Exclusive: Amrita Rao feels ‘blessed’ to essay Lata Mangeshkar on screen, says, ‘I was living Lata ji’s life’
Many lined up in front of the iconic Lata Mangeshkar to make a biopic, but the late singer never agreed. However, there was one TV show that took inspiration from her life and was loosely based on Mangeshkar and her sister, singer Asha Bhosle. And in this show, Meri Awaaz Hi Pehchaan Hai, it was actor Amrita Rao who played the character based on Mangeshkar’s life.
“I’m blessed and privileged to be the only actress to essay a character inspired by Lata ji,” gushes Rao, and is quick to add, “With that came a lot of responsibility and hard work. I had to look at her pictures and videos to understand her body language. We were given a lot of information on her journey, how her father inspired her, etc. I was living Lata ji’s life, and it was incredible.”
In fact, Rao was so tuned into Mangeshkar’s life that she reveals the day the Lag Jaa Gale (Woh Kaun Thi?; 1964) singer died (February 6), she had a rather eerie experience: “I woke up that morning and the first image that came to my mind was Lata ji’s. Something told me she has moved on. (This was) Before even reading or knowing anything. I kind of knew... I don’t know what to call it. It was an intuition, maybe.”
The actor, who enjoys singing herself, reveals she was inspired by India’s nightingale. “I’ve grown up listening to Lata ji’s songs. She was my first teacher and through her songs, we learned rhythm,” she shares.
However, Rao never had the “privilege” of interacting with the legend, and says one of her dreams will now remain unfulfilled. “It was always a dream for me, since the time I entered the industry, that Lata ji will playback for me,” she shares.