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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Theatre taps my full potential: Manjari Fadnis

Actor Manjari Fadnis will play Chandramukhi in Saif Hyder Hasan’s theatre adaptation of Devdas

art-and-culture Updated: Nov 10, 2018 17:16 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
Hindustan Times, Pune
Actor Manjari Fadnis is excited about playing Chandramukhi inSaif Hyder Hasan’s theatre adaptation of Devdas
Actor Manjari Fadnis is excited about playing Chandramukhi inSaif Hyder Hasan’s theatre adaptation of Devdas

The character of Chandramukhi in Devdas has always been one of actor Manjari Fadnis’s favourites. So when she was offered the part Saif Hyder Hasan’s onstage reprisal of the story, she did not think twice before signing the project.

“I loved the script. The narration by Saif was so beautiful. I have read the book but unfortunately, I haven’t seen any of the movie adaptations. And later, I consciously decided not to watch them,” says Manjari, who will be co-starring with Gaurav Chopra, Sunil Palwal, Bhavna Pani and Smita Jayakar in the 150-minute love saga that tries to solve the mysteries of what happens to Chandramukhi and Paro after Devdas dies.

Talking about her preparation, Manjari says that it was challenging as Chandramukhi has a lot of layers. “I did not have any reference points or baggage of the character. I made up a backstory of Chandramukhi myself. This exercise has always worked for me. So, I created a story of where she was born, how her name came about, her personal inner journey, etc. I clubbed some of my personal emotions in it too,” says the Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na (2008) actor.

Manjari has been rehearsing for the play for 13 hours a day and will working on Diwali too. “It is a rigorous schedule, which includes functional and aerial training as well as dance rehearsals. But I am enjoying every bit of it,” adds the Baa Baaa Black Sheep actor.

Devdas is Manjari’s second play this year, as she made her debut in the world of theatre with Mahesh Dattani’s Double Deal Reloaded. “As an artiste, I was feeling suffocated. Somewhere, I was being offered similar roles in films and being stereotyped. I know for a fact that I have way more potential that what has been explored. Theatre has helped me tap this potential. I am glad I made the choice.”

On working with Gaurav, she adds, “He is an outstanding, amazing, and thinking actor. I have seen so much dedication in his work. His character is taxing; however, I have never seen him do anything half-heartedly. Even Sukhada (Khandkekar) is such a phenomenal actor. I feel proud to be associated with all of them. We have an amazing director too who gives us the freedom to explore our characters.”

First Published: Nov 10, 2018 17:14 IST

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