Amit Sial, Sohum Shah say outsiders have advantage of rich life experiences: 'Those who grew up in Bandra can never...'
Amit Sial and Sohum Shah, who will be seen in SonyLiv’s Maharani season 2, talk about the show, its real-life parallels and the advantage outsiders have over star kids.
The second season of the popular political drama Maharani is about to release on SonyLiv from August 25. The Huma Qureshi-starrer features Sohum Shah and Amit Sial as her two adversaries in this season. The two actors spoke to HT about what the audience can expect from the show, the shift of focus on more relatable stories, and why actors from small towns have an advantage. Also read: Maharani season 2 trailer: Huma Qureshi vows to tackle goons in 'new Bihar'
Maharani is the story of Rani Bharti (Huma), who is forced to assume the role of chief minister after her husband Bheema (Sohum) is left incapacitated following an assassination attempt. Standing in her way is Bheema’s political rival Naveen (Amit). Season 2 sees how the three characters are at loggerheads with one another and the actors say there is a lot of new stuff on offer. Sohum says, “Season 1 of Maharani worked for the audience because it was very unpredictable. People were thinking in one direction and it went in another. The second season will have a lot more.”
Amit says that the show has retained its freshness, which is difficult for second seasons. “The show had a uniqueness in season one. It was something different. This world hadn’t been depicted as tactfully earlier. This time, the writers have worked harder to pique the interest of the audience so there are more twists and turns that the audience will lap it up,” he says.
Many found similarities in the story of Maharani with several real incidents from the world of politics, particularly with how Rabri Devi had become the chief minister of Bihar for the first time. But despite real-life parallels, Sohum says he avoids basing his character on anybody living. He shares, “Growing up in India, you know about the politics of the country. But as an actor, my job is to portray Bheema Bharti the way he is written in the script. For me, there was no reference. I have not tried to copy or imitate anyone. When Border had released, audiences would say that Sunny Deol looked more like a soldier than real soldiers. I want the audience to feel the same for me that they see me and say only he could have done this role.”
The two actors say that while working on the show, they bonded over their similar journeys in the entertainment world. Both actors come from small towns in the Hindi heartland and worked several years in Mumbai before making it big. Amit says, “The appreciation is more because we relate to each other’s struggles. Not to say people who are born with a silver spoon in their mouths don’t work hard. They do. We talk a lot about nepotism these days. But the audience accepts them. But we have richer life experiences. That knowledge works because the more life experiences you have, the better actor you become.”
Sohum agrees and adds, “We have that advantage of being from a small-town. We have seen more colours of life and more diverse people. If you have been born and brought up in Bandra, you can never have those experiences. There was a time when things like glamour, blingy clothes and physique worked. There was fascination around them. Now, the hunger is for newer, relatable stories.”
Amit says the benefit actors of today coming from these smaller towns have is that they know both the worlds, something their big city counterparts don’t. “I am from Kanpur. I went to Delhi to study and then to Australia, and then came to Mumbai. Now, anyone who grew up in Mumbai will never go to Kanpur and live there. We have seen both worlds,” he explains. Sohum interjects and adds that this ‘privelege’, however, comes at a cost, “Of course, we had to work really hard to see this world, took some of us ten years to just earn that break and understand this world.”
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