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Action scenes gives me a creative high: Sonarika Bhadoria

Monday, March 05, 2018
By Chaitanya Padukone

The tall, vivacious actress Sonarika Bhadoria became immensely popular as ‘Goddess Parvati’  in the mythological TV show ‘Devon Ke Dev Mahadev’. She quit the serial midway and drifted into Tamil and Telugu regional movies. Now, after a handful of films from the south and a Bollywood movie 'Saansein’, the sizzling Sonarika is back with a bang on TV.  This time is playing the formidable lead role of Queen Mrinalvati, in the ongoing TV show ‘Prithvi Vallabh’ on Sony TV in the weekend slots. Afternoon D & C had an exclusive chat with Sonarika. Excerpts:

After  dabbling in a string of movies, aren’t you back to your forte -- TV lead roles ?
Being a young actress, I had wanted to explore cinema as well. Also I realised that TV roles were becoming rather stereotyped. It was a wonderful learning experience acting in regional movies in the south and this Hindi film. In fact I was all set to take up yet another film as a  pretty tough ‘RAW’ agent. Unfortunately, the film didn’t work out and around the same time I got the fabulous offer for ‘Prithvi Vallabh’ from its eminent writer-producer Anirudh Pathak.

What is so special about your role in Sony’s  ‘Prithvi Vallabh’ ?
It’s the lead role of the warrior princess, Mrinalvati, that motivated me to return to the telly screen. Actually, I am an action movie buff and have grown up watching action-thrillers. The fiery feminist in me always dreamed of doing such lead roles. It’s very rare that a woman gets to play a skillful rebel-warrior who has a political mind-set and also rules a kingdom and loves ‘wars’. At the same time, she is glam and feminine. Isn’t that a deadly combination.

What was the ‘prep’ that you had to go through?                                                                                                
For the past one year, I am diligently being trained and I have learned horse-riding and sword-fighting. Of course, there were occasional minor accidents and glitches while shooting. But I am enjoying this action-packed experience. Performing action scenes gives me a creative high.
How is your on-screen chemistry with co-star Ashish Sharma?
From the overwhelming responses that the Sony TV channel, my producers and I are getting, the home-audiences are simply loving our on-screen chemistry. We are recreating telly-history in this spectacular show which is being compared to the benchmark movie ‘Baahubali’. Besides being a  wonderful co-actor , I also get to learn a lot from Ashish, as he happens to be my senior. Ours is a ‘love-hate’ kind of 'rishta' (relation) — love from his side, hate and revenge from my side. It’s a story about contradictory characters coming together and there is a temperamental conflict.

Are you consciously avoiding ‘saas-bahu’ telly dramas?
Honestly speaking, sometimes I feel that the TV projects select me, instead of me hunting for a role. Generally, in regressive 'saas-bahu' sagas or romantic soaps, you rarely get to watch a beautiful, intelligent yet politically powerful female protagonist. It’s mostly only in historicals and mythologicals that one gets to see such author-backed characters.

Are you now used to your heavy armoured ‘get-up’ ?
Yeah, but initially, it was a crazy challenge. My warrior armour and accessories are so heavy, I couldn't even stand or walk, the first time I wore it. After over a year, now it's like my second super-skin (laughs). There was a particular scene which required me to wear the 'bhaari-bharkam' costume and swim. The weight kept tugging me down, but somehow we managed it

How different is Sonarika from your character ‘Mrinal’ ?
We are poles apart. My fire-brand rebel character Mrinal is mostly sulking. Which is in sheer contrast to my exuberant, talkative nature in real life. My aggressive character mood sometimes has its ‘hang-over’ after pack-up and I even tend to get into tiffs with my family members at home.

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