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Aishwarya Raj Bhakuni: From TV star to big screen leap with new film Prithviraj


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AN INTERESTING highlight from this week’s big Bollywood release Prithviraj is the presence of Aishwarya Raj Bhakuni.

After a series of winning performances in popular television dramas, the actress makes her film debut in the historical epic headlined by Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt, Sonu Sood and Manushi Chhillar. It marks an interesting new phase for the naturally gifted talent, who has delighted TV audiences with an exciting array of roles. With further films on the way, audiences will be seeing more of her on the big screen.

Eastern Eye caught up with the rising star to discuss her journey so far and new film.

Which of your television drama serial roles did you enjoy doing most?
The TV character I enjoyed most was Sugandha, who was there in Tenali Rama and opposite the title character. Also, Aditi from Gupta Brothers. I had fun playing both roles.

What led towards you getting cast in Prithviraj?
The Yash Raj casting team had my introduction before and thought I was compatible for the role. That’s how they called me for the audition. They made me meet the team, which finally decided who they wanted to cast.

What was the experience of acting in your debut film?
Obviously, it was overwhelming since I was making my debut with one of the biggest production houses of India, Yash Raj. And it was a huge budget film with a big star cast and senior actors. I couldn’t believe I got the role and feel really blessed to be a part of it.

Tell us about your character?
I’m playing the role of Ragini, who is Sanyogita’s sister. She is the biggest support and strength of Sanyogita throughout the film. Sisters for life kind of thing.

How was the experience like of working with Akshay Kumar?
Akshay Kumar is really a humble and down-to-earth star who will mingle and talk with each and everybody on set. He is really sweet. His energy is always high, and he regularly played small fun pranks. Him being on set was the big entertainment for everybody on set.

What was the experience like stepping back in history and did you learn anything new?
When you play a historical character, you get to live it again. And like the costumes, the sets all take you back in the history where it all started. So, you begin to feel like you’re a part of it. And, definitely, I got to learn about our great king Prithviraj Chauhan and whatever happened during the war because the story was fully researched. I learnt a lot from this film, so audiences are going to learn a lot.

Will you now be focusing more on films?
Yes, from now on my 100 per cent focus is towards films and web series on good platforms. That is the reason I’m currently working on my next Bollywood film and simultaneously working in the Telugu industry as well. I have signed my fifth film in the Telugu industry. So yes, my current focus is films.

Do you have a dream role?
I would definitely love to play a historical queen or princess. The heroine of a big budget film with a huge costume, huge sets, and huge star cast! I have always been fascinated with history. All the lives of kings and queens! So, I would love to play a queen one day in a movie.

What inspires you as an actress?
You have to leave your personality and become someone completely different through learning new things like body language, emotions and looks. You need to learn a new language and become a completely different person. That inspires me most because it’s a difficult task. Secondly, I love meeting new people every day and that’s what we get to do in this profession. You meet different people on every new project, set and place you go for work, and learn from them. I also love travelling and when it’s for work, it’s the cherry on the cake. Getting to explore myself and my acting skills is inspiring.

Why should we watch Prithviraj?
It is a very well researched film. There are no fantasies or fake scenarios involved. You’ll get to learn a lot more about a great king, Prithviraj Chauhan and his encounter with Muhammad Ghori – whatever conspiracies came into action. You’ll get to know about all of it in one film. There are grand sets, great costumes, and a wonderful star cast. With entertainment and great songs, it’s a full complete package and you should definitely go watch it. It is meant to be watched in theatres.


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