This year, Aditi Rao Hydari will appear in two historical dramas. She will star in the next month as Anarkali in the Zee5 series Taj-Divided By Blood. She also appears in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming Netflix film Heeramandi. When asked to play the part of Anarkali in Taj-Divided, the actor says she declined because Madhubala already had immortalised the role.
The premiere of the Zee5 series on March 3 stars Naseeruddin Shah as Emperor Akbar, Zarina Wahab as Queen Salima, Rahul Bose as Mirza Hakim, Sandhya Mridul as Queen Jodha Bai, Aashim Gulati as Prince Salim, Shubham Kumar Mehra as Prince Daniyal, Taha Shah as Prince Murad and Dharmendra as Sheikh Salim Christi. In K Asif’s masterpiece, Mugal-e-Azam (1960), Dilip Kumar, Prithviraj Kapoor and Madhubala, respectively, performed the roles of Akbar, Salim, and Anarkali.
The actor revealed in an interview with Mid-Day that she first wanted to decline the role of Anarkali. She remarked, “When this role first came to me, I was like, ‘No chance! Madhubala is Anarkali.’ I said, ‘No, thank you’ to the makers. Ron [Scalpello] and [his team underlined] that they were not remaking the love story. In many ways, they were making a family drama. Also, the way they saw Anarkali was different. She doesn’t know she will be iconic many centuries later.”
The actress said, “At the time, she was just a woman held captive, wanting freedom. She fell in love with the prince, which was her biggest boon and her biggest downfall. We see her as a tragic heroine, but Anarkali was a fearless and spirited woman who stood by her love despite the punishment.”
Aditi last appeared with Dulquer Salmaan and Kajal Aggarwal in the Tamil movie Hey Sinamika. Brinda, a choreographer, made her directing debut with the film. Aditi will portray a courtesan in 1940s India in Heeramandi. Richa Chadha, Sonakshi Sinha, Sharmin Segal, Manisha Koirala and Sanjeeda Sheikh are among the historical drama ensemble cast members.