While they have performed flawlessly in their earlier films, holding viewers spellbound by their chemistry, Bollywood favourites Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh have had to work harder to unfold the persona demanded in their upcoming film.
In a chat with the HT, the actors, who were in Amritsar on Friday to attend an award ceremony, said portraying the historical romance between a Maratha fighter Bajirao and “warrior princess” Mastani was quite a challenge.
“I have undergone rigorous training for horse riding, sword fighting, and also Kathak,” Deepika said. “I took every role that I have played (so far) as a challenge, but this one drained me, emotionally, physically and mentally.”
Bajirao Mastani is the actor duo’s first period drama, which needed a greater, in-depth research about the original characters.
“Feature films and fictional characters carry creative liberty, but a period drama has a few restrictions. And, as actors, we do owe a certain level of responsibility in justifying it,” Deepika said.
On his part, Ranveer said he has tried to do justice with the character and put in a lot of effort in getting the look right and giving his best in the action sequences.
But both the actors admitted that what helped was the inspiration that the story itself offered. “Playing warrior princess Mastani, who was a lover, a nurturer has been a life-time experience for me,” Deepika said. “I feel that Mastani lives in every woman... the challenges she faced are faced by every other woman on a daily basis... like every women, even she possessed emotional and mental strength and was multitasking. Thus I could identify with her as a character quite well.”
Ranveer said: “Bajirao was a military genius... who had won 141 battles, which is not a small number... he was not afraid... all he knew was to stand up for the right and fight for it. His fearlessness has impacted and inspired me the most.”
The actors were also praise for Punjabis and their hospitality. “The People of Punjab are big hearted, unlike the people in the metro cities, who are deprived of smiles and laughters. Punjab mei log dil se khush rehte hain (People of Punjab are happy at heart).”