bold scenes deter her? Anuja said she stands by everything she does for her character. “When I accept a role, I do it with all honesty. Even if people don’t like it, after a point it doesn’t bother me. It’s more about the satisfaction I get after working on something I really wanted to. Yes there were certain reactions where people said they didn’t expecting me to do such a strong part because of a certain image they had in mind of me. But an actor should never be caged and allowed to explore. People categorise you, actors never categorise themselves. If they accepted me playing Radhabai in Peshwa Bajirao, a loving wife in Parmanu, or a Begum here, I’m sure they’ll accept me in any character I do.”

Anuja picked actor Resham, who played a journalist as her favourite co-star from the show, along with Ankit Mohan “who played my beloved dead husband. We are still in touch,” she shared.

Anuja concluded by revealing what Ashraf has left behind in her after two seasons. She said, “It made me realise that I’m as strong and determined as Ashraf is. In the first season, for showing Ashraf transition to a bar dancer Sapna, I met some the real life bar dancers. It made me realise I’m so fortunate to have such a safe upbringing. There was a sense of gratitude and self realisation.”

Ek Thi Begum 2 will begin streaming on MX Player on September 30. Directed by Sachin Darekar and Vishal Modhave, the series also stars Ajay Gehi, Shahab Ali, Chinmay Mandlekar, Vijay Nikam, Hitesh Bhojraj and others.

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